TIP! Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss.

The joy that so many find from basketball, both as players and fans, is never overestimated. Of course you will never stop learning better ways to become a better player. The following tips can help basketball players at every level.

TIP! Want to become a better basketball player? Watch the pros! Go to as many pro games as possible, watch them on TV, or watch videos of them playing. You will notice great skills from different players that you can practice.

Dribble properly. You need to use the tips of your fingers rather than your hand’s palm when you are dribbling. This allows you to control the ball better. Be sure to dribble beside your body instead of in front of yourself. Bounce the ball at a level even with your waist. Never look at the ball; instead, look forward.

TIP! Passing the ball is an important part of playing basketball so practice making and receiving passes. Make sure you get used to catching less than perfect passes smoothly.

Find out how to make free throw shots. This is one of those shots that seem easy but in real life are difficult. Put this technique into practice as often as you can. Start out by holding the basketball right in front of you. Keep looking at the goal while visualizing the basketball going through the hoop. Shoot the ball how you imagine it going in.

TIP! Would you like to completely fool the opposing team, making them look silly? Try the back pass. Use the dominant hand to hold onto the basketball when trying this pass.

Watch the pro’s play if you want to improve your game. Watch professionals play or go check out talented local teams to see who has the moves that you want to learn. Every truly great player has unique skills that you can learn from.

Strong Core

TIP! When posting up, solid footwork is essential to getting yourself into position to shoot. While physical presence under a basket is important, finding a decent spot before the opponent is even more so.

If you have a child that is strength training for basketball, their core muscles should be properly developed. This is the hip area, the lower back, and the abs. The core connects the lower extremities to the upper extremities. Without a strong core, your performance may be limited. Strong core muscles help you with many movements associated with basketball.

TIP! Talk to your teammates and find out what they like about your game. Do you do something really good? Perhaps you are quick footed, or you are always ready to lend a hand on the court.

Avoid errant passes by using hand signals. Players can get easily frustrated if they make a pass to players that aren’t available to catch the ball. You can stay away from doing this if you use a hand signal to see if someone is ready for a pass. If the player does not flash the signal, then the player can avoid an errant pass.

TIP! Being able to anticipate your opponent is a key skill. Watch tapes and stay up on scouting reports.

Spread your fingers out to handle the ball properly. That makes it less likely that you lose control of the ball. Additionally, the palm of your hand should not come into contact with the ball. When passing and shooting the ball toward its target, the sole contact point should be fingers.

TIP! If the opposing team is breathing down your neck, it’s a good idea to pass the ball between your legs. Refine this skill by bouncing a ball with force between the legs while stepping backwards or forwards.

To make your layups count the most, take off from the foot opposite your shooting hand. If you play to use your right hand to shoot, you’ll want to use your left foot to take off. This helps to maintain balance throughout your body and allows you to use yourself as a barrier between the defender and yourself.

TIP! If you wish to dribble the ball better, you have to start using your hand that’s considered the weak one. Opponents are a lot easier to blow by when you can dribble with ease using both hands.

A consistent routine will help you to achieve great free throws. If you aren’t consistent, you won’t make the basket. To better perfect free throw techniques, try using repetition via practicing one routine repeatedly. If you don’t do the routine right, then the shot won’t make it.

TIP! Playing basketball well means developing good court “eyesight.” This will prepare you for unexpected passes and help you evade defenders.

Practice with your weak hand when it comes to dribbling. Opponents are a lot easier to blow by when you can dribble with ease using both hands. Tie the main hand you use behind your back so that you have to use the weak hand. This will train your weaker hand to dribble and control the ball well.

TIP! You can strengthen you weaker hand by using it as much as possible, for instance open jars or even brush your teeth. The more dextrous you become with it in your daily life, the better able you will be to control it.

You need to take charge when the opportunity presents itself. This play gets your team possession of the ball and a foul against your opponent. This can hurt the other team’s players psychologically and can also be powerful when you’re creating plays.

TIP! Control the ball at a level that is below your knees. This makes it more difficult for the opposing players to get control of the ball from you.

Varying your pace and direction keeps the offense off guard. You can try faking a jump shot by planting quickly, and straightening your body. Your opponent will assume you are slowing up, and thus will also straighten up. Push forward and blast by them.

TIP! Use the hand you’re not dribbling with to create a barrier between the ball and the opponent. It’s a foul to push your opponents, but using your arm as a barrier is allowed and will help you to secure the ball.

Keep your knees loose when you dribble the ball. Standing straight will make you see that it’s harder to handle and easier for the opposing players to take. Bending your knees slightly will improve your overall ability to control the ball.

TIP! Your diet is key to being a better player. You use a lot of fuel playing basketball so a lot of carbs is needed, as well as adequate protein and fats.

Don’t stop dribbling until you are ready to pass or shoot. After you have stopped dribbling, your options are quite limited. If you don’t shoot or pass, you can only pivot using your back foot. Putting yourself in this position makes you more vulnerable to having the ball stolen by the opposing team.

TIP! Know where missed shots are most likely to end up. Pay attention to this as you prepare for a rebound.

Keep the action beneath your knees, if you can. Doing this makes it more difficult for members of the opposing team to steal the ball from you. This also allows you to cover large distances across the court, which makes it difficult for opposing players o block you.

TIP! As you come off a rebound, come down with legs that are spread out wider than the broadness of your shoulders. This will increase your balance.

Remember that your diet has a great affect on your basketball performance. Increase your intake of carbohydrates to boost energy levels. You should also consume protein and a limited amount of fat. You should try to include more wheat bread, chicken, nuts and peanut butter into your diet. Try to reduce your salt and sugar intake, though.

TIP! Your height has nothing to do with your ability to play defense. In this way, you will prevent the larger player from being able to receive a pass.

For example, a misfired shot launched from the corner of a basketball court usually hits the net, bounces off the site, and lands on the opposite side. Anticipating this can help you score a quick rebound.

TIP! Pivoting is key to being a great basketball player. You have to practice the footwork you do so that you can pivot without giving it a second though.

Basketball provides tremendous potential both as a physical activity and as a spectator sport. To get the most out of the game, it is best to learn as much as you can. This article has hopefully given you the tips you needed.