TIP! When you dribble, look forward, keeping your head up. You haven’t practiced enough if you keep looking at the basketball while you’re dribbling.

Have you imagined you were LeBron James, Michael Jordan or another celeb on the court? Instead of just aspiring to be a great, why not continue to learn more techniques and strategies that can help you out. Use these tips to help you accomplish those great feats.

TIP! Free throws are as mental as physical. Training your body is important, but you also have to be mentally ready for the shot.

Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. Looking directly at the ball means you aren’t good at the game yet. The ball can go with you when you go anywhere. Dribble the ball while you’re walking around. If you are looking at the ball, you cannot see what is happening down the court in front of you.

TIP! Improve your passing abilities by challenging yourself to perform drills without actually dribbling. It is hard to play with no dribbling, but it will help your team make great passes.

Crossing over is a vital skill to have for handling the basketball. This is when the ball is moved from hand to hand. Crossovers must be done quickly to keep defenders at bay. If you do it right, a crossover dribble will assist you in changing directions and getting down the court in an efficient manner.

TIP! One of the keys to becoming a great basketball player is developing core muscles. Core muscles include hips, abs and the lower back.

Practice your layups a lot. During any game, layups make up about 75 percent of the game. Don’t just walk through a layup drill. It is key to go at game tempo to practice the timing needed to maintain accuracy. Practicing the running and jumping method will help you shoot better this way in a game.

TIP! When injuries occur on the court, it is unwise to keep on playing. The sport of basketball is very physical, which makes one susceptible to injury.

Work on catching passes frequently. When you practice, drill yourself to pay attention to errant throws and passes that are picture perfect. During the game, not all passes will go where they’re intended. Be a better teammate by anticipating a bad pass to make sure it doesn’t get into the opponents hands.

Passing Skills

TIP! In order to become a better free throw shooter you need to have a good practice routine. Your shot could be off if you are inconsistent.

You may have better luck honing your passing skills if you forgo dribbling during practice. This is very hard to accomplish, but it forces you and your fellow players to work on accurate passing skills. Even though this is not an easy drill, you will be rewarded for your efforts during game time.

TIP! If you wish to succeed in a defensive role, you must be able to break your opponents’ concentration. Get them outside their comfort zone.

If your child is training to be a high school basketball player, make sure that they train their core muscles properly. The core is the following areas: abdominal muscles, lower back muscles and hip muscles. Without a strong core, a player’s performance may not be as good as it could be. Having a strong base allows the player a solid position from which to jump and accelerate during the game to help speed up their movements.

TIP! If you don’t want someone to steal the ball, dribble hard. This makes the ball come back to you faster so the people on defense aren’t able to steal it as easily.

Good footwork is important when you’re posting up in the paint. Although physical presence under the basket is important, getting to a good spot before your opponent does is even more important. You need to be sure your spot is secure. Practicing your footwork is important to master these skills.

TIP! Practice drills where you strive to make it across the full court within 5 dribbles. This will help you to gain speed, stride length and control of the ball.

Never play through an injury on the court. Basketball is physically challenging, and injuries are not uncommon. Trying to play through the pain could just cause more damage. Visit a doctor if you think it’s serious.

TIP! Changing your pace is key to keeping the offense on their toes. While you run at the net, plant the front foot and start straightening your body.

Concentrate on your shoulders if you have gotten into a shooting slump. Shoulders are the key to a consistently successful shot. Your shoulders should be facing the hoop. You want your strong-side shoulder in perfect alignment with the rim.

TIP! Strength training can improve your game. You need both strength and endurance if you are going to excel.

When doing a layup, start running using the weaker of your two feet. What this practically means is that if your right hand is your shooting hand, you need to take off with your left foot. Your body will be better balanced and moving in the direction of the basket. Your body will also be kept between the defender and yourself.

TIP! Use a 2-3 zone as a way to trap opponents. You can do this by having guards wait for the point guard to come at least 10 feet past midcourt.

Try some drills that require you to move the basketball from one end of the court to the other in no more than five dribbles. This initially seems undoable, but it helps build speed and stride. It can mean easier lay-ups when dealing with fast breaks and it can help your teammates for just a moment.

TIP! Try to alter the path of your opponent. Whether you’re playing offense or defense, controlling what the other player does is essential.

You need good vision if you are going to play basketball. Vision is an integral part of making shots and catching passes. Develop your peripheral vision on the court. If you watch the entire game instead of just focusing on the basketball, you will be able to see open teammates and oncoming defensive players.

TIP! When you come back down to earth from a rebound, try to land so that your legs are spread out wider than your shoulders to give your balance a boost. Hold the ball with two hands tightly against your chest.

Shoot hundreds of shots every day from every position on the court to improve your shooting skills. To improve even more, practice preparing for a shot quickly after dribbling the ball. Try to keep from looking at the rim until you are getting ready to release the ball. All these techniques give you the feel of actual game play, and this will help you become more accurate.

TIP! What your position is in relationship to the rebound can help you figure out if you will still have the ball. If you wish to have better balance and power, then make sure you use both feet when you jump.

Try to contain the action to the area below your knees. This will lower the chances of your opponent being able to steal the ball. This will help you move the ball down the court easier.

TIP! A zone defense can be beat by using a penetrating dribble. If you get beside a defender and enter the lane, the defending team will shift.

When dribbling, use your other arm to create a wall between you and your opponent. However, you’re not actually going to push with this hand; instead, you’re going to separate yourself using this hand. Hold your arm slightly elevated as you dribble with the opposite hand.

TIP! Understand your own personal weaknesses. Don’t lie to yourself.

Stay in communication with your teammates. Basketball is played by a team. Neither defense nor offense is a one-on-one matter. Players on the same team help each one another out. Communicate and have everyone on the same page in order to play better.

TIP! Once you start gaining some skill, you will start having greater control over your dribble. 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.

Be aware of your position when a shot is made so you can be in a good spot to grab a rebound. Jump with both of your feet to have more balance and power and then get the ball gripped with both of your hands. Once you have the basketball, land with wide feet that will help you keep your balance.

TIP! Avoid arguing with officials and referees. You can disagree with an official’s call and ask questions about it.

If you are aware that the player with the ball has a weak hand, force the use of that hand. For instance, you could step toward a player on their right side to force them to switch to their left hand. Always keep a low center of gravity so you are prepared to steal the ball at the right moment.

TIP! Do some practice with your footwork. Always know the best ways to move depending on where you are on the court.

After going through this article you should be able to practice a number of things. You need to practice a lot and believe in yourself. Keep this advice in mind and show your skills off.