From junior schools to colleges to the National Basketball Association, basketball is played at many levels in organizations around the world. It can also be played in a school yard or even in your back yard. Wherever you play, if you want to improve your skills, read this article to learn more about the game.

One of the hardest skills to learn in basketball is how to relax while shooting. Concentrating on the back of the rim or where you want the ball to hit on the backboard are great ways to practice this. It might seem strange learning how to relax, but the more you do it, the better prepared you will be come game time.

Practice passing drills as a team. 7m Basketball is a team sport first and foremost. You’ve got five people on the court with the same common goal. Teams that are great at passing can really break up a defense making it much easier to get into good scoring positions. You’ll definitely win much more than you lose when you work as a team.

When dribbling, make sure to keep your head straight up. If you find that you keep looking down at the ball, you haven’t practiced dribbling enough. You need to gain the advantage of being able to see the court while dribbling. Then you can surprise your opponent with smart passes and quick drives to areas where they are not.

Don’t prepare more for a game than you do for a practice. If you don’t tape up for practice, don’t do it for games. You will naturally take games more seriously than practice. However, you don’t need to start panicking over a game by overpreparing. Have a consistent and calm routine.

Learn to pass more in basketball, even if it means giving up a good shot. Unless your team is down and must have the score, letting other players take a chance will improve the team as a whole. Taking all the shots that you can will cause other players and probably the coach to view you as selfish and not a true team player.

To develop an accurate shooting stroke, put your dominant hand under the ball and use your other hand on the side of the ball, as a guide. If you develop this consistency, you will be able to follow through with your shooting hand and get a high, looping arc that is more likely to go through the hoop.

Play full-court basketball whenever you can. If you love playing, then you probably know a half-dozen spots where you can play street ball or playground pick-up games. While these are good, they don’t give you the practice or experience of getting down the whole court. This matters in fast break situations, both offensive and defensive.

When it comes to making the shot, the key is to hold the ball the right way. Practice makes perfect, so hold your hands like they are claws and space out your fingers. Hold the ball with your fingers, not your palm. Hold the ball in your hand while watching TV to build your muscles.

Always share with your teammates. When someone begins to guard you, start looking for someone to pass to and stop dribbling. If you don’t, your teammates won’t bother trying to find an open spot as they will know that you are a ball hog who doesn’t pass when the time is right.

Dribble hard if you don’t want the ball taken from you. This makes the ball go back to your hand quicker, so offense has reduced chances at taking it from you. If you are being guarded closely, halt your dribble and pass to an open teammate.

Having the proper stance when playing defense is going to help you with all of your defensive moves. You will be much quicker to counteract offensive moves and you will be much harder to get by if you maintain the proper stance. Whenever you are practicing, train your body to get in the proper defensive stance so that it seems natural to you.

Try to place the air valve of the ball in the middle of your hand when you are taking a shot. This is the center of the ball and therefore the perfect center for your shot. If you can do this, you will find you have better control of the ball.

In order to be a great basketball shooter you need to be confident. One of the reasons why professionals get very far is because they are confident in their abilities. You won’t hit every shot or defend every play, but if you let it affect you then there is no way you will play good basketball. Be a better player by being confident!

Keep the lines of communication with other players open. It takes the efforts of an entire team to succeed. Offense and defense aren’t 1 on 1. You have to help everyone out. Communicate and have everyone on the same page in order to play better.

Take control of opposing players’ movements. Regardless of whether you play defense or offense, the ability to control the other team creates a significant advantage. This will let you go where you would like and they cannot determine your path.

When you are defending, it is important that you stand correctly. If you are able to move in any direction at any time, your opposition won’t be able to predict what you will do. Bend your knees slightly, keep your legs apart and have one foot ahead of the other a bit.

Always remember that basketball is a game of possessions. The more times your team possesses the ball, the more times you get to score. Fancy shots are nice, but it’s steals, blocks and rebounds that generate the possessions that let you take shots. Hard work on defense can compensate for bad shooting streaks.

Understanding the basics of basketball is what stood between your current game and a much improved version. With these tips ready to be used, you can now amp up your skills until you start winning more than you are losing. This will provide you with what you need to love basketball through and through.