TIP! Proper balance is essential when shooting. While the all-time greats have shown time and time again how they can shoot while off-kilter, this is not the ideal way to score.

Basketball is more than just something you play in intramural sports or in your P.E. class. You can play at the park or even at your own home. If you enjoy basketball, find out all you can in order to play better. The article that follows will help.

TIP! If you want to excel, you have to play to your strengths. Your skills might not make you an all-start every time out, but playing up your strengths makes you a great contributor.

When learning the game of basketball, it’s easy to get caught up in offensive play. But you should also give plenty of attention to defense. Defense is how you win a basketball game. Offense gets more attention, but the team is going to lose without a strong defense.

TIP! Make layups a part of your daily practice regimen. This will make up about eighty percent of shots during any basketball game.

Dribbling the ball the right way needs to be done. Don’t use your palm, use your fingers. Dribbling this way improves your ball control dramatically. You should be dribbling the ball at your side instead of in front of your body. The ball should always be dribbled at waist level. Keep your head up and do not look at the ground.

TIP! Play games against yourself in and out of season. Many times you are unable to find people to play with.

Dribble while keeping your head upward and looking ahead. Looking directly at the ball means you aren’t good at the game yet. Take the basketball around off-court wherever you are. Keep dribbling the ball even while you’re doing your errands. If you’re looking at the basketball, you won’t be able to see what is coming at you.

TIP! Your child should work on their core muscles if they want to become a basketball player in high school. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles.

To be a better basketball player you should concentrate on the things that make you great. While you may have a particular skill that isn’t going to make you stand out as the star player, honing it can help you become an integral part of your team’s success. Know what you are good at, then practice it until you’re absolutely perfect at it!

TIP! 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.

Practice your layup shot often. Layup shots make up nearly 80% of a game’s shots. Don’t just walk through a layup drill. It is key to go at game tempo to practice the timing needed to maintain accuracy. This running and jumping technique will help you learn how to jump and shoot better during the game.

TIP! If you post up, you need to use good footwork to get open and make sure you get a good shot. Being physical under the rim is crucial, but having good positioning on the court is even better.

You can improve your skills by paying attention to how the pros play. Go to actual games or watch on TV. Watch great players to learn the specific skills that make them exceptional.

TIP! Understand your opponent. Pay attention to how they play.

Don’t limit your practice to just playing against the zone defense. The majority of the game is in that area, but be careful about a team who changes things up. When you don’t know how to defeat it, you will lose.

TIP! During your workouts, concentrate on improving your footwork as well as your core strength. A strong core allows you to be more balanced during games.

Never turn away from the ball so that you can always be prepared for what’s coming. Always knowing where the ball is will make sure that you are ready if it quickly comes your way. Maintain awareness of open areas on the ball court that may allow you to quickly score a basket.

TIP! If you aren’t shooting the ball well, you need to concentrate on your shoulders. Regardless of your skill level, if you don’t have your shoulders positioned correctly, you will miss.

Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. This makes sure that it does not escape away from your grip. Also, keep your palm off the ball. When passing and shooting the ball toward its target, the sole contact point should be fingers.

TIP! Basketball players must be fast. To get an advantage over an opposing player, you must have the quickest reactions.

To be a good dribbler, and a more versatile player, you have to develop not only your dominant hand but your weaker side as well. You will be able to get past your opponent more easily if you can use either hand to dribble the ball. To help develop your weaker hand, avoid using your dominant hand. This will help you use that hand more easily and improve your dribbling with that hand.

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.

Being a successful defensive player means upsetting and disrupting your opponent’s play. Make them feel uncomfortable and to where they’re second guessing their next move. Be aggressive in the moves you execute. Keep them from deciding what moves to make. This will give your opponent the chance to run over you. Rather, you make the initial move and break up their flow.

TIP! Dribble the ball hard to keep it from being stolen. This means you get the ball back from your opponent faster.

If you are in a defensive position, keep yourself low. Doing so improves your reaction time with regards to your opponents’ actions. You always want to have a strong defensive stance on the court. If you break form in an attempt to shot block, return to the proper form as soon as you can.

TIP! Always stay low when playing defensively. This helps your jumps become quicker and betters your reaction to the person before you simpler.

You should keep the ball below the knees if you’re able to. This makes it more difficult for the opposing players to get control of the ball from you. You need to bend your body somewhat to accomplish this. It will, however, increase your overall effectiveness, as you are making the ball much harder to steal.

TIP! Practice your dribbling skills while shifting your momentum to alternate sides. Games require you to be able to dribble under all types of conditions.

Use the hand that doesn’t have the ball as a block. However, you’re not actually going to push with this hand; instead, you’re going to separate yourself using this hand. Just keep it up slightly while dribbling with the other hand.

TIP! Passing is an important part of basketball. Passing keeps your opponent guessing and on their toes.

Do exercises that will assist you in becoming a better player. Running sprints can make you faster on individual plays, while long-distance running helps you make it through a game with good stamina. Weightlifting or resistance training improves your muscle tone. You will also gain aggression and confidence that will help you when shooting.

TIP! Be aware of your shortcomings as a player. Be true to yourself.

You need to control your nerves when shooting the ball. The basket should be the your main focus. Try training your eyes to go back towards the rim when shooting. However, when performing a layup, shift your eyes to watch whatever spot on the backboard you intend to bank your shot off of.

TIP! When performing a workout, take notes of what you want to get done. Lots of players hit the gym without a concrete plan.

If you’re in possession of the ball, learn when you should be passing the ball to a player with a better shot and when you should be taking the shot yourself. You don’t want to be the player that cost your team the game due to your selfishness.

TIP! Practice doing a pump fake. The pump fake is a truly powerful tool.

You have to have a good pivot to play well. Practicing pivoting will be able to help prevent you from tangling your feet or getting disoriented. Practice this frequently without the ball, and then with the ball.

TIP! There are many kinds of defenses, but the main two are “zone” and “man-to-man”. During a zone defensive move, you are accountable for a specific area on the court.

No matter if you like to watch the game or play it, learn all you can. Now that you’ve read all the way through this article, put it to good use! The more you know, the better player you’ll be.