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Sport & Health

Get In The Game: A Guide To Playing Basketball

Basketball basics are simple to learn. You can learn the basic quickly. However, there is always more to learn if you want to be a better basketball player, and the following advice will help you get started.

It’s natural to be drawn towards offense as a novice, but the pros know defense is where the game is won or lost. Defense can make or break a basketball game. Offense gets all the praise and attention, but without a good defense, any basketball team is destined to lose.

When dribbling, make sure that you look forward and keep your head up. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling. Take you ball with you everywhere. You can practice dribbling when you have to walk to the store. Don’t look while dribbling, because you won’t be able to see what’s going on.

Any good basketball player needs to know how to make a layup. A huge percentage of successful shots are layups. When you practice, be sure to run at the goal with full speed, jumping and shooting in a smooth series of motions. That technique of running and jumping helps you get ready for an actual game.

Make sure that you practice your layups frequently. Layup shots make up nearly 80% of a game’s shots. When you practice, run toward the net, and then get a high jump in so you can smoothly shoot. Practicing your running and jumping as a single motion will improve your technique faster than practicing them separately.

Free throws are mental as well as physical. You are able to train your hands and legs to free throw well, but if you think you will fail, you will. Relax as you focus on making the shot, and soon you’ll be making more free throws.

You need to practice more than defeating a zone defense. Most of the basketball game will probably be played in this zone, but the other team might decide to surprise you and do some man-to-man coverage. You might lose your control of the court if the other team use this technique, unless you are ready for this possibility.

Have other players give you information about what they think are your strengths and weaknesses. Are you really good at any one thing? Perhaps you have an excellent understanding of defensive strategies or you are the fastest player on your team. It’s great to get an idea of how your teammates think of your skills, this way you know what areas of the game to focus on.

What do your teammates admire about your skills? Find out what they perceive as your best skill. Perhaps you are quick footed, or you are always ready to lend a hand on the court. Find out how your game appears to others and develop your skills accordingly.

Don’t let the ball go behind your back. This helps you become aware of the court and lowers chances for surprises from turnovers and quick passes. Keep an eye open for easy shots.

Your fingers should always be spread out when handling the ball. You are more likely to hold onto the ball this way. However, remember to keep your palm away from the ball. The only things that should touch the ball are your fingers, as you shoot or pass.

Always have an awareness of the location and movement of your feet. Stepping even over a baseline when you’re in possession of the ball will have you called out of bounds. Taking too many steps without dribbling means a walking call and another turnover situation. In addition, moving one foot while working on setting a screen or pick will produce a foul.

When exercise, concentrate on perfecting footwork and strengthening your core muscles. A strong core allows you to be more balanced during games. You should get a good workout in your hips, buttocks, back and abs. Jump rope can be used to speed up your feet.

Dribbling hard helps you protect the ball. The harder you dribble, the faster the ball will return to the cup of you hand. When someone is right on top of you, pass the ball instead of dribbling.

Concentrate on your shoulders if you have gotten into a shooting slump. If you do not have your shoulders positioned properly, you will not make the shot. Be sure shoulders always remain squared towards your hoop. The shoulder that’s dominant needs to be lined up with the rim perfectly.

If an opponent charges at you, let him run into you. This helps get the ball for the team and allows another foul on the opponent. It can be a momentum changer by making the other team think twice about dribbling the ball into the lane.

Practice your footwork and control the position of your feet at all times. If you have the ball and you step outside the baseline, then you’re out of bounds. If you take several steps while holding the ball, you could be called for traveling. A foul will result if you try to take a charge or set a pick and your feet are moving.

Strength training can improve your game. Stamina and strength are two things you need to do well in this sport. Even smaller children can use fitness routines to build stronger arms and legs. As they reach their teen years, bring weights in to further enhance exercise. Playing as an adult, it is important that you focus on your stamina for optimal performance.

Passing between the legs is something that helps when you have defense all over you. You can train for this maneuver by stepping forward or backwards as you bounce the ball real hard in-between your legs. If you manage to master this, you will have a tremendous advantage during games.

While you dribble, alternate your momentum from your left to right side. When you’re playing a game, you have to dribble when you’re in a lot of different situations. You might be swarmed by various opponents or get an open court. Being able to dribble while shifting momentum is the key to controlling and keeping the ball. It really will get you out of some sticky situations.

When moving in for a layup, push off from your weaker foot and lead with your shooting hand. This means that if you shoot with your right hand, take off from your left foot. This will keep you balanced and going towards the basket.

Your off-court practice should mimic your on-court playing. For example, building up your stamina will help you play your hardest throughout the game. You can acquire muscle through weightlifting that helps with hustling and shooting. Practicing will also build your confidence when shooting.

Free Throw

Switching up your dribbling rhythm can really throw the defense off. Dribble consistently, then break it up by dribbling fast. This will keep your opponent off balance so you can get in a good shot. The change in speed and sound can surprise your opponent.

A solid routine is necessary for improvement in free throw shooting. If you’re consistent, your shots will be too. The most effective method to achieve a great free throw is by practicing it repeatedly until you get it right. If you are off your game, you will not make the shot.

Don’t double dribble. This occurs when you halt the dribble once, only to begin dribbling immediately thereafter. Once you stop dribbling, you choices are to either shoot or pass the ball. You are not allowed to recommence dribbling. Doing so results in a turnover, and your opponent will be given control of the ball.

Practice moving the ball from one courtside to the other in just 5 dribbles of the ball. This may seem quite difficult at first, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll have great speed and stride length. Being able to do this lets you lead your team on a fast break and gets you to the rim that much quicker.

Keep your anxiety level low when shooting. You have to focus directly on the basket. Your eyes should fix a point behind the rim while you shoot. With a lay-up, focus your attention on the backboard and how the shot will bank off into the basket.

Keep low as you defend. This allows you to jump faster and increases your reaction time should the person you’re covering do something. Remain in a good defensive stance always. When you break your stance to block, return to proper form as quick as you can.

If you guard someone that bigger than you are, try staying between the person with the ball and them. That closes the lane for a pass as you won’t be able to block their shots.

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. Then they need to get to the guard on point to trap him. Your forwards can sprint to block the player on both sides. Their point guard will probably hurl a pass that is easy for your own forwards to steal.

Once you have possession of the basketball, know when to pass and when to take a shot. It’s better to assist a goal, than the team to lose a play.

Continuously dribble the ball until you have an opening to pass it to one of your teammates, or you are prepared to shoot. You do not have many options after you stop dribbling. If you opt to not pass or shoot, you’re left with pivoting on your back foot. The chances of the ball being stolen is high, and you might be double teamed as well.

When it comes to playing defense, the name of the game is forcing the opposing player to the sidelines. Pushing them out to the side will give them with fewer options. Pushing opposing players to the sidelines will limit their choices.

Have you only recently learned how to play this sport? You may have started playing when you were a small child. Whatever the case, all the information here is going to make you a better player. Keep this advice in mind during the next match.

Dribbling takes both physical and mental ability. You will be able to control how hard it’s hitting, where it’s going to land near your feet, and how it’s spinning. Change your speed quickly and use your body to keep defenders guessing about what you’re going to do next.

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