TIP! When dribbling, make sure you hold your head high and look straight ahead. If you have to look at the ball while dribbling, that means you need to practice more.

Have you ever thought that you’d like to be a professional basketball player someday? Rather than just wanting to be great, why don’t you learn techniques to help you get better? Keep reading to learn more.

TIP! It is important to keep your balance when you shoot. Having good balance will allow you to keep better control of the ball as well as play a better defense.

It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. Defense is what stands between you and a win. Offense is often what gets the glory, but most winning basketball teams play great defense.

TIP! Keep practicing your layups. Eighty percent of the shots taken in a game are layups.

Make sure you spend your time focusing on your strengths. Your talents might not make you a star, but when you make the most of your strengths, you might better contribute to your team. Ask others to help you identify your strengths and practice until you fully master these skills.

Receiving Player

TIP! Don’t spend all your time practicing how to confront a zone defense. While much of the game is played in zone, the opponent can flip to man-to-man coverage, changing everything and surprising you.

Learn how to throw a proper bounce pass. This means your pass should be aimed towards the receiving player at the level of his waist. A good estimation is to target the ball to bounce at about 3/4 of the distance that the receiving player is. There are other variables to consider though.

TIP! Learn good passing by drilling often without dribbling. It is hard to play with no dribbling, but it will help your team make great passes.

It is important to practice catching the ball from others as much as passing. You need to be able to retrieve perfect passes and not so perfect passes. In the heat of the game, not every pass is going to hit the bulls-eye. You can do the rest of your team a favor by practicing how you can best complete imperfect passes.

TIP! Avoid turning away from the ball so that you can always be prepared for what occurs on the court. That will keep you aware, so you don’t get surprised by turnovers or quick passes.

If you have a kid that wants to play basketball in high school, be sure they’re working on their core muscles. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles. The core is the muscle group that links the arms and legs together. If their core strength is poor, then so will their athletic performance be. The stronger your core, the higher you will jump.

TIP! Understanding your opponent is a good way to shut him down on defense. Watch replays and follow scouting reports.

If you’re injured in a basketball game, don’t attempt to play while in pain. Basketball is physically demanding and you can easily get hurt. Pushing through the pain often results in a more serious injury. If you have a very serious injury, talk to a doctor.

TIP! Pay attention closely to the shoulders if you’re starting to slump when you shoot. Shoulders are the key to a consistently successful shot.

If your shooting is suffering, take a close look at your shoulders. When you’re in a shooting slump it usually means that your shoulders are not square to the hoop. To help improve your shot, focus on squaring up on each of your shots. The shoulder that’s dominant needs to be lined up with the rim perfectly.

TIP! To become a better free throw shooter, use the same routine prior to every shot. This could mean two dribbles before taking your free throw, bending your knees, or some other thing you do to get into a rhythm before shooting.

If the opposing team is guarding you to much, you can try a pass between your legs. Step forward and back while dribbling the ball between your legs hard. If you get this down, you will have a major advantage on the court.

Free Throw

TIP! To maximize your layups, take off with the foot that opposes your shooting hand. Thus, if you tend to shoot with the right hand, make sure to jump off with the left.

Get into a consistent routine to improve your free throw shots. If you aren’t able to be consistent then you’ll be off when you shoot. Practicing your free throw again and again is the only way to perfect it. If the routine is off in any way, then you’ll miss the shot.

TIP! Perform exercises to strengthen the muscles in your forearms and hands in order to maximize your ability to handle the ball. Strong hands make it easier for you to keep control of the basketball.

Work on making your forearms and hands stronger in order to improve ball handling. Try doing some wrist curls as they are particularly effective in honing your dribble skills. Good playing is not only instinctive, it takes hard work and discipline. You have to get the ball around, too.

TIP! To nab a rebound from a free throw attempt of a teammate, footwork is key. Guards will be attempting to stop you, so get around them.

Dribble very hard to prevent the opposing team players from stealing the ball. The ball bounces faster, giving the guard less time to steal. 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! When you have a chance, take a charge. A charge can help you take the ball and perhaps set up a foul against the other team.

Improve your basketball skills by incorporating strength training into your fitness regimen. Stamina and physical strength are required for basketball excellence. Even little kids who play basketball will develop more overall body strength. If you have been exercising regularly for years, it might be time to introduce weights into the mix. When they become adults, strength training is critical to maintaining solid court performance.

TIP! To make your three-point shot better, practice it from the minimum NBA approved distance. The international line is much closer.

Keep low when you play defense. This will let you get to the jump quicker and let you react to your opponent easier. Always stay in the proper stance on defense. If you break the stance to shot-block, then recover the proper form immediately after the pass or shot.

TIP! Keep dribbling until it is time to shoot or pass the ball. When you stop dribbling, then you limit your options.

You have to practice hard every day if you desire to step up your outside shooting game. Also practice transitioning from dribbling to a quick shot. Only lift your head up to check out the target once you are in the air. This simulates what actually happens in a game and improves your accuracy.

TIP! Be sure you do the sort of off-court exercises that help you during games. You could, for instance, work on your sprint so you can perform plays faster, while running on a longer distance will help you build your stamina.

Now that you know what needs to be done, go practice and become the best player you can be. Practice hard and with consistency. Over time, the work you put in will translate to confidence on the court. Keep these tips in mind and show off your newly acquired skills.