Basketball is a game which is enjoyed by many people in many countries. Basketball players have a particular set of skills needed to win. The following article will help you improve your basketball skills.

If you want to take jump shots, don’t spend time pumping iron. Muscle flexibility is more important than muscle mass. Some shooting guards worked on their arms so much that they started lowering their percentage of field goals.

TIP! Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling.

Play games against yourself in and out of season. While it’s a team sport, you may not be able to find others that will play. For concentration purposes, it can be good to practice on your own. You are able to do a lot with solo games. Practice pivoting or doing free throws. You can always hone your skills when practicing alone.

If posting up is what you’re doing, you have to have good footwork to get open for a shot. Getting a great position under the goal is the most important. If you are just stepping into position, you now have to secure the spot. Footwork is the key to either of these.

Have your team mates critique your playing skills. Are you skilled at something? They may say that you are a great team defender or are always playing with excellent speed. See what others view as your own natural skills, then be sure you retain and develop them more.

TIP! Hitting free throws is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Making the right physical motions is easier than having the right mind set.

For more consistency in making those free throws, stick with the same sequence of motions before you take each shot. Whatever you do, from bending your knees to dribbling three times, do every time. As you adopt this routine, it becomes easier for your mind and body to prepare for the shot.

Passing between your legs can be helpful when the other team is riding you hard. Practice this maneuver by bouncing the basketball between your legs while taking steps. Mastering this move can help give you an advantage on the court.

You must have a consistent practice routine if you want to learn to shoot free throws well. Inconsistency does not make a better shot. The most effective method to achieve a great free throw is by practicing it repeatedly until you get it right. If you do not practice this shot consistently, you may miss it during an actual game.

TIP! Practice catching passes as often as you can. When you practice, be sure to do drills that improve catching wild throws and making great passes.

You need to practice dribbling with your weak hand in order to be a more effective player. If you use both your hands to dribble, it is easier to control. Immobilize your dominant hand by tying it behind your back, then practice using your other hand for everything. Soon enough you will develop those weak hand dribbling skills.

You should ensure that you can clearly see. Not to just be able to see the scoreboard, but to actually make a shot and catch a pass. You have to build your peripheral vision. If you look across the whole game and not just focus on the ball, you can see oncoming defensive pressure in advance, as well as open teammates.

Take charges whenever you have the opportunity. This allows you to get the ball back for your team, setting up a foul. This can throw off the opposing team and mess up their rhythm.

TIP! Improve your passing abilities by challenging yourself to perform drills without actually dribbling. It is hard to play basketball without dribbling, and demands accurate passing and teamwork, so it will be a challenge.

Once you are in your defensive stance, remember to hold your ground. You can shuffle your feet to either side, or push with your opposing foot, so you will be ready and in position. Always keep your feet from crossing, and you will make it hard for any opponent to get past.

Keep the ball below knee level if possible. This will lower the chances of your opponent being able to steal the ball. You will have to bend a little to make this happen, but it will keep you moving down the court quickly, especially since you are thwarting everyone trying to get to you.

One way to force turnovers is to make your opponent change course. Whether you’re playing defense or offense, it’s crucial to control the other player’s movements. In this way, you can move as necessary without allowing your opponents to direct you.

TIP! In order to get a good shot, good footwork is essential when posting up. While physical presence under a basket is important, finding a decent spot before the opponent is even more so.

Learn about your opponents so you can force them to play your game, not theirs. For instance, you could step toward a player on their right side to force them to switch to their left hand. Keep your head parallel to their chest, and you will stay low and primed to snatch the ball.

You need to control your nerves when shooting the ball. Keep focused on the basket. In particular, you have to make your eyes trained to move towards the rim’s back when you shoot. If you are trying a lay-up, focus on the specific backboard region you use for teh bank.

To be very good at basketball you need to learn how to pivot. Work on your footwork to be able to move smoothly. Develop your pivot stance, and the practice quick reactions with the ball in hand.

TIP! Never play through an injury when playing basketball. Basketball is challenging physical sport and you can get injured.

A zone defense can be beat by using a penetrating dribble. Getting by a defender and into the lane will cause the defending team to either shift or collapse on the ball. If you’re in the paint far enough, you may be able to take a shot. However, if one of your teammates is wide open then quickly pass them the ball for an easier shot.

Putting pressure on your opponent, moving them towards the sideline, is a great defensive tactic. Allowing your opponents to drive down the middle lets them have a wide array of possible plays. When they are sidelined, their choices for moves becomes very limited.

Every player is focused on building their skill set so they can keep improving their abilities. Now that you read the article you should be familiar with what it takes to take your game to the next level. Read this article as many times as you need to in order to absorb its advice.