Basketball is an extremely popular sport in many countries. Whether is it the watching the championships, playing on a team of your own or just shooting hoops in your own yard, basketball is definitely here to stay. Players want to become better, of course. The following tips will help you become an even better player.

Make sure you dribble properly by keeping your head held up, facing forward. You need more practice if you feel that you cannot dribble without focusing on the ball. Take the basketball around off-court wherever you are. On your way to the grocery store, practice your dribbling. You will not be able to see what’s happening before you on the court while beholding the ball.

TIP! To improve your game, concentrate on your strong points. You might not have star ability, but you can be an outstanding team player.

In order to be a great shooter, good balance is key. While some NBA players are able to launch a ball to the net mid-fall, this is not appropriate for most people. This kind of improvisation is the result of years of practice and loads of ability. By learning how to stay properly balanced, you can improve your game.

Practice your layup shot often. In a typical game, up to four-fifths of all shots are layups. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. This type of technique will translate well into actual game situations.

Hitting free throws is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Training your body is important, but you also have to be mentally ready for the shot. Relax and focus on your shot, and you can make it.

TIP! Always work on your layups. During any game, layups make up about 75 percent of the game.

It is important to practice catching the ball from others as much as passing. Try to catch all of the passes that are thrown to you. During a hectic game, every throw is not going to be perfect. So do your teammates a favor by learning how to consistently haul in their less than perfect passes.

You need to practice more than defeating a zone defense. The majority of the game is in that area, but be careful about a team who changes things up. You might lose your control of the court if the other team use this technique, unless you are ready for this possibility.

You can improve your passing skills by practicing a simple drill where dribbling is forbidden. It is difficult playing without dribbling; however, it helps the team make better passes. This may be hard and frustrating at first, but as you get the hang of it your entire team will begin to excel at passing.

TIP! Do not only practice zone defense plays. Usually, a big part of the game is probably going to be in zone; however, the opposing team can suddenly switch to man-to-man to catch you off guard.

Practice basketball in season and out of season. Even though you play on a team, practicing alone can be helpful. Don’t fret! Solo games can help you immensely. Practice free throws and work on pivot moves. There are always things that can be done.

To keep passes under control, make use of hand signals. One thing that can frustrate you when playing basketball is to try and pass while a player is trying to run to the basket. Hand signals can be a great way to find out if a teammate will be able to receive your pass. If the player does not flash the signal, then the player can avoid an errant pass.

Make sure, no matter what else happens, you can see where the ball is. This will give you court awareness and keep you from being surprised by quick passes or turnover potentials. Always scout the court for areas that will open up and allow you to make a clear shot.

TIP! Use hand signals to avoid errant passes. It can be frustrating to attempt to pass the ball to a team mate as that person is heading toward the basket.

To get more out of layups, take off using the foot that;s the opposite of your shooting hand. This means that when you’re shooting from your right hand you have to use your left foot to take off. Your body will develop good coordination and you keep your defender at a distance.

Be sly on your soles to catch rebounds from free-throws your own team members are making. Slip around the defender moving your way and get the ball. In this way you can get the rebound without a foul.

You need good vision if you are going to play basketball. This will help you to secure the ball during the game. Your peripheral vision needs to be as strong as possible. If you watch the entire game instead of just focusing on the basketball, you will be able to see open teammates and oncoming defensive players.

TIP! It’s great to be quick in basketball. Speed always gives you an edge over your opponent.

When you are on the defense, the key is to stay as low as you can. This allows you to jump or react quicker. You must always utilize the proper defensive stance. When you must break from your stance in order to block shots, make sure to return to form right away.

If you want to build the dexterity of your weaker hand, start using it for everyday tasks like shining your shoes or opening doors. You’ll find it becomes more controllable. Your basketball skills will benefit.

Bend the knees when you dribble a basketball. Standing straight makes it hard to control the ball. You will gain a lot of ball control by bending your knees just a bit.

TIP! When playing a game of basketball, have a friend tape the game. This way, you can take a look at your game.

Work on taking shots from various on-court locations. The first thing you should do is practice your grip and balance. Shooting off balance is possible, but you will not be nearly as accurate with your shots. Pay attention to the air valve on the ball. Spread your fingers, and place your dominant hand over the area where the valve is located.

Bettering your game can be done in many ways. Some are quite simple, for example you can learn new techniques and practice them assiduously. Practice skills, run drills and play whenever you get the chance. Whether you practice with a team, with friends or with younger people, it’s all about loving the game and making your skills better.