TIP! If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. Crossover dribble is switching hands while you’re dribbling.

Basketball season is an exciting time of year for fans. Part of keeping your fans happy is giving them something to cheer about. Since everyone on the team contributes, it’s important to improve your skills. Follow these tips to learn how to play basketball effectively and become an important member of your team.

TIP! Practice playing by yourself. Even though you play on a team, practicing alone can be helpful.

Know your strengths and they’ll help you become a better player. You might not have star ability, but you can be an outstanding team player. Know what you are good at, then practice it until you’re absolutely perfect at it!

TIP! Build hand signals so passes are more successful. It is very frustrating when a teammate isn’t open for the perfect pass.

Practice layups often. Since layups account for the majority of scoring in a game. It’s critical to practice running towards the basket at full speed and following up with a good jump and smooth shot. Jump to the net and concentrate on shooting the ball in a specific location on the backboard.

TIP! If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. Basketball is very challenging physically, and this can cause further serious injury.

If you have a kid that wants to play basketball in high school, be sure they’re working on their core muscles. That means their hips, lower back and abs. These muscles form a bridge across the lower and upper parts of your body. When the core is weak, it is difficult to coordinate the movements of both halves. A solid and strong core lets force that comes from the legs get used for beneficial movements when playing, like faster running and higher jumping.

TIP! If you’re quick on the basketball court, you have a built in advantage. If you can play quicker than the opposing team can, then you will be at an advantage.

Knowing your opponent is the best way to play a tough defensive game. Monitor scouting news and watch footage of other teams in action. Know which players are left and right handed. Once you start to get to know the other team, you can do a lot better when you’re on defense. A smart defender is someone who is good at his position.

TIP! To help you shoot better free throws you need to come up with a consistent routine. Inconsistency will ruin your shots.

When you work out, try focusing on building core strength and bettering your footwork. Your body will maintain balance and move more quickly when your core muscles are strong. Give your hips, buttocks, back and stomach a workout. Jumping rope is great for improving your footwork and also helping you to gain speed.

TIP! Try to keep the ball in your line of sight at all times. You will need it for more than checking the scoreboard or passing and shooting.

If your shooting is suffering, take a close look at your shoulders. You won’t be able to make a shot if your shoulders aren’t in the right position. Keep your shoulders square to the hoop. Try to line your dominant shoulder up with the rim.

TIP! Always maintain a defensive stance when you are trying to properly defend the goal. Stay in the right position by pushing off of your opposite foot.

Speed is everything in basketball. Try to outplay your opponents by being fast to win the game. You need to really drill to get to the point where you can play fast. Make sure you never play past the speed you are comfortable. By playing beyond your speed capabilities, you will quickly lose control of the ball, which will lead to bad passes, bad shots, and turnovers.

TIP! Use your non-dribbling hand as a barrier between your opponent and the ball. Avoid physical contact like pushing, but keep the ball from them by separating them from it.

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. Be honest in your assessment but not overly critical. Seeing yourself realistically can be a great way to make changes in a positive direction.

TIP! If you want to play better, communicate with your teammates so you know what they intend to do. Basketball involves playing on a team.

Do your free throw shooting the same way every time. You could dribble twice, touch your forehead, bend your knees, or some other kinds of movements. If you make your routine consistent, your body will eventually know how to make the shot every time.

TIP! If you want to perform your best in basketball, you need to eat well. You use a lot of fuel playing basketball so a lot of carbs is needed, as well as adequate protein and fats.

Look away when you practice passing. This is a great way to fake out your opponents. You give your teammate a better chance to make the shot because the opposing player is moving the wrong direction when you pass the ball. When completed correctly, it creates an awesome play.

TIP! If a shot is taken from the corner and missed, the ball typically ends up across the court from the player. Figure out where it will land to grab the rebound.

Do drills where you try and get the basketball up a full-court in five dribbles or less. Although this might seem tricky in the beginning, this can really help your game if you can master this skill. Mastering this skill can help you to really improve your game.

TIP! As you come down from catching a rebound, land with your legs spread wider than the span of your shoulders to increase your balance. You want to bring the ball tight into your body with both hands.

Altering your own pace is a good way to disrupt the opposition. When you’re going towards the net you should plant the foot in front and start straightening up. The offense will believe that you’re stopping or slowing down and may follow in your steps. You should push and get past them as they straighten themselves.

TIP! If you are aware of a weakness in one of your opponent’s hands, make them work with that side. If the opponent is left-handed, make the right side your dominant side so that they can’t use their dominant side.

To trap the opposing players in a 2-3 zone, have the defending guards hold back till the opposing point guard has moved beyond the midcourt line by about ten feet. Then, they ought to trap the point guard. While they are doing that, the forwards should move out to the wings. Your forwards should easily be able to steal the pass that the point guard throws.

TIP! It is important to know what to do when the ball comes to you. Should you shoot it or pass it? Having a wide open shot is key to making it, instead of passing it off to someone who isn’t open, or shooting it yourself in that spot.

If you want to boost your weaker hand skills, use it whenever you can, be it opening jars or just brushing your teeth. If you’re able to become more ambidextrous, you are going to be able to better control it on the court. This is bound to carry over to the court.

TIP! One of thing you should learn if you are going to be a good basketball player is how to pivot. It is important to practice how you move your feet, so you can pivot by instinct, without stopping to think about where to put your feet.

Regardless of your skill level, there is always room for improvement. When a player is better, their team is better, which in turn means fans are happier. Every single participant plays a role, from those on the court to those sitting in the stands. You are obligated to put forth 100 percent effort during every game. Therefore, keep this information in mind, and be a player everyone loves having on their team.