Basketball ranks among one of peoples’ favorite sports to both watch and play. It can be hard to become good at it. Basketball is fun for anyone who chooses to play it. Read on to learn what you can do to understand and enjoy basketball more than you thought possible.

If you need to improve your basketball shooting ability, practice as if you were really in a game. Rather than taking your time to throw the perfect shot, act as if there are defensive players around you, trying to distract you and take away the ball. This will build you shoot better under pressure and make the shots that count.

Jump naturally when shooting the ball. Do not overjump or else you will throw the ball’s trajectory off course. Learn this technique by performing it in slow motion during your practice sessions. Jump vertically and do not release the ball until you are at the peak of your jump.

Practice lay ups over and over. The lay-up is one of the most basic basketball shots out there. And you should never let this easy opportunity to score pass you by. While simple, it still takes practice in game-like scenarios to make sure you aren’t laying the ball up too hard or at a bad angle. Get the rhythm down and practice it repeatedly.

To be successful with free throws, you need to be sure you’re taking the best approach. When at the foul line, have your feet about a shoulder’s width apart. Now, use both hands to dribble the ball. Bend your knees and picture the ball going into the basketball as you take your shot.

Jump on the ground and dive for those loose balls. Don’t be afraid to hit the ground hard and get a little hustle on. Not only will this build the team, but the coach will surely notice your improved effort. Team morale is always a good thing to keep in high numbers.

Keeping calm and reacting maturely to getting beat is as important to your game as anything else. If your opponent has played harder and has out-hustled you, don’t get upset or stressed out, as your game will only suffer. Instead, think about how to match the intensity of your opponent. Beat them at their own game.

Consistency in your approach is vital to becoming solid at free throws. Whatever you do before each shot, from dribbles to body motions, should be the same each time. When you have a steady and consistent routine, your muscles will remember what to do to shoot those free throw shots.

Strive to be a player that everyone can respect. You are representing your team both on the court and off. That means that you need to be a good sport and to not think that your status as a player makes you better than anyone else. The most popular players are often popular because of the way they deal with teammates and fans.

Three-pointers are a very attractive part of a basketball game. One way to achieve making more three-pointers is by using a drill where you start five feet away from the goal. Once you hit a net shot from there, move back a few feet until you hit another net shot. You keep moving back until you’re on the three-point line, and of course you should be jogging for conditioning purposes as well.

When you’re playing basketball, make sure that you dribble with your head up. If you feel that you have to look down every time you dribble, then you need more practice. Try to practice dribbling all over the place when you can without looking to get better at it. Watching good point guards can build since they always look forward and around when they dribble.

Perform exercises to strengthen the muscles in your forearms and hands in order to maximize your ability to handle the ball. Curling your wrists also builds you to improve your own dribbling. Making a goal isn’t just standing there as the ball miraculously comes to you and then shooting it at the basket. You have to get the ball around, too.

It is important that you learn to dribble the ball without staring at your hand as you do it. If your eyes are always on the ball, you can’t see who is around you. That will leave you open to having the ball stolen by a defender when you are least expecting it.

Dribbling the ball fast and hard will build you to keep better control of it. This speeds up the dribbling cycle, which means the person covering you has less of a chance to steal the ball each cycle. When closely guarding another player, cease dribbling and pass it to another play on your team that’s open.

Hold the basketball during TV time at home. Any contact you have with the ball will only improve your skills. You are essentially teaching your hands how to work with the ball. How to hold it, move with it, and even toss it. The more time you get with the basketball, the more comfortable you will be.

Box out every opportunity that you can. If you do not box out, you are going to find yourself sitting warmly on the bench after every break. When the rebound is there, take charge and get the coach’s attention with your awesome skill. Work this out in practice and apply it during the game.

If your defender is playing you low, pass the ball to teammates using the overhead pass. Be aware of where your teammate will catch the ball. If you throw it too low, the ball will be uncontrollable. If you throw it too high, your teammate may not catch the ball at all.

Is it your time to shine out there on the court? You should practice these tips first. Get yourself pumped up and mentally psyched, then step onto the court and do it! You’ll soon realize you’re a much better player by using these tips.