Basketball is unlike any other sport. There is more to the game that learning to shooting, dribbling and passing. Even if you have been playing for years, there are plenty of skills you can learn. There is still a lot more to learn, and the following tips will show you how.

You must become knowledgeable about hitting a free-throw shot. These shots may seem easy, but they can be quite difficult. Practice frequently using these techniques. First, hold the ball just above your nose, about 8 inches from your face. Maintain focus on the basket and try to visualize your basketball falling through the hoop. You should then shoot and try following the trajectory you visualized.

TIP! Keep your skills sharp in the off-season by playing different challenging games. While basketball is a team sport, sometimes you just can’t find others to play with.

Learn what a crossover is and how to do it. This term refers to switching the hand you use. The action needs to be performed quickly in order to be successful. If you do it right, a crossover dribble will assist you in changing directions and getting down the court in an efficient manner.

Perfect your layup technique. During any game, layups make up about 75 percent of the game. Run as fast as possible, while jumping and performing a smooth shot. Practicing this technique helps you learn to make layups during a game.

Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. Making the right physical motions is easier than having the right mind set. Stay calm and collected to increase your free throw percentage.

TIP! Good footwork remains a vital part of basketball. While physical positioning is important, it is even more essential to move quicker than an opponent.

Tricking the other team is a good way to win a game. Give the back pass a try! To properly perform this pass you will need to have the ball in your dominant hand. Pull it behind you. The last step is to flick your wrist in the direction you want the ball to land. This should make it easy to trick the other team.

To be a good post-up player in the pain, you need to have really good footwork. While physical presence under a basket is important, finding a decent spot before the opponent is even more so. Plant your feet and own that spot. Each of these skills is reliant on good footwork.

Ask your fellow team members which of your skills that they admire. Are you really good at any one thing? Perhaps you have good dribbling skills or maybe your footwork is enviable. See what others view as your own natural skills, then be sure you retain and develop them more.

TIP! See if your teammates admire something in particular about your game play. Do you do something really good? It may be that you are quick on your feet or that you are always there to back them up.

You never want to have your back to the ball if you can help it. Passes and turnovers won’t take you by surprise because you will be more aware of what is happening on the court. Also, you need to stay aware of areas which might open up and give you an easy basket.

A good way to see yourself playing is to have someone record your games. You can see where you can improve and what plays you missed. Do not waste time criticizing yourself. Just make an honest assessment. Analyze your skills honestly so you can become the player you want to be.

If an opponent is staying with you, try passing the ball between your legs. Try practicing this by bouncing your ball hard in between your legs while stepping forward or backward. Mastering this skill will provide you with a major advantage on the court.

TIP! Always be aware of where you have your feet and what you are going to do with them next. Out of bounds will happen with even one toe over the baseline of the lined play area on the court.

You must disrupt your opponent’s game when you’re playing defense. Make them feel uncomfortable and to where they’re second guessing their next move. An aggressive approach is an effective one for this purpose. Do not allow them to pick and choose their plays. If you let them control the game, you will lose. Instead, you move first and throw them off their game.

Changing your pace is key to keeping the offense on their toes. When you approach the goal, put your front foot in firm place and start straightening up. This will make the guard think you’re slowing down, then they will straighten their body too. After that, push hard in a forward motion and scoot by them.

You can make the 2-3 zone a lot more dangerous by having two defenders stay in this zone until a point guard is beyond the time line. This can give them an opportunity to run up to that point guard to trap them. While that is happening, your forwards should race out to the opposing wing players. The point guard will then probably throw an easily interceptable pass.

TIP! If you have someone who can tape your game, you can view the recording to see how well you performed on the court. Do you see how you could’ve handled a situation differently? Be honest in your assessment but not overly critical.

To boost your ability with the weaker hand, try to use it for all daily tasks. If you gain more mastery of it in all walks of life, you improve overall control. This is bound to carry over to the court.

If you can take this advice to heart, you can win on the court. Set goals and practice, as much as you can, to get better. Combining your strategy with these tips can really have you improving very quickly!