For decades, people have enjoyed basketball. It allows people to compete but have fun at the same time. If you wish to be better, you must practice. Using these tips will help you improve your basketball game.

Free throws are as mental as physical. You’re able to train your whole body to do full free throw motions, but if you’re not mentally prepared, you will fail. Relax yourself and focus on the hoop.

TIP! It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. Basketball games are won because of good defense.

Watch how the pros play basketball. Watch as many games on TV as you can. By doing this, you will quickly find that players all have their unique subset of skills, allowing you the best chance to see what areas are the best fit for your personal game.

Work on catching passes frequently. When you practice, mix it up so that you can catch perfect passes and errant throws. This will help you catch those bad passes during a game. Cover for your teammates’ errant passes by developing the hands to cover their mistakes.

You want to be prepared for any type of defense the other team plays. Zone play will be important, but man-to-man will pop up from time to time, too. If your practice hasn’t included this type of scenario, you might lose control rapidly.

TIP! When dribbling, your head must be up, and you need to look forward. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling.

Completing passes to your teammates is just as important as dribbling the ball. Playing the game without the use of dribbling is a challenge, but it can help you and your team learn to make more precise passes. Don’t get discouraged if it is hard initially’ because the gains you will make are sure to be worthwhile.

Don’t bulk up if you want to be good as a jump shooter. While muscle strength is good to have in any basketball position, it is possible to have too much for perimeter play. Shooting guards that end up with bulked up arms sometimes find that it affects field goal percentages.

If you slump when you shoot, look at what your shoulders are doing. If your shoulders aren’t properly positioned, your shot is not going to go in. One area of focus should be to keep your shoulders aligned straight toward the hoop. Your dominant shoulder must be lined up with the rim.

TIP! Shooting has much to do with proper balance. While the all-time greats have shown time and time again how they can shoot while off-kilter, this is not the ideal way to score.

Quickness is something that’s desired in basketball. Always stay ahead of the opposition. In order to play fast, you must practice drills. Don’t try playing fast until you can. Playing beyond your own capabilities sends the game spinning past your ability to control it, and turnovers are bound to occur.

Try practicing how to pass while looking in another direction. It can be very confusing to your opponents. If you can do this correctly, you’ll be able to free up time for the person that you’ve passed to. If you can master this move, it can really work in your favor.

If you wish to shoot free throws better, you have to have a routine that’s consistent. Inconsistent shooting will lead to inconsistent results. Free throw shooting is best improved by lengthy sessions of repetitive practice. If you don’t do the routine right, then the shot won’t make it.

TIP! Practice your layups a lot. Eighty percent of the shots taken in a game are layups.

A great way to make sure you’re in a good position defensively is to keep yourself in the defensive stance. Shuffle your feet in a side to side motion, then use your opposite foot to push off and give you good leverage. Don’t cross your feet and no one will get around you.

In order to confuse the offense, try changing your pace. When running toward the hoop, plant your leading foot and start to straighten up. This will cause the guard to believe you are slowing, and it will also cause them to straighten up. After that, push hard in a forward motion and scoot by them.

To boost your ability with the weaker hand, try to use it for all daily tasks. If you’re able to become more ambidextrous, you are going to be able to better control it on the court. As a result, your basketball game will significantly improve.

TIP! Frequent pass catching practice is important. During practice you should come up with drills where you perfect catching bad passes along with the good ones.

When you dribble, bend your knees. The basketball is much harder to control if you stand tall and the opposing team can snatch it more easily. Just a little bending at the knees can make a huge difference in your overall ball control.

Where you are ahead of and post-rebound will determine your success. When you jump, use both legs to give yourself a boost. Following a rebound, land with feet spread wider apart than shoulder width. In this way, you can stay balanced and hold the ball close.

When you’ve got the ball, you must know when to take a shot, and then when you should pass it to another player who’s got a better shot. It’s best to be a winning team, than someone that lost the game.

TIP! You can improve your control of the ball by spreading your fingers. This makes sure that it does not escape away from your grip.

For players that are advanced in basketball, dribbling works on a mental and a physical level. Being a good dribbler requires being able to control spin without thinking, change the speed of your dribbles, and have a developed sense of where the ball always is in relation to your body. Change your speed quickly and use your body to keep defenders guessing about what you’re going to do next.

Make sure to practice pump faking. The pump fake is among the most powerful of all shooting tactics. This fakes your opponent out and you can shoot when you’re open. This could even lead to a foul.

Any time an opposing player attempts a shot, you must be there to challenge it. Even when a shooter isn’t your man, you should still run at him. If your opponents can easily recognize openings in your team’s game, their coach will draw attention to plays they can use to take advantage of your team’s weaknesses. If your defense isn’t good, the other team will win.

TIP! Always be aware of your feet. You will be called out of bounds if even one toe is touching the baseline as you hold the ball.

By learning important tips and taking them to the practice court, eventually you will see how much better you get at this game. Don’t stop with this article, keep looking for more information that will help to enhance your skill set. Take advantage of every piece of advice you can and practice as much as possible.