Basketball season is something that people get obsessed with whether they’re playing or just watching. In order to make sure that your fans stay happy, you’ll need to give them something to be happy about. Everyone on the team has to contribute somehow, so you have to be sure that you know what goes into having good basketball skills. Follow these tips to learn how to play basketball effectively and become an important member of your team.

It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. Basketball games are often won by the defense. Offense gets attention and praise, but when you lack good defense, any team can lose.

Perfect your layup technique. Layups sometimes wind up being 4 out of every 5 shots in basketball. Whenever you practice, approach the goal full speed, jump and take a smooth shot. Running and jumping well in practice means better jump shooting in actual games.

To keep passes under control, make use of hand signals. Players can get easily frustrated if they make a pass to players that aren’t available to catch the ball. You can avoid this by using hand signals if a player is able to take a pass. If no signal is displayed, a pass ought not be made.

It is important to know the right way to throw a bounce pass. The bounce pass needs to reach the player at waist level. If it helps to measure it out, consider aiming for a mark on the floor about three-fourths of the way between you and your teammate. There are many factors which come into play, though.

Being able to anticipate your opponent is a key skill. Review tapes and keep up with scouting reports. Keep track of which players are right hand dominant and which are left hand dominant. Once you have a solid idea of your opponent, you can dial in on the best way to defend. Smart defenders are good defenders.

A smart tip to follow while playing basketball is to always keep your eye on the ball and not away from the play. It’s all about court awareness, and always facing the ball will make it so you are less surprised by passes. That means less turnovers. Always watch for areas opening up where you can go for a quick basket.

Learn to pass the ball without looking at your intended target. You are able to confuse opponents with this technique. When it’s done properly, it will cause the opponents to go to the wrong area so that you can pass to someone that has a good look at a basket before shooting. It’s a great play if done properly.

Always know where your feet are and what they are doing. You will be called out of bounds if even one toe is touching the baseline as you hold the ball. If you take too many steps and don’t dribble, then you are walking. Being aware of your body movements can give you an advantage on the court.

Ask fellow team members what they like about your skills on the court. Can they tell you what you’re really good at? Continue to develop the skills that play into your natural abilities. See what others view as your own natural skills, then be sure you retain and develop them more.

Have a friend or family member videotape your games, then view the video to see the result. On tape, you can see all the opportunities you passed and how things could have gone better. Stay honest when you’re assessing yourself, but don’t over criticize yourself either. There are times when it pays to view yourself realistically.

High percentage free throw shooters typically have the same free throw routine prior to each and every shot. This could mean dribbling twice, shaking out your head to loosen your neck or whatever else makes you comfortable. As long as you make it quick, if you have a consistent routine, your body will remember how to make those free throws after you go through your ritual.

To rebound a free throw, you have to be quick. You’ll have a defender coming at you and this means you have to figure out what can be done to get around them. This allows you to secure the rebound without finding yourself penalized.

Use the NBA three point line when practicing your shots. All other distance lines, high school, college and International, are not as far. Putting in the shot from the NBA distance will give you an advantage over defenders who are not expecting it.

Keep dribbling until you’re ready to either pass or shoot. You are limited once you cease dribbling. If you decide that you cannot shoot or pass the ball, all you can do is pivot onto the back foot. You leave the ball vulnerable to possible steal attempts and yourself open to being double teamed.

Make sure you don’t double dribble. When you stop dribbling and then begin again is double dribbling. If dribbling stops, you must pass or shoot the basketball. You cannot simply dribble again. This is called a turnover, and you’ll lose the ball immediately to your opponent.

If you want a 2-3 zone to be turned into a machine that traps, your two defenders that are guarding should wait until your point guard is around ten feet past mid court. This can give them an opportunity to run up to that point guard to trap them. While this is happening, your forwards must sprint toward players in the wings. This will likely cause the point guard to make a high, short pass, which your forwards will steal quite easily.

Practice all types of shots while in different distances and angles. Practice your grip and proper balance. You’re much more accurate if you are balanced well. You can use the valve to find your perfect grip. Spread out your fingers, and center the valve in your hand.

Putting pressure on your opponent, moving them towards the sideline, is a great defensive tactic. If you let someone shoot down the middle, you lose control. The closer to the sideline they are, the less options they will have.

Write down a plan of what you should work on at the gym each time you go. Several players travel to the gym without a plan. They chat with pals and have no real direction. With a solid plan, you can be sure that you’re improving and not wasting valuable gym time.

When you learn the game of basketball and practice hard, you’ll feel really good about yourself. One of these things is learning how to get better at basketball. This can help you to impress your teammates, and help you to win games.

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