Basketball is world wide passion. You can usually catch someone playing a game at the park on any day. This article can help you gain the skills you need to excel at the game you love.

Make sure to dribble properly. When dribbling the basketball, use your fingertips rather than the palm of your hand. This method gives you much more control of the ball. Be sure to dribble beside your body instead of in front of yourself. Bounce the ball at a level even with your waist. Never look at the ball; instead, look forward.

TIP! Free throw practice is vitally important. As easy as these shots may seem, they are rather hard.

Play basketball against yourself even during the off-season. These skills all help with muscle memory so you know just what to do when you’re playing in a game. There is nothing wrong with that. It is possible to get a lot done even when playing alone. Go to the free throw line and work on your shots. You can always practice.

Turning away from the ball can be a costly mistake in basketball. This provides court awareness and prevents you from unexpected turnovers or quick passes. Always watch for areas opening up where you can go for a quick basket.

Spreading the fingers is something you have to do to handle the ball right. That will ensure that it doesn’t get away from you as you hold it. Don’t let your palm touch the ball either. Your fingers must be the only things contacting it when you shoot or pass the ball at the target.

TIP! Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. If you have to keep your eye on the ball when you’re dribbling, practice can remedy that.

If you experience a slump in your scoring and shooting, your shoulders may be the cause of the problem. If your shoulders aren’t properly positioned, your shot is not going to go in. Your shoulders should always be square towards the basket. The shoulder that is dominant should be perfectly aligned with the hoop rim.

If your opponent is pressing hard, you can give yourself some room to work by dribbling the ball between your legs. To practice, simply bounce the basketball between your legs while stepping either forward or backwards. Mastering this move can give you an advantage on the court.

Learn to pass the ball without looking at your intended target. This trick can be used successfully to confuse defenders. By looking in the opposite direction, your teammate has a few extra seconds to make the shot. It can be a really powerful play.

TIP! To improve your game, concentrate on your strong points. You can contribute to the team by consolidating your best skills, even if these skills do not make you one of the star players.

If you want to make the most of your layup, push up from the foot that is opposite the hand you will shoot from. So, if you shoot using your left hand, launch with your right foot. This way you keep your body away from defenders, your momentum going in the direction of the basket and your body stays balanced.

A consistent pre-shot routine when at the line will increase your chance at success. Inconsistency does not make a better shot. Practicing your free throw again and again is the only way to perfect it. If you do not practice this shot consistently, you may miss it during an actual game.

Change up your pace so that you are not predictable to the offense. As you approach the goal, plant your foot and then straighten up. This will make the guard think you’re slowing down, then they will straighten their body too. All the while, push ahead hard then run past them.

TIP! Free throws have a huge mental element to them. It is possible to practice the physical movements needed to make such a shot, but when your mental focus is lacking, you are likely to miss.

A powerful play called the trapping machine, is to have your guards wait for the point guard to come just past midcourt. They can then trap the point guard. While that is happening, your forwards should race out to the opposing wing players. This will likely cause the point guard to make a high, short pass, which your forwards will steal quite easily.

Try practicing your dribbling while switching the momentum of your body from side to side. Basketball games are fast and you will encounter different scenarios while dribbling. You might be working with a court that’s open, but you may get swarmed by quite a few people. This is why it’s important to switch the direction you will be dribbling. This allows you to extricate yourself from high-pressure situations.

If a shot is taken from the corner and missed, the ball typically ends up across the court from the player. In this situation, you must anticipate the path of the ball to gain possession of the rebound.

TIP! Better your basketball skills by watching the pros play. Watch pro games on TV, or attend games in person.

Make a strong team both off and on the basketball court. A cohesive team is an effective team, and basketball teams are no exception. When you trust your teammates, you’ll play a better game.

It must clear what you need to do to get better at basketball. Practice often to gain the necessary skills and knowledge needed to play a good game. After taking the court and actually playing, you will most likely want to get out there on a regular basis. Have fun and play basketball.