TIP! When dribbling, focus on what’s in front of you by keeping your head up. Looking at your ball when you dribble indicates that you haven’t practiced enough.

If you have wished you were a basketball star, you know you’ve got to commit and practice enough. This is true even if you only want to play for fun. This article is definitely going to aide you in becoming a better basketball player.

TIP! Know your strengths and they’ll help you become a better player. If you can rely on your strengths, you will become a better player.

Practice your pass catching often. While you are practicing, you should be sure to drill yourself on catching errant throws, as well as catching those perfect passes. During a real game, many of the passes that come your way will be off-target and tougher to handle. By learning to catch errant passes, you will do your team a great favor.

TIP! A good tip is to practice your layups on a daily basis. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game.

If you have a kid that wants to play basketball in high school, be sure they’re working on their core muscles. Focus on hips, lower back and abs. A good core leads to a solid foundation and that is required to be very good at basketball. A core that’s solid and strong will allow you to use force that comes from your legs so you can jump higher and run faster.

TIP! Make sure to practice catching passes. Make sure you get used to catching less than perfect passes smoothly.

Hand signals can help stop you from turning the ball over. It is very frustrating when a teammate isn’t open for the perfect pass. The use of hand signals can help you avoid this difficulty. If no signal is displayed, a pass ought not be made.

TIP! If there’s no one around to play with, it is okay to play a basketball game by yourself. While it’s a team sport, you may not be able to find others that will play.

To properly handle the ball, you have to spread your fingers out. This can help you to remain in control of the ball at all times. Keep your palm off the ball too. You should only use your fingers to touch the ball when passing or shooting.

TIP! The key for controlling the ball well is to spread your fingers. That makes sure that you don’t lose the ball when you hold it.

Understanding the opponent is a good way to win with defense. Make sure that you’ve watched tapes that show the other player. You can also check out scouting reports. Keep track of which players are right hand dominant and which are left hand dominant. When you know your opponent, you will be better able to play an effective defensive game. Understanding the intricacies of the game will make you a better player.

TIP! Concentrate on your shoulders if you have gotten into a shooting slump. If your shoulders aren’t correct, you may not be able to make the shots.

For more consistency in making those free throws, stick with the same sequence of motions before you take each shot. This might mean that you dribble the ball twice, bend your knees, touch your forehead, or any other movement. Just remember it has to be fast and consistent. The reason is, this routine will put your body on alert that the next thing coming is a free throw. This will help insure your success.

TIP! Stay conscious of your foot motion and placement. An errant toe to the baseline while holding the ball will result in an “out of bounds” call.

Being a good defensive player means disrupting the game of your opponent. Force opposing players into an unfamiliar or unexpected position. Make assertive moves, keeping your opponent unsure of your next move. Do not allow them to pick and choose their plays. If you allow this, they will run over you. Instead, disrupt their rhythm by making the first move.

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.

You can prevent other players from stealing the ball from you by dribbling hard. The ball will get back to the hand faster, giving the other team less of an opportunity to grab it away. If your opponent is playing you up close, stop what you’re doing and quickly look to find and open teammate to pass the ball to.

TIP! Once you are in your defensive stance, remember to hold your ground. You will always be in a defensive position if you slide your feet one way and then the other and push off using your opposing foot.

Perform drills where you attempt to get the ball up full-court in 5 dribbles or less. This may seem quite difficult at first, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll have great speed and stride length. In games, this drill will become useful when you have fast break opportunities.

TIP! Alter your pace to confuse the opposition. When you are getting closer to the net, put your foot out and straighten up your body.

You should ensure that you can clearly see. This will prepare you for unexpected passes and help you evade defenders. Your peripheral vision should be the best it can be. This will help you see the whole game better and anticipate openings and defense players.

TIP! Keep low as you defend. This stance will keep you ready for whatever comes your way.

You need to take a charge anytime you can. This play gets your team possession of the ball and a foul against your opponent. This may lower the other team’s morale, and it gives you a chance to take the offensive when play resumes.

TIP! 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. After he crosses the midcourt line, they should run and trap him.

To become a better three-point shooter, make sure you attempt shots from where the NBA three-point line would be. The standard line and college lines are much closer. By learning to shoot from NBA distances, you improve your range tremendously.

TIP! The only way to gain skill in outside shooting is to make over 100 practice shots every day from various spots on the court. An even better way to improve your accuracy is to practice shooting after pulling up from a dribble.

Be sure you do the sort of off-court exercises that help you during games. You can run longer distances to build up stamina. To build speed, try doing wind sprints. Both are necessary for playing good ball. You can build muscle to support your shots and ability to hustle by lifting weights and engaging in resistance training. The confidence and aggression that result also help you more than anything when shooting.

TIP! Practice dribbling as you sway your body from side to side. You’re going to be dribbling in many different conditions during a game.

A good way to improve your game is by finding out from your teammates what they plan to do. Basketball is a sport played by a team. Do not look at playing defense or offense as something to be undertaken by just you and a single opponent. You have to help each other. Talk to them and let them know you need help and you will all play better.

TIP! Make sure you practice shooting all over the court. Practice your grip and balance first.

Foster a positive relationship with your team members regardless of whether you are playing or practicing. Great basketball games happen when teams work together. If you’re able to figure out who your teammates are and you can trust them as well, then you’ll be able to take your game up a notch.

TIP! Knowing when to pass and when to shoot is of utmost importance in the sport of basketball. Instead of hogging the ball and losing the game when you fail to make the shot, be a team player and pass it off to the player who has the better chance to make the winning shot.

So, take the initiative and learn some new skills and start practicing and playing better today. Taking what you’ve learned here and applying it to your game is how to eventually see progress as you practice all these new tips. If you work hard on your game, it’ll get better every day.