TIP! If you want to excel, you have to play to your strengths. Your talent might not make you a star; however, learning your strengths will help you become a better team player.

Basketball is one of the most popular sports around the world. It’s simple to play a game at the park or begin your career if you start early enough. Read this article to gain some information about how to improve your skills.

TIP! Practice your layups a lot. In a typical game, up to four-fifths of all shots are layups.

Be sure to dribble correctly every time. You’ll want to use your fingertips to dribble instead of using your palm. When you do this you will have more control over the ball. Dribble on the sides of your body instead of directly before you, and bounce it waist level. Look up, not down.

TIP! You want to be prepared for any type of defense the other team plays. A lot of the game is sure to be played in the zone, but your opponent could change to man-to-man coverage.

Work on catching passes frequently. Be sure to be able to catch off-target throws on top of good ones. When the game is going on, every pass isn’t going to make it to its target. Help your teammates by learning what you need to haul in those imperfect passes.

TIP! You can improve your passing skills by practicing a simple drill where dribbling is forbidden. It is tough to play when not dribbling, but your accuracy is sure to inprove.

Would you like to pull one over on the other team? Try the back pass. To do this pass, hold on to the ball with your dominant hand. Then, put the ball around your back. Then do a wrist flick in the same direction that you want the ball to end up. You can use this action to deceive your opponents.

TIP! Use hand signals to avoid errant passes. You can become easily frustrated when a teammate does a poor job of anticipating your next passing move.

Play solo basketball in the months leading up to the season, as well as during the season itself. Many times you are unable to find people to play with. This is just fine. You can still do a lot on your own. Practice pivoting or you can practice doing free throws. You can always work on something.

TIP! Quality footwork will help you get better shots. While physical positioning is important, it is even more essential to move quicker than an opponent.

Make it your goal to never turn away from the ball on the court. You will enjoy greater court awareness and avoid feeling surprised by rapid changes in game play. Also, watch for areas to open up so you can make an easy basket.

TIP! You must know your opponent in order to be tough on defense. Study video tape on your opponent and read over any scouting reports.

Understanding the opponent is key in beating a tough defense. Review tapes and keep up with scouting reports. Remember which player shoots left and which shoots right. When you know some of the other player’s moves, you’ll have a leg up during a game as you’ll be able to predict what he is going to do. Strong defenders are knowledgeable defenders.

TIP! When working out, focus on building your core strength and perfecting your footwork. Your body will be more stable and easier to move when you have strength in your core muscles.

Having a pre-free-throw shot routine will help you become dependable at free throws. This may mean you want to dribble three times, touch your forehead, bend at the knees, or do anything else. Keep it simple and consistent, and the routine will become a part of your muscle memory.

TIP! You need to be quick to be good at basketball. Speeding up the temp allows you to out-quick your opponent.

Practice dribbling with your weak hand as much as possible. Using both hands to dribble makes you a more effective player, especially when you’re trying to get past your opponent. To help develop your weaker hand, avoid using your dominant hand. Eventually, your weak hand will be trained to dribble properly.

TIP! Always be aware of the locations of your feet and what they’re doing. This can help you avoid going out of bounds or making a bad pass.

Work on making your forearms and hands stronger in order to improve ball handling. Consider wrist curls and and exercise machine that focuses on strengthening each finger individually. Don’t ever believe you’re going to be able to stand still, receive a pass and take a shot. You have to get the ball around, too.

TIP! Have someone taper your games and then watch it to see how you look on the court. Looking at tapes can help you identify strengths and weaknesses.

To rebound a free throw, you have to be quick. Use your feet to slip around the opposing player below you, then get into position for a rebound off the rim. This will get you a rebound without having to commit a foul.

TIP! Be sure that your site is good. You don’t need great vision just to keep score.

Change your pace up to throw the offense off. When running towards the net, step on your front foot, and start to straighten up your body. Your defender will likely think you are taking a shot or passing, and straighten up as well. Push forward and blast by them.

TIP! When you have a chance, take a charge. Taking charges gives you a chance for earning a defensive stop, gives your team the ball, and gives one more foul called in your favor.

To get better at three-point shots, work on shooting from the NBA three-point line. The line in every other league is closer. Hitting from the NBA range makes you get deeper-ranged looks than the defense will be guarding you at.

TIP! Never break your defensive stance as this will assure you are in your proper position for defense. Use your opposite foot to push with or slide your feet around.

To see improvement in outside shooting skills, you must practice your shots hundreds of times daily from various points on the court. To improve further, work on fast dribbling just before shooting. Hone in on your target while you are jumping, but not before you leave the ground. You will increase your level of accuracy and create an experience closer to real game play.

TIP! The only way to gain skill in outside shooting is to make over 100 practice shots every day from various spots on the court. To help you get even better, practice dribbling the ball and quickly pulling up for a shot.

Keep dribbling until you’re ready to either pass or shoot. After you have stopped dribbling, your options are quite limited. If you opt to not pass or shoot, you’re left with pivoting on your back foot. This makes you open up to people that want to double team you and that means you are also more likely to get the ball stolen.

TIP! You should make sure when practicing dribbling that you shift from one hand to the other. During the game, you will dribble in various situations.

Stay low and dribble the ball below the level of your knees. This will lower the chances of your opponent being able to steal the ball. This will help you move the ball down the court easier.

TIP! Keep the ball below knee level if possible. This prevents your opponents from stealing the ball.

To become a much better basketball player, try speaking with teammates and learning what they do. Basketball is nothing if not a team sport. Offense and defense are not one-on-one. This knowledge makes it easier for you to assist each other. Talk to them and let them know you need help and you will all play better.

TIP! Use whatever hand you aren’t dribbling with as a shield between the ball and your opponent. You can’t push the person guarding you, but you can hold your arm out gently.

After reading the above article you should have an idea on what it takes to follow the game of basketball. With good knowledge and a little work, you can enjoy the game to the utmost. You need to get into a regular practice routine. Whatever you do, remember to have fun!