TIP! Try learning how to hit free throw shots. There are usually a lot of distractions when you are shooting free throws so you need to concentrate.

Have you imagined yourself as Larry Bird or Magic Johnson. Don’t just dream about being great! Learn some great techniques that will help you attain your dream. Read on to learn what you can do to excel at basketball.

TIP! Always keep your head up when dribbling instead of focusing on the ball. If you have to ever look at the ball while dribbling, then you haven’t practiced that enough.

Many people only direct their attention to the offensive part of the game without realizing that defense is the key to winning. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games. While everyone focuses on shots made, a good defense can kill the chances of even an amazing shot taker.

TIP! Practice layups often. This is the most popular shot in basketball.

It is vital that you learn to crossover the basketball while dribbling. Switch from one side to the other while dribbling. You have to do this quickly to be good at it. After doing so correctly, a crossover gives you greater control over the court’s flow.

TIP! Frequent pass catching practice is important. Make sure you get used to catching less than perfect passes smoothly.

You can improve your skills by paying attention to how the pros play. Try to go to games, watch televised games, or check out videos of the pros playing. You’ll be able to learn from the moves they make.

TIP! 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.

Bad passes can be avoided with the right hand signals. Basketball passes can be really frustrating when shot wrong. These common miscommunications can be avoided by utilizing hand signals, which tells the passing player the other player is ready for a pass. Without a signal, there shouldn’t be a pass.

TIP! How would you like to trick the opposing team? Trick them using a back pass. Hold the ball using your dominant hand.

Avoid turning away from the ball so that you can always be prepared for what occurs on the court. You will enjoy greater court awareness and avoid feeling surprised by rapid changes in game play. Keep an eye open for easy shots.

TIP! If your kid is going to try out for the basketball team, they should be properly training their core muscles. Focus on hips, lower back and abs.

As you exercise to improve your game, it is important to work on your footwork and strength. This allows your body to be in balance and be more explosive on the court. You must work out your hip, back and abdomen muscles. Jumping rope is great for improving your footwork and also helping you to gain speed.

TIP! Quick and solid footwork is what it takes to make the shot when your posting up. Although a strong presence in the key is important, beating your opponent to good spots on the floor is more important.

Watch your shoulders if you obtain a shooting slump. If your shoulders are in a bad position, no matter how good you are, you won’t make the shot. You’ll want to ensure that your shoulders are squared up towards the hoops. If your right hand is your dominant hand, your right shoulder must be aligned with the rim. For left-handedness, the opposite is true.

TIP! It is best to take a break if you sustain an injury while playing. This is an aggressive sport, and injuries happen often.

When playing defense, always try to stay low. That helps you stay quick when it comes to the jump and will help you react more quickly to the person just ahead of you. Stay in your defensive stance. If you find you have to abandon your stance to do some blocking, get back into formation as fast as you can.

TIP! A great way to stay prepared at all times is to always face the ball. You will enjoy greater court awareness and avoid feeling surprised by rapid changes in game play.

A good way to improve your game is by finding out from your teammates what they plan to do. A good basketball team consists of players who understand that this is not an individual sport. That means offense and defense aren’t one on one. Everyone must contribute as a team. If you communicate your wishes before you go out on the court, the team will work better as a unit.

TIP! Spreading out your fingers is key to handling the ball correctly. That makes it less likely that you lose control of the ball.

Don’t double dribble. This happens when you stop dribbling and then begin again. If you have already ceased dribbling, your only options are to pass or shoot the basketball. You cannot start dribbling again. When you do that, it’s called a turnover. It will cause you to have to surrender the ball to the opposing team.

Have you learned some helpful tips? You need to be confident and you have to practice. Keep your head up and use what you learned here.