TIP! Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. During any game, layups make up about 75 percent of the game.

Your first game of basketball was likely an amazing, exciting new experience. At that time, you were just learning passing, dribbling and shooting. Today, you are probably a lot more confident. The following article will offer some great advice, for even the most seasoned player.

TIP! Your mind plays as big a part in making a free throw as your actual body does. 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.

Be sure to dribble correctly every time. Instead of using your palm to dribble focus on using your fingertips. This method gives you much more control of the ball. Always dribble to your side, not your front. You should always look upwards instead of at the ground.

TIP! Passing quickly without dribbling is a great way to practice. It is tough to play when not dribbling, but your accuracy is sure to inprove.

Focus on your strong point to help you become a better ball player. You might not become a big basketball star based on your strengths, but you will be an asset to your team. Know your strengths and practice them until you have perfected them.

TIP! Study you opponent well to give yourself an edge. Review videotapes and monitor scouting reports.

Practice catching passes often. When you practice, drill yourself to pay attention to errant throws and passes that are picture perfect. This will help to improve your game when it gets intense. You and your team mates will be happier if you (and they) are more versatile.

TIP! To get more out of layups, take off using the foot that;s the opposite of your shooting hand. If you play to use your right hand to shoot, you’ll want to use your left foot to take off.

Basketball players of all ages benefit from exercises that strengthen their core. Focus on hips, lower back and abs. Stronger core muscles will help them be more resistant and allow them to develop many different athletic abilities. A core that’s solid and strong will allow you to use force that comes from your legs so you can jump higher and run faster.

TIP! A good player on defense will annoy the heck out of the opponent and cause the other team to get flustered. Force opposing players into an unfamiliar or unexpected position.

Avoid errant passes by using hand signals. Oftentimes frustration occurs when trying you aren’t on the same page with a teammate who cuts to the basketball when you try to pass him the ball. This can be prevented through the use of hand signals. Without a signal, you should not attempt to pass the ball to a player.

TIP! To rebound a free throw, you have to be quick. The defender in your path will be moving at you, so be sure you’re thinking of how to get past that defender.

Understand your opponent. Watch games if you can and look at their tendencies. You should know if a player is right or left handed. Understanding your opponent allows you to effectively play defense. When you are prepared, you play better defense.

TIP! Do drills where you try and get the basketball up a full-court in five dribbles or less. This may be difficult in the beginning, but if you manage it, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

As you exercise to improve your game, it is important to work on your footwork and strength. Your body will naturally balance well if you have strong core muscles. You must work out your hip, back and abdomen muscles. Just like boxers, you can improve your footwork and speed by jumping rope.

TIP! A key play on defense is to draw a charge. This play gets your team possession of the ball and a foul against your opponent.

Pay close attention to your shoulders if you’ve suddenly developed a shooting slump. If your shoulders aren’t correct, you may not be able to make the shots. Your shoulders should be facing the hoop. You want your strong-side shoulder in perfect alignment with the rim.

TIP! Don’t just practice while static; try to move around while shifting your weight to learn how to best control the ball. This will help you learn to dribble during all different kinds of situations.

Basketball players must be fast. You need to be faster than the opposing team if you want the advantage. In order to be fast, you must constantly do drills. Just don’t play any faster than you’re able to. If you play too quickly, you lose control over the ball and the match.

TIP! Use the hand you’re not dribbling with to create a barrier between the ball and the opponent. It’s a foul to push your opponents, but using your arm as a barrier is allowed and will help you to secure the ball.

Practice passing while looking another way. This is a simple thing that could easily confuse your opponents. When you do this right, looking this way will make the opponents go to the wrong place so that when you pass the other person has a better chance at making a shot. It can be a really powerful play.

TIP! The best way to become a better player is to talk to your teammates and know what they are going to be doing. A good basketball team consists of players who understand that this is not an individual sport.

Build a consistent routine for your free throws. Inconsistency does not make a better shot. In order to make your free throw perfect, you’ll need to practice the shot many times and get into a routine. If the routine is off in any way, then you’ll miss the shot.

TIP! Dribble in a rhythmic way until you desire to catch the opposing player off guard. By dribbling consistently and then breaking it up into a different rhythm that’s fast, you can trick an opponent so you have more time to shoot.

You now have the knowledge you need to master the game. Start working towards your goals and you can start bettering the skills you have. Use the tips here when you are creating your strategy and you will see big improvements in your game.