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It is clear from fans around the world that the game of basketball brings happiness to so many people around the world. In truth, most players still have things they can learn about the game that makes it more fun for them. The following tips can help basketball players at every level.

Hitting free throws is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. It’s easy to physically train for a free throw, yet mental preparation is also needed. Stay relaxed and just focus on the goal and you will increase your free throw rate.

TIP! Learn how to hit a free throw shot. The free throw shot might seem simple, but it can actually be pretty difficult.

Make sure that your regular practice includes catching of passes. You want to practice catching perfect passes and bad passes. In the heat of the game, not every pass is going to hit the bulls-eye. Learn how to catch any sort of throw.

Avoid errant passes by the use of hand signals. Oftentimes frustration occurs when trying you aren’t on the same page with a teammate who cuts to the basketball when you try to pass him the ball. You can stay away from doing this if you use a hand signal to see if someone is ready for a pass. If the signal is not used, then the pass should not be made to that player.

A smart tip to follow while playing basketball is to always keep your eye on the ball and not away from the play. This provides court awareness and prevents you from unexpected turnovers or quick passes. Also, watch for areas to open up so you can make an easy basket.

TIP! Dribble while keeping your head upward and looking ahead. If you must look at the ball while dribbling, you haven’t practiced enough.

To hold the ball right, spread your fingers out. This can help you avoid losing it when you hold it. In addition, keep your palm off of the ball. When shooting or passing the ball, only your fingers should contact the ball.

Understanding the opponent is a good way to win with defense. Watch tapes and be sure you’re paying attention to scouting reports. Know which team members are right handed and which ones are left handed. When you know more about the opposing team, you will play a better defense. The strongest defenders are those who have information.

Core Muscles

TIP! Your mind plays as big a part in making a free throw as your actual body does. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter.

When exercise, concentrate on perfecting footwork and strengthening your core muscles. When you have strong core muscles, your body will be better balanced and will move faster. Your muscles in your buttocks, hips, abdomen, and back should be worked. To help get even quicker and have better footwork you can jump rope.

One thing to consider if your shooting percentage drops is that your shoulders may be inconsistent when you are shooting. If your shoulders aren’t properly positioned, your shot is not going to go in. Make sure your shoulders are always square towards the hoop. Your dominant shoulder should also be lined up perfectly with the rim.

Always be sure of where you’re placing your feet so you’re aware of what they’re doing. You will be called out of bounds if even one toe is touching the baseline as you hold the ball. Not dribbling when you take more than a few steps will result in a walking call as well as a forfeit of the ball. Avoid lifting your feet when you are screening or in position for a charge or the foul will be called on you instead of your opponent.

TIP! Never practice only against the zone. Learn how to play a man-to-man defense and a zone defense to get the best understanding of how the game works.

For more consistency in making those free throws, stick with the same sequence of motions before you take each shot. This could mean dribbling twice, shaking out your head to loosen your neck or whatever else makes you comfortable. Don’t dilly dally, but do complete your ritual.

If you wish to dribble the ball better, you have to start using your hand that’s considered the weak one. If you’re using both hands to dribble the ball well then you can get by an opponent easily. Bind your dominant hand so you will be forced to make use of your weaker side. Eventually, your weak hand will be able to dribble well.

Your forearms and hands should be strengthened if you wish to handle the ball better. Wrist curls can be great for honing ball handling skills. Don’t just think you can place yourself in one spot, wait for the ball then hoist up a shot. Motion is key to being successful on the court.

TIP! If you are good at shooting the ball then the last thing you want to do is lift weights. You do need muscle conditioning and strength, but you can have too much when it comes to shooting field goals.

Dribble very hard to prevent the opposing team players from stealing the ball. The ball bounces faster, giving the guard less time to steal. If someone is guarding you closely, stop dribbling and pass to someone else who is open on your team.

Varying your pace and direction keeps the offense off guard. Plant a foot and start to straighten your body. The guard will assume you’re slowing down and start to straighten up, too. Use this opportunity to sprint past your opponent.

Basketball can be a great sport for play and for being a fan. To be the best player you can be, you must know the basics. Hopefully, everything that you read here brought you much close to helping you understand this sport.