TIP! Dribbling the ball the right way needs to be done. You want to dribble with the tips of your fingers, not your whole hand.

The first time you played basketball was probably very exciting. You were exploring how to shoot, dribble and pass. Today, it may feel like you’re someone who knows everything about the game. The advice contained in this article is going to teach you that you still have a ways to go.

TIP! If there’s no one around to play with, it is okay to play a basketball game by yourself. Even if you can’t get a bunch of people together to play, you can still practice on your own.

Crossovers are very important if you’re a ball handler. Being able to dribble the ball with both hands and crossover between the two will make you a better player. The action needs to be performed quickly in order to be successful. Crossovers can help you get out of a tight spot.

TIP! Bad passes can be avoided with the right hand signals. Oftentimes frustration occurs when trying you aren’t on the same page with a teammate who cuts to the basketball when you try to pass him the ball.

Pay attention to what you are good at. The best talent you have isn’t going to have you starring in every highlight reel, but having a good skill set can benefit your team. Know the things you’re great at and keep practicing until there is no one better than you.

TIP! Build your core strength and focus on your legwork when you train for basketball. Your body will retain balance and move quicker when you have strong core muscles.

In order to get a good shot, you must use good footwork. You must be certain to get the good spot ahead of your opponent. After establishing good position, you need to make sure you hold it. Each of these skills is reliant on good footwork.

TIP! Speed is one of the best virtues when playing basketball. Always stay ahead of the opposition.

One great thing to do if you wish to be prepared while playing is to make sure your back isn’t turned to the ball. This can help you to avoid surprises by fast passes, help you keep an eye on the rest of the court, and allow you to spot potential turnovers. Also, you need to stay aware of areas which might open up and give you an easy basket.

TIP! Having a pre-free-throw shot routine will help you become dependable at free throws. Whatever you do before each shot, from dribbles to body motions, should be the same each time.

Watch your shoulders and their position if you notice yourself developing a slump in your shooting. When your shoulders are positioned improperly, you will never make the basket regardless of how good your abilities are. Shoulders should be towards the hoop. Try to line your dominant shoulder up with the rim.

TIP! If an opponent is staying with you, try passing the ball between your legs. Practice dribbling the ball between your legs.

Use deception by looking elsewhere when you make passes. It can be very confusing to your opponents. If you can pull it off, it’s effective to draw your opponents away from the shooter. That way the shooter gets a great look before shooting. It can be a really powerful play.

TIP! Practice passing while looking in the opposite direction. It can be very confusing to your opponents.

Make layups count by taking off with the foot that is opposite to your shooting hand. Thus, if you tend to shoot with the right hand, make sure to jump off with the left. Your body remains balanced while you move towards the basket.

TIP! You want to strive in practice to bring the ball all the way up the court in no more than five dribbles. This seems an impossible feat when you start.

A routine can enable your free throw percentage to rise. If you aren’t consistent, you will find that your shooting is off. The easiest way to make sure you’re doing great at free throws is to do repetitions of the same routines time and again. This will help you develop a routine. If that routine goes off, it will cause you to miss your shot.

TIP! Take a charge if you can. By taking charge you can create a defensive stop so you can get the ball, and allows you to create setups so that the opponent will foul you.

Dribbling hard helps you protect the ball. A good hard dribble brings the ball back to you much faster, leaving less time for the opponent to steal it from you. When you are being guarded closely, pass the ball.

Strength Training

TIP! Practice making shots from a lot of different places on the court. You should first practice on balancing and your grip.

You can really up your performance on the court by doing strength training. Strength and stamina are both needed to excel at basketball. Even the youngest kids that play will benefit from the game. As they reach their teen years, bring weights in to further enhance exercise. Once they transition into adulthood, strength training must continue to be a core part of their exercise routine.

TIP! Forge a strong bond between teammates, whether you are playing the game or off the court. Basketball teams that work together well can take the game to a new level.

AS you dribble the basketball down the court, keep your knees bent. Standing while dribbling will make it much easier for the opponent to steal the ball from you. Merely bending your knees a bit can provide you with much better ball control.

TIP! You should never double dribble. A double dribble occurs when you’re done dribbling one time and then begin to do it again a little while afterwards.

Never stop your dribble unless you are going to shoot or pass the ball. You do not have many options after you stop dribbling. If you don’t shoot or pass, you are going to be pivoting with your back foot. Once this happens, you are prone to being double-teamed and more likely to turn the ball over.

TIP! Your should have good position both before and after a rebound to assure you keep the ball. Use both feet when jumping; this improves both height and control.

What you eat can affect how you play. Increase your intake of carbohydrates to boost energy levels. You should also consume protein and a limited amount of fat. Enjoy lean proteins, whole grains and nuts. Try not to use too much salt or sugar.

TIP! If you know your opponent has a weak hand, make them use it. If the opponent is left-handed, make the right side your dominant side so that they can’t use their dominant side.

You don’t want to double dribble while on the court. That happens when you stop one time, and start again in a few seconds. Once you stop dribbling, you must shoot or pass the ball. You cannot return to dribbling again. Double dribbling will result in a turnover.

TIP! In order to be as good as you can be, you should be able to pivot while playing basketball. You have to practice the footwork you do so that you can pivot without giving it a second though.

If the person whom you are guarding is bigger than you, you should be the barrier between this player and the player with the ball. This prevents them from getting the pass, which helps them not have the chance to shoot over you.

TIP! When you’re working out, you should jot down what needs to get done. There are lots of players who enter the gym without a plan.

Focus on the ball whenever it leaves any players hands. A crucial part of the game is being able to rebound the ball. No matter how hard you work to perfect your defensive technique, if you can’t retrieve the ball then you can’t score.

TIP! Never argue with the referees. You can disagree with an official’s call and ask questions about it.

Proper passing is key to a game. Passing causes confusion among your opponents. Also, it demonstrates your commitment to teamwork, and your teammates will be grateful. The time in games for you to showcase your personal talents will present itself. You aren’t the only one playing the game.

TIP! Always pressure the man with the basketball when you are on defense. If you keep within six feet, he can only dribble or hang onto the ball for 5 seconds at a time.

Know what areas you are weak in. Be true to yourself. If you miss foul shots often, practice these more than your three pointers. If you play weakly inside the paint, work on your short shots, and train to play more physically. Work on your weaknesses to be a great all-around player.

TIP! The two most important types of defense are man-to-man, and zone defense. In the “zone” defense, you guard a section of the court rather than a particular player.

With all of the knowledge you have in front of you now, only you can decide your future. Set goals and practice, as much as you can, to get better. When you start using the things you’ve learned here, you’re going to be able to be at the top of your game like you’ve always wanted to be.