TIP! Practice your free throw shot. This is something that seems simple, but in reality it can be hard.

Basketball isn’t just a frivolous game. It is a game that can be played in the neighborhood and even on your driveway. If you are an aspiring basketball players, it would be a good idea to read this article to learn some new skills.

TIP! If you handle the ball often, you need to learn how to do a crossover. A crossover happens when you switch hands the ball is in.

Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet. Take the basketball around off-court wherever you are. Try dribbling even when walking to a store. If you have to watch the ball, you will be unable to see whatever is going on at court level.

TIP! Free throws have a huge mental element to them. Without a strong mindset, your body simply goes through the motions to take the shot.

Your mind plays as big a part in making a free throw as your actual body does. Training your body is important, but you also have to be mentally ready for the shot. Stay calm and collected to increase your free throw percentage.

TIP! Even professional basketball players spend a lot of time watching other people play basketball. Go to games, watch them on TV and you can also watch videos.

Practice playing a man-to-man defense and zone defense. Zone play will be important, but man-to-man will pop up from time to time, too. Practicing these techniques can give you a competitive edge over your competition.

TIP! If you have a high school level basketball player for a kid, be sure their core muscles are properly trained. Core muscles are comprised of the hips, lower back, and abdominal muscles.

If you want to be a jump shooter, avoid pumping iron excessively. Perimeter players don’t need the muscle strength that is necessary for other team members. Overdeveloped muscles could actually interfere with your score percentage.

TIP! Build your core strength and focus on your legwork when you train for basketball. When you have strong core muscles, your body will be better balanced and will move faster.

Keep your skills sharp in the off-season by playing different challenging games. While basketball is a team sport, sometimes you just can’t find others to play with. That’s fine. There is much that can be accomplished when playing on your own. Work on your pivot moves or practice your free throws. There’s always some work to do.

TIP! Quickness is a virtue in basketball. Make an effort to do all things on the court more speedily than the opposing team.

Never try to push through pain after an injury. The sport of basketball is very physical, which makes one susceptible to injury. Playing through an injury can prolong it which is always bad. Serious injuries may require medical attention.

TIP! For more consistency in making those free throws, stick with the same sequence of motions before you take each shot. Perhaps you will dribble twice, follow up by bending your knees, pulling your earlobe or performing some other ritualistic action for good luck.

A smart tip to follow while playing basketball is to always keep your eye on the ball and not away from the play. You must always be prepared to receive a pass and you need to know where players are on the court. You will want to keep extra attention on areas that could improve your position as well.

TIP! When doing a layup, start running using the weaker of your two feet. This means that if you shoot with your right hand, take off from your left foot.

Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. This keeps it under control. Additionally, the palm of your hand should not come into contact with the ball. You should only let the fingers touch the ball during passing or shooting.

Defensive Player

TIP! Practice dribbling with your weak hand as much as possible. By being able to easily dribble with two hands rather than one, you have a huge advantage over your defenders.

If you’re looking to be the best defensive player that you can be, you’ll want to know your opponent. Review tapes and keep up with scouting reports. For example, you should know which of the players are left-handed and which are right-handed. Knowing your opponent well helps you be much more effective. A smart defensive player is a strong one.

TIP! You need to work on your forearms and your hands to handle the ball more efficiently. For example, you can improve dribbling skills by adding wrist curls to your routine.

A good basketball player is really quick on his feet. Always stay ahead of the opposition. If you want to play the game fast, you need to drill continuously. However, don’t try to be faster than you’re physically able to be. When you play too fast, you can lose control and that means turnovers.

TIP! You should ensure that you can clearly see. This isn’t just so you can read the scoreboard and be able to make shots and catch passes.

When playing a game of basketball, have a friend tape the game. This way, you can take a look at your game. Can you see where you can improve your form? Are there things you might have done differently? Assess yourself honestly, but don’t be a harsh critic. Analyze your skills honestly so you can become the player you want to be.

TIP! To turn a normal 2-3 zone into a trapping machine, have your top two defenders (your guards) wait until the point guard has come about ten feet past the time line (midcourt). Once your opponent is trapped, he will have no option but to make a pass.

Dribble hard to avoid ball stealing. The ball bounces faster, giving the guard less time to steal. If you have an opponent who is guarding you relentlessly, it is time to pass the ball.

TIP! While you dribble, alternate your momentum from your left to right side. You will dribble during different situations.

You need good vision if you are going to play basketball. This will enable you to make good shots as well as catching passes that come your way. Peripheral vision is important during game play. When you can see the big picture, you can react to anything.

TIP! Always practice from all spots on the court. Start out by practicing grip and balance.

Take every charge you can. By taking charge you can create a defensive stop so you can get the ball, and allows you to create setups so that the opponent will foul you. This can have a major impact on the other team psychologically, and it can be a powerful play as well.

Defensive Stance

TIP! Your height has nothing to do with your ability to play defense. In this position you prevent them from receiving a pass and shooting it over your head.

Don’t break out of defensive stance always remain in the proper defensive position. Slide sideways and use your back foot to push off in order to maintain the defensive stance in stride. Don’t allow your feet to cross, and this will make you a hard defender to beat.

TIP! A dribble that penetrates is key to overcoming a team that is concentrating on a zone defense. If you get beside a defender and enter the lane, the defending team will shift.

Whether you enjoy the occasional casual game or compete in local tournaments, improving your skills on the court can help you get more out of the game. If you are going to invest the time into reading this article, you surely want to put your new knowledge into action. As long as you’re learning, you’ll be improving your game.