TIP! You must learn how to dribble, how a crossover is done and other important ball handling skills. Crossovers involve moving the ball from hand to hand.

Basketball is a classic sport which is loved by all. Loving it an playing it are two separate things, however. You must have certain skills to do the latter. Anyone wishing to enjoy basketball more and make improvements in playing technique will benefit from the information presented here.

TIP! Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. A huge percentage of successful shots are layups.

Make sure you are looking forward and looking up as you’re dribbling. If you start staring at the ball while you dribble, you know you need to practice more. Carry your basketball everywhere. Keep dribbling the ball even while you’re doing your errands. If you are looking at the ball, you cannot see what is happening down the court in front of you.

TIP! You can improve your skills by paying attention to how the pros play. Go to as many pro games as possible, watch them on TV, or watch videos of them playing.

Balance is important when shooting. You’ve seen the pros fall out-of-bounds and shoot a basket up to 300 feet away, however, this isn’t proper technique. This kind of improvisation is the result of years of practice and loads of ability. You should have proper balance when making your shots, and over time this will lead to consistently making baskets.

TIP! You want to be prepared for any type of defense the other team plays. Most of the game is played in zone, but your opponent may try to switch things up to do man-to-man coverage.

Watching the pros can help you pick up on certain skills for improving your game. Whether seeing an all-pro on YouTube, attending a game in person, or sitting on the couch with buddies to watch your local professional team, there are many chances to observe the best. This is a great way to learn new techniques to try out on the court.

TIP! Play games against yourself in and out of season. Basketball is sport played in teams, but there are times when no one is around to play with you.

Make sure to practice catching passes. During practice you should come up with drills where you perfect catching bad passes along with the good ones. 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.

TIP! Build hand signals so passes are more successful. Passing is tough, especially if you and your teammate are not in sync with one another.

Never turn away from the ball, so that you can always stay ready for anything. It’s all about court awareness, and always facing the ball will make it so you are less surprised by passes. That means less turnovers. You will want to keep extra attention on areas that could improve your position as well.

TIP! Play a good defense by knowing your opponent. Follow the scouting reports and watch tapes of their games.

In order to be your best on defense, take the time to completely understand the player you are guarding. Study video tape on your opponent and read over any scouting reports. Learn which of the opposing players are left-dominant and which are right-dominant. When you know more about the opposing team, you will play a better defense. Knowledge can make you a strong defender.

TIP! When exercise, concentrate on perfecting footwork and strengthening your core muscles. Your body is going to be more balanced and be able to move faster when you have strong core muscles.

Use the foot opposite of the hand you shoot with for a better layup. Jump off your left foot when you shoot using your right hand. Also, this will improve your balance as you approach the basket.

TIP! When you’re practicing passing, try to look the other way. This can go a long way toward confusing the opposition.

Altering your own pace is a good way to disrupt the opposition. Sprint towards the hoop then quickly plant your foot, then straighten up. The guard will think you are slowing down and will also straighten themselves. Push forward and blast by them.

TIP! Make layups count by taking off with the foot that is opposite to your shooting hand. This will allow you to shoot with your comfortable hand.

Keep dribbling until you’re ready to either pass or shoot. When you stop dribbling, then you limit your options. If you don’t shoot or pass, you are going to be pivoting with your back foot. If you cannot shoot or pass the ball, you are in danger of getting the ball taken away from you.

TIP! You must be able to box out other players when attempting to rebound free throws. The defender below you will be moving toward you, so find a way to slip around him and get to the ball.

Make sure your off-court exercise is appropriate to help your on-court game. Running for long distances will increase your stamina, while running sprints will help you with fast-paced moves. Working out with weights helps to improve your muscles and the physical part of the game. This will also help you build confidence, a key aspect of performing well in any sport.

TIP! You should ensure that you can clearly see. This is not just to make reading the scoreboard easier, but also to facilitate the making of shots and catching of passes.

One way to misdirect your opponent is to dribble in a rhythm, then break that rhythm. You can surprise the opponent by changing up your dribbling. Both the speed and the sound will contribute to confusing the player that is guarding you.

TIP! To enhance your skills at shooting the ball from the outside, run drills every day from different locations on the court. To help you get even better, practice dribbling the ball and quickly pulling up for a shot.

If you’re guarding a taller person, try to keep your body between that opponent and the person with the ball. This prevents them from getting the pass, which helps them not have the chance to shoot over you.

TIP! Only stop dribbling when you are prepared to shoot or pass the ball. If you stop dribbling, then you don’t really have that many options.

When you are in control of the ball, you should know when to attempt a shot and when you should pass it to someone with a better shot. It’s better to work with others to get a good shot than if you’re someone who ruins a game due to a poor shot.

TIP! Switch the weight of your body while you are dribbling. This will happen during games frequently.

Hard dribbling needs to be practiced. Normally, you will be dribbling the ball to your side but during fast-break opportunities you will need to dribble the ball in front of you. Dribble with as much force as possible.

TIP! Make sure your dribble is consistent until you decide to shake up the opposing player. Smooth dribbling interrupted by a quicker dribble is a great way to catch the opponent off-guard and go in for a shot.

When working out, make sure to jot down what you must achieve. Many players go to the gym with no plan. They talk with friends and move around the gym with no direction. If you’re able to write down a workout routine you can start focusing on what you need to do without being too distracted.

TIP! You should spend some time shooting from various places on the court. Start out by practicing grip and balance.

Dribbling is both physically and mentally challenging. You need to control the basketball spin, just how hard the contact is with the court and even where exactly it lands relative to your feet. Varying your speed and direction can help to throw your opponent off.

TIP! Work together with the other players on the team. A cohesive team is an effective team, and basketball teams are no exception.

It is hard to argue that basketball is one of the most popular sports in American life. One thing you have to do to play well is to know a few things about it. Remember what you’ve learned here, and you will be pleasantly rewarded.