TIP! Keep your head up when you dribble. If you must look at the ball while dribbling, you haven’t practiced enough.

Have you ever watched professional basketball players and envied their skills? Rather than just wanting to be great, why don’t you learn techniques to help you get better? The following article has professional tips to help you become a star player.

TIP! Having a good foundation is key when shooting the ball. Even though a professional can hit all sorts of crazy off-balance shots, it is not the ideal method of shooting that you want to learn.

Try learning how to hit free throw shots. This seemingly simple shot can be difficult to execute under game conditions. Put this technique into practice as often as you can. Hold the ball level with your face. Keep looking at the goal while visualizing the basketball going through the hoop. Shoot the basketball exactly as you saw in your mind.

TIP! Passing the ball is an important part of playing basketball so practice making and receiving passes. Practice catching errant throws along with perfect passes.

When dribbling, focus on what’s in front of you by keeping your head up. You haven’t practiced enough if you keep looking at the basketball while you’re dribbling. Wherever you go, take your ball with you. Dribble while walking to the store. Maintaining unbroken visual contact with the ball makes it difficult to be aware of your surroundings.

Free Throws

TIP! In order to be your best on defense, take the time to completely understand the player you are guarding. Watch tapes of their games and see how others move on the court.

There is a lot of pressure when shooting free throws. Your body can be trained to make free throws, but your mind has to be focused on success if you want to make the basket. Relax and focus on the net, and you’ll be able to make more.

TIP! Watch your shoulders if you obtain a shooting slump. If you have bad shoulder position it doesn’t matter how great you are the shot isn’t going to go in.

Don’t pump too much iron if you plan on being a jump shooter. It’s possible to have excessive muscles when you play the perimeter. Some pro shooting guards make their arms large enough to decrease their own field goal percentage.

TIP! Videotape your games to see what you do right and wrong. This way, you have the opportunity to go through your play at a later time and see your mistakes.

Want to trick the other team? Try a back pass. Perform this pass by holding the ball using your dominant hand. Then, put the ball around your back. Lastly, flick the wrist in the direction you want the ball to go. You can use this action to deceive your opponents.

TIP! Try practicing how to pass while looking in another direction. This will easily confuse your opponents.

Build hand signals so passes are more successful. It can be frustrating making a pass when a player moves away towards the basket. You can get around that when you use hand signals, if a player can receive a pass. If your teammate misses your signal, then they may miss the ball as well and the other team could gain possession.

TIP! To dribble the ball better, it is important that you practice dribbling with the hand that’s weaker. Being able to effortlessly dribble with both hands gives you the ability to run both sides on an opponent and keep them off guard.

If you get injured while playing basketball, do not try to play through the pain. This is a physically challenging game, so you may end up hurt much worse. You may injure yourself more if you continue to play with an injury. If an injury is serious, go to see a physician.

TIP! You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. Wrist curls are especially effective at making you better able to handle a basketball like you could dribble sleepwalking.

Have your team mates critique your playing skills. Are you skilled at something? Perhaps you are great backup or fast on your feet. By understanding what your teammates see as your best skills, you can ensure that you keep a strong focus and hone these abilities even more.

TIP! Prevent the opposing team from stealing the ball by dribbling hard. This makes the ball go back to your hand quicker, so offense has reduced chances at taking it from you.

Upset and disrupt your opponent’s play. All successful basketball players do this. Force opposing players into an unfamiliar or unexpected position. Make aggressive plays. You don’t want the defense choosing your plays so to speak. Your opponent will take any opportunity to give you the run around. You need to adopt an aggressive style and react quickly so you can interrupt the patterns set by your opponents.

TIP! Shoot from every point on the court thousands of times a day to get better. Also practice transitioning from dribbling to a quick shot.

Change your pace up to throw the offense off. When you’re going towards the net you should plant the foot in front and start straightening up. The guard will think you are slowing down and will also straighten themselves. When they do, try pushing forward hard and running right past them.

TIP! Continuously dribble the ball until you have an opening to pass it to one of your teammates, or you are prepared to shoot. If you stop, you limit your options.

Only stop dribbling if you want to shoot or pass. When you stop, your options are limited. Your only option, besides shooting or passing, is to use your back foot to pivot. Once this happens, you are prone to being double-teamed and more likely to turn the ball over.

TIP! Concentrate your ball-handling below knee level whenever possible. This prevents your opponents from stealing the ball.

Practice dribbling while you switch your body’s momentum from one side to the other. Expect to encounter many different situations in a game. Perhaps you will have open court; however, you might have bunches of opposing team members all around you. Going through the court will be easier if you can quickly adjust your direction without interrupting your dribbling. Good dribbling skills will make getting out of a bad situation a lot easier.

TIP! Keep a rhythm while dribbling to throw your opponents off. A consistent pace for your dribble will lull your opponent, and help you move more quickly than they do when the time comes.

If it is possible, keep all action below the knee. This makes it more difficult for the opponent to take the ball. To help this occur, you must be bending, however it will speed up your efforts to move down the court.

TIP! Create teamwork both off and on the basketball court. When a basketball team is totally in sync, the game is taken to a higher level.

Practice shots from all regions of the court. Practice your grip and balance first. You’re much more accurate if you are balanced well. Use your basketball’s valve for perfecting your grip. Cover the valve with your palm, and spread your fingers around the ball.

TIP! Don’t double dribble. If you start, stop and then begin again, that is double dribbling.

If someone shoots from the corner of the basketball court and misses, it will bounce over the net onto the opposite side. Anticipate where the ball lands and grab the rebound.

TIP! A dribble that penetrates is key to overcoming a team that is concentrating on a zone defense. This can help you to break up the defense.

When you shoot, do what you can to temper your nerves. This will help improve your focus during the shot. Remember to shift your eyes so they watch the rim’s back as you shoot. On a lay-up your eyes should instead be trained on the backboard to help you lay the ball off against.

TIP! Ask yourself what your weaknesses are. Be completely honest with yourself.

Understand your own weaknesses. Don’t lie to yourself. If you miss foul shots often, practice these more than your three pointers. The same goes for your inside game, as practicing jump shots will not help you improve your game at the boards. Working on improving your weaknesses is a good rule of thumb if you want to progress.

TIP! When you’re on defense, make sure you apply pressure to player with the ball. As long as you are fairly close, within about six feet, the player must follow certain rules as to how long he can hold or dribble the ball.

Now that you’ve finished this article, you can get out there and practice. Practice consistently to help build your confidence. Don’t hesitate to put your skills to the test, and don’t be afraid to change your strategy up every now and then.