TIP! When dribbling, make sure that you look forward and keep your head up. Looking directly at the ball means you aren’t good at the game yet.

Whether you play competitive basketball or pick-up games at the local gym, you can improve your game. Focusing your attention on your skills goes a long way toward making you a more effective player. If you want to become a better player, you are sure to appreciate these tips.

TIP! You should learn the best way to throw a great bounce pass. A useful bounce pass will hit the receiving player at waist level.

Don’t spend all your time practicing how to confront a zone defense. While much of the game is played in zone, the opponent can flip to man-to-man coverage, changing everything and surprising you. If your practice did not include this, you can quickly lose control of the game.

TIP! Never play through an injury when playing basketball. Basketball is physically challenging, and injuries are not uncommon.

If you want to correctly handle the ball, you need to know where to place your fingers. That makes sure that you don’t lose the ball when you hold it. Also, keep your palm off the ball. You should only let the fingers touch the ball during passing or shooting.

TIP! Keeping your fingers spread will facilitate better ball handling. This makes sure that it does not escape away from your grip.

Speed is everything in basketball. You will have the advantage over your opponents if you can really play fast. You will have to do a lot of drilling to play faster. Though, you should never attempt to a play faster game than your abilities permit. If you play basketball past your own speed ability, then you can lose control of you game with bad passes and needless turnovers.

TIP! Always be aware of the locations of your feet and what they’re doing. You want to make sure you don’t step over the bounds by even a teeny bit.

In order to be successful with layups, the foot that is opposite from shooting hand is the one you should take off from. When shooting right-handed, take off using the left foot. This keeps your body balanced and moving toward the basket and keeps your body between yourself and your defender.

Free Throw

TIP! Make sure your vision is good. Vision is an integral part of making shots and catching passes.

In order to become a better free throw shooter you need to have a good practice routine. If you’re not consistent you’ll find yourself missing free throws. You should work on your free throw techniques as much as possible until they become a second nature. If you have a glitch in the routine, you are likely to miss your shot.

TIP! A great way to stay in a correct defensive stance is to always stay in position no matter what. To do this, avoid lurching or stepping across the floor; instead use smaller, shuffling steps to move with your opponent.

Dribbling the ball fast and hard will help you to keep better control of it. A hard dribble returns the ball back to you faster, leaving less chance of it being snatched by the other team. If your opponent is playing you up close, stop what you’re doing and quickly look to find and open teammate to pass the ball to.

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). They should then trap the point guard.

Try to get the basketball from one side of the court to the other in about five dribbles. This may seem to be too difficult at first, but once you’re able to do it you’ll have a lot of speed and stride length. In games, this drill will become useful when you have fast break opportunities.

TIP! Use your weak hand for brushing your hair, doing up your belt and opening bottles so you can build up its strength. You’ll find it becomes more controllable.

A good way to stay defensive is to have a defensive stance. Slide both feet side to side, or just push off using the opposite foot. If you never allow your feet to cross one another you will invariably be a very hard player to get passed.

Strength Training

TIP! Be certain to practice moves off the court that will truly help you on the court. Running for short quick bursts at a time will help you become quicker, and running long distance can help with stamina.

In order to improve your game, make sure you do plenty of strength training. When you play basketball you need a lot of stamina and strength to keep going through the entire game. Small kids who play stand to reap real benefits from strengthening their legs and arms. Adding weights in stronger increments is effective as the child becomes a teenager. Adult players must use strength training to prevent loss of mobility, speed, and power.

TIP! If you are a basketball player you should be eating a healthy diet. Increase your intake of carbohydrates to boost energy levels.

To trap the opposing players in a 2-3 zone, have the defending guards hold back till the opposing point guard has moved beyond the midcourt line by about ten feet. Then, they ought to trap the point guard. At the same time, have your forwards on the blocks sprint out to the players on the wings. This can cause the point guard to pass the ball in a way that your teammates can easily steal.

TIP! Avoid double dribbling. When you stop dribbling and then begin again is double dribbling.

Switching up your dribbling rhythm can really throw the defense off. Smooth dribbling interrupted by a quicker dribble is a great way to catch the opponent off-guard and go in for a shot. Both the change in speed and sound will confound the player who is guarding you.

TIP! Landing with a wide stance after catching a rebound will make it easier for you to retain you balance. You want to bring the ball tight into your body with both hands.

Create teamwork both off and on the basketball court. A good basketball team usually comes from having a team that is gelling and in sync with one another. Trusting your teammates is key to becoming a good team and also bettering your own skills, and that leads to your team winning lots of games!

TIP! The position you take just before and just after getting a rebound will play a large role in whether you can retain possession. Use both feet to jump up to create more force and quickly snatch the ball, grabbing it with two hands.

You have to change the path of your opponent. Whether you are playing offense or defense, it is important to control the moves of your opponent. That will ensure you control the game.

TIP! When the person you are tasked with guarding is bigger than you, remain in front of them. This prevents them from getting easy passes, and hopefully prevents them from catching the ball and shooting it over your head.

As you come off a rebound, come down with legs that are spread out wider than the broadness of your shoulders. This will increase your balance. Keep your elbows out to protect the ball and keep it close to your chest. Always keep your elbows in check because an errant elbow can cost you a foul if an opposing player is hit with it.

TIP! Keep your eye on the ball whenever it leaves any player’s hands. Rebounds are terribly important to the game.

Where you are before and following a rebound is going to mean the difference between possessing the ball or giving it to the other team. When you jump, use both legs to give yourself a boost. When the ball has rebounded, you want both feet to be more than shoulder width apart so that you can keep your balance.

TIP! Passing should be a focus if you want to improve your game. You can confuse the opposition with your passes.

By learning important tips and taking them to the practice court, eventually you will see how much better you get at this game. Keep reading other resources so you can build up your game skills. Find out everything you can, and you can improve your game.