TIP! Be sure to dribble correctly every time. Use fingertips to dribble.

People of all ages have loved basketball for years. However, just because people love the sport doesn’t mean they play well. The tips in this article will help you improve your game whether you are a complete beginner or have been playing for years.

TIP! It is vital that you learn to crossover the basketball while dribbling. This move entails transferring the basketball from your left hand to your right hand and back again.

Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. This move entails transferring the basketball from your left hand to your right hand and back again. Your crossovers should be fast, which is why it is important to practice them. If done correctly, a good crossover helps you get past your opponent and to the rim.

TIP! Practice layups often. Layups comprise approximately 80 percent of all shots.

Study you opponent well to give yourself an edge. One great way to get a better understanding of your opponent is to take the time to watch film and get information from other players or scouts. Remember which player shoots left and which shoots right. Having a good understanding about your opponent strengths and weaknesses allows you to focus on how to better stop him. A smart defender is someone who is good at his position.

TIP! Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. It’s easy to physically train for a free throw, yet mental preparation is also needed.

When exercising, concentrate on building up core strength and improving your footwork. If the core muscles are in good shape, you will feel lighter on your feet. Work the muscles in your abdomen, back, buttocks and hips. As with boxing, you can increase footwork speed and dexterity by jumping rope.

TIP! Watch professionals play to learn from their techniques. Try to go to games, watch televised games, or check out videos of the pros playing.

If you’ve developed somewhat of a shooting slump, focus on your shoulders. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot. Shoulders should be towards the hoop. Your shooting arm’s shoulder also needs to be exactly lined up with the rim.

TIP! Practice your passes and catches frequently. When you practice, mix it up so that you can catch perfect passes and errant throws.

You need to be quick to play good basketball. Try playing faster than the opponents for a better advantage. Steady drilling will help speed up your play. Never try though to get too fast that you can’t make any plays. You will end up in a turnover if you play too fast.

TIP! A good way to practice sound passing is to drill without dribbling. Playing without any dribbling is very hard, but builds your passing skills.

Always be aware of where you have your feet and what you are going to do with them next. You will be called out of bounds if even one toe is touching the baseline as you hold the ball. Taking too many steps without dribbling means a walking call and another turnover situation. A foul will be called if your feet move while you attempt to screen other players.

TIP! If you want to take jump shots, don’t spend time pumping iron. Strong muscles are certainly useful for basketball, but you can overdo it if you plan to play on the perimeter.

Dribble the ball hard to keep it from being stolen. A good hard dribble brings the ball back to you much faster, leaving less time for the opponent to steal it from you. If you are being guarded closely, halt your dribble and pass to an open teammate.

TIP! If you have student that wants to play basketball for their high school team, they will need to spend some time training their core muscles. Show them how to exercise their hips, lower back and abs.

To better three-point shooting, try using NBA distance as the minimum. All the other three point lines are much closer than the NBA line. If you are able to make NBA-range three-point-shots, you will be able to find more open looks during your own games.

TIP! Figuring out the opponent is a great way to do well against a tight defense. One great way to get a better understanding of your opponent is to take the time to watch film and get information from other players or scouts.

Diet is essential when it comes to playing ball. You use a lot of fuel playing basketball so a lot of carbs is needed, as well as adequate protein and fats. Great ideas to bring into your diet are wheat breads, peanut butter, chicken and nuts. Sugar gives quick bursts of energy, but you should eat it sparingly.

TIP! Consistency in your approach is vital to becoming solid at free throws. This may mean you want to dribble three times, touch your forehead, bend at the knees, or do anything else.

If someone is shooting from a corner of the court, a missed shot will likely bounce right over the net and to the other side of the court. It may bounce back right into the opponent’s hands.

TIP! Be slick with your feet so you can get a rebound from a teammate. You need to seek out a way to quickly slide around your opponent and be able to quickly react to the ball.

Create teamwork both off and on the basketball court. Basketball is something that can work in a team’s favor if they all work together well. When you feel like your team is part of your family, you have mutual trust. This bond will bring your game to new levels.

TIP! Try some drills that require you to move the basketball from one end of the court to the other in no more than five dribbles. This may seem to be too difficult at first, but once you’re able to do it you’ll have a lot of speed and stride length.

After catching a ball on the rebound, position your legs so that they are set more widely than your shoulders. This improves your balance upon landing. Keep your hands on either side of the ball and hold it tight to your chest. Keep your elbows in so that you do not hit an opponent and get a foul.

TIP! 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.

Having good positioning on the court when trying to grab a rebound will help you keep the ball. Use both feet to jump for the ball, then hold on with both of your hands. When the ball has rebounded, you want both feet to be more than shoulder width apart so that you can keep your balance.

TIP! Basketball players need to engage in strength training. In addition to strength, stamina is key in basketball.

If you know that the person with the ball is weak with one hand, force them to use it. For instance, you could step toward a player on their right side to force them to switch to their left hand. Keep your head on a parallel with the player’s chest. This will make your stance low and enable you to snatch the ball away.

TIP! Use a 2-3 zone as a way to trap opponents. You can do this by having guards wait for the point guard to come at least 10 feet past midcourt.

A great way to beat teams in zone defense is a penetrating dribble. If you pass the defender en route to your lane, the opposing team has no choice but to collapse or shift the ball. Attempt the shot once you are within proximity. If someone has a better shot, pass to them.

TIP! An excellent tip to help you with shooting skills is to shoot the ball from different spots on the court. To improve further, work on fast dribbling just before shooting.

Everyone knows that people from all backgrounds enjoy basketball. The more you know about this sport, the more you will get out of it. Remember what you’ve learned here, and you will be pleasantly rewarded.