TIP! If you typically handle the ball a lot, it pays to learn the crossover. This is when you switch hands while dribbling.

There is a lot of information that can improve your performance on the basketball court. You play because you adore the sport. However, there is so much you still don’t know, and a good player will recognize that. This article will give you some great advice about basketball. Continue reading to see how to improve your game.

TIP! Practice layups often. Up to eighty percent of the baskets attempted in a game are layups.

Correct dribbling is key. Use the fingertips, not the palm, for the best dribbling. Using your fingertips will allow you to have better control when dribbling the ball. You should be dribbling the ball at your side instead of in front of your body. The ball should always be dribbled at waist level. Keep your head up, do not stare down towards the ground.

TIP! Watch professionals play to learn from their techniques. Watch pro games on TV, or attend games in person.

Free throw practice is vitally important. This looks easy, but it is actually very hard to do. Try using this technique in practicing. Start by holding your ball before your face. Focus on the ball and visualize it going toward the goal. Then try shooting the ball along the trajectory that was in your mind.

Zone Defense

TIP! Don’t spend all your time practicing how to confront a zone defense. The majority of the game is in that area, but be careful about a team who changes things up.

Don’t just practice playing against a zone defense. Learn how to play a man-to-man defense and a zone defense to get the best understanding of how the game works. When you don’t know how to defeat it, you will lose.

TIP! Hand signals can help you to stay away from making bad passes. Players can get easily frustrated if they make a pass to players that aren’t available to catch the ball.

If you want to be a jump shooter, avoid pumping iron excessively. Muscle is good, but you can have too much. You might see a decrease in your goal percentages if your biceps become too large.

Core Muscles

TIP! Being a successful defensive player means upsetting and disrupting your opponent’s play. Make them feel uncomfortable and to where they’re second guessing their next move.

Children who aspire to become great basketball players in high school must engage in physical fitness activities that focus on the core muscles. Core muscles are comprised of the hips, lower back, and abdominal muscles. Your performance is going to be sub-par if you don’t have strengthened core muscles. A strong core helps you jump higher and run faster.

TIP! To improve ball handling, consider focusing workouts on your forearms and hands. Wrist curls can be effective at helping you to control the ball as if you’ll be dribbling in your sleep.

Try using hand signals to prevent passes in error. Often in basketball, a player makes a pass at the exact same time the receiving player heads to another part of the court. You can avoid this by using hand signals if a player is able to take a pass. If you don’t see a signal, you shouldn’t pass the ball.

TIP! Practice drills where you strive to make it across the full court within 5 dribbles. It isn’t impossible, it just takes practice.

Spreading out your fingers is key to handling the ball correctly. This will help prevent the ball from getting away from you while dribbling. Your palm should not be touching the ball. Whether you are passing or shooting the ball, your fingers are the only part of your hand that should be touching the ball.

TIP! Keep low when you play defense. Doing this allows you to have quick reactions, especially to your opponent.

Being able to anticipate your opponent is a key skill. Follow the scouting reports and watch tapes of their games. Also know which is their dominant and weak hands. When you know more about the opposing team, you will play a better defense. Strong defenders are knowledgeable defenders.

TIP! Keep your knees loose when you dribble the ball. Opposing players can steal the ball more easily if you stand up straight because you can’t control the ball as well.

Work on core strength when you work out. This allows your body to be in balance and be more explosive on the court. Work the muscles in your abdomen, back, buttocks and hips. Practicing with a jump rope is a great way to increase your foot speed.

TIP! Your off-court practice should mimic your on-court playing. You can run longer distances to build up stamina.

Create and stick to a routine each time you prepare to shoot a free throw. Always dribble the same way, or with the same movements. As you adopt this routine, it becomes easier for your mind and body to prepare for the shot.

TIP! Be sure to practice shooting from a variety of spots on the court. Balance and grip are the first two things to practice.

Practice looking in a different direction when you pass. This can go a long way toward confusing the opposition. When done properly, this technique distracts the opposition and gives your pass recipient a chance to focus on the basket. It can be quite powerful.

TIP! Diet is essential when it comes to playing ball. When you play on a regular basis, you have to load up on carbs to get energy, and you also need proteins and fat.

Workout to increase flexibility and strength in your hands and forearms. Exercises that involve strengthening the wrist are especially helpful for dribbling. Don’t just think you can place yourself in one spot, wait for the ball then hoist up a shot. While this does happen on occasion, you should be moving in order to execute the play.

TIP! A missed corner shot will usually end up on the opposite side of the basketball court. Place yourself in position after this shot is made.

Stay in your defensive stance while defending your basket against opponents. You can shuffle your feet to either side, or push with your opposing foot, so you will be ready and in position. Don’t cross your feet and no one will get around you.

TIP! You should try to remain calm while you are shooting. Keep your view on the basket.

Use wrist curls to increase the strength in your weaker arm. You will have more control as you use it to do daily activities that require dexterity. So, drill with the weaker hand and use in it in real life.

TIP! If you find yourself guarding against a large opponent, just stay in between the ball and them. That way, they will never be open to receive a pass, and they will not be able to make an easy shot over your head.

You can place your off-hand out in front of you to serve as protection against the defense. You can’t push the person guarding you, but you can hold your arm out gently. Keep it up and dribble with your other hand.

TIP! Make sure passing is an essential component of your overall game. Good passing throws the other team off.

Use exercises that are adapted to your level and needs. Running sprints can make you faster on individual plays, while long-distance running helps you make it through a game with good stamina. You can acquire muscle through weightlifting that helps with hustling and shooting. The confidence and adrenaline that builds don’t hurt either.

TIP! Penetrating dribbling is essential to defeating the zone defense. Passing a defensive player and moving into the lane is sure to prompt a defensive shift or even a collapse.

Make sure you practice shooting all over the court. Practice your grip and balance first. Off-balance shooting is possible but much less accurate. Perfect your grip by using the basketball valve. Spread the fingers of your dominant hand and put the center of your hand over the valve located at the center of the basketball.

TIP! When doing a workout routine, write down what you need to accomplish. People work out without a plan in place.

Using these tips can renew your energy for playing on the court. It feels good to be in control of your game. Keep in mind that this advice is here to help you up your game. Basketball is a great sport to play.