Have you imagined yourself as Larry Bird or Magic Johnson. Do you want to play better? Read these tips to take your natural basketball skills to the next level.

TIP! One of the keys to becoming a great basketball player is developing core muscles. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles.

The way to properly dribble is to keep your head up while looking ahead of you. Anyone who watching the ball while they dribble surely needs to spend more time in the gym practicing. Wherever you go, take your ball with you. Dribble the ball while you’re walking around. Don’t look while dribbling, because you won’t be able to see what’s going on.

TIP! Unseen passes can be avoided when proper hand signals are used by teammates. Often in basketball, a player makes a pass at the exact same time the receiving player heads to another part of the court.

Learn to crossover if you get the ball often. A crossover happens when you switch hands the ball is in. Crossovers must be done quickly to keep defenders at bay. By having the ability to move either way quickly, you will become a better all-around player.

TIP! Your fingers should always be spread out when handling the ball. This makes sure that it does not escape away from your grip.

Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter. Relax and concentrate on your basket to increase your free throws.

TIP! Build your core strength and work on your footwork. With strong core muscles, you will have better balance.

Watch how the pros play basketball. Go to games, watch them on TV and you can also watch videos. You will notice great skills from different players that you can practice.

TIP! Watch your shoulders and their position if you notice yourself developing a slump in your shooting. Regardless of your skill level, if you don’t have your shoulders positioned correctly, you will miss.

Make sure that your regular practice includes catching of passes. Try to catch all of the passes that are thrown to you. When the game is being played, passes may not be as perfect as we’d like. So do your teammates a favor by learning how to consistently haul in their less than perfect passes.

TIP! For more consistency in making those free throws, stick with the same sequence of motions before you take each shot. Focus on your shot and eliminate all outside distractions.

You can learn to trick the opposing team. The back pass is perfect for this. To start, grab the ball using your good hand. Pull it behind you. The last step is to flick your wrist in the direction you want the ball to land. This will trick your opponents.

Core Muscles

TIP! Your routines must be consistent for free throws. A routine that is constantly in flux will only open up more opportunities for failure.

Basketball players need to build strong core muscles. This includes their abs, lower back, and hips. Stronger core muscles will help them be more resistant and allow them to develop many different athletic abilities. A strong and solid core allows force that is generated via the legs to be used for helpful movements during the game like higher jumps and faster running.

TIP! To help improve your ball handling skills, start incorporating your weak hand into your dribbling. Getting by an opponent should be a lot easier if you can dribble using both hands.

Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. You will have better luck holding onto the ball as well. Don’t let your palms touch it. Only your fingers should touch it during a pass or when dribbling.

TIP! Dribbling the ball fast and hard will help you to keep better control of it. A hard dribble returns the ball back to you faster, leaving less chance of it being snatched by the other team.

If you find yourself unable to shoot well, consider your shoulders. If your shoulders aren’t correct, you may not be able to make the shots. Your shoulders need to be squared up towards where you’re shooting. Also, allow your dominant shoulder to line up with the rim.

TIP! Building strength improves your basketball game. Conditioning training will also increase your stamina.

Have a friend or family member tape your games so you can view how you appear on the court. Are you able to see missed opportunities or ways in which you could have improved? You can use this information to improve your game. There are times when it pays to view yourself realistically.

TIP! Bend your knees when dribbling the basketball. The farther the ball has to bounce, the less control you will have of it.

Learn how to dribble and pass between your legs in case you are being guarded very tightly. Take a step back or forward and bounce the ball hard through your legs. When you’ve mastered this step, you will be at a great advantage.

TIP! To become a better three-point shooter, make sure you attempt shots from where the NBA three-point line would be. Remember that high school, college and international standard lines are all shorter than the NBA distance.

To dribble the ball better, it is important that you practice dribbling with the hand that’s weaker. Using both hands to dribble makes you a more effective player, especially when you’re trying to get past your opponent. Force yourself to not use your stronger hand. Your dribbling skills will improve with your weaker hand.

TIP! Keep the activity below the knees if possible. This prevents your opponents from stealing the ball.

Now that you know what needs to be done, go practice and become the best player you can be. Be consistent and confident. Keep in mind the above pointers and in no time you will be able to show off your improving skills.