TIP! Bounce passes are extremely efficient when done properly. Bounce passes need to be at waist level when received.

The sport of basketball is beloved by men and women of all ages. Many people enjoy watching the NBA on television, playing on their own teams, or just shooting some hoops at the park. If you would like to play and play well, it pays to practice hard in order to be the best you can be. The following tips will help you take your interest in basketball to a whole new level.

TIP! Free throws are as much mental as they are physical, like other parts of the game. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss.

It is easy to be focused on offense when you are learning how to play basketball, but you really should focus your practice on defense. Defense is how you win a basketball game. Offense may score points but defense keeps the other team from scoring points that your team will have to match.

TIP! Play basketball against yourself even during the off-season. Basketball is usually a team sport, but just because you can’t find others, doesn’t mean you have to just stop thinking about it.

If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. A crossover happens when you switch hands the ball is in. It should be done quickly. Once you master the art of the crossover dribble, you will be able to change directions quicker.

Proper Balance

TIP! Whenever you work out, practice footwork and work on your core strength. Your body is going to be more balanced and be able to move faster when you have strong core muscles.

Proper balance is essential when shooting. You have seen some crazy shots made by professionals, but these shots aren’t going to be based on fundamentals. They have just improvised, is all. Consider proper balance when you shoot, and eventually you’ll consistently make baskets.

TIP! Always be aware of the locations of your feet and what they’re doing. If you step on the baseline, you will be out of bounds.

Constantly practice layups. Since layups account for the majority of scoring in a game. When you practice, be sure to run at the goal with full speed, jumping and shooting in a smooth series of motions. Like everything, practicing at game speed will only improve your skill and have you ready to play at the fastest pace.

TIP! It can help you when you pass through your legs. You can practice this technique by stepping forward or backward and bouncing the ball with force between your legs.

Basketball players need to build strong core muscles. The core is the following areas: abdominal muscles, lower back muscles and hip muscles. The core links both the lower and upper extremities. Without a strong core, they will have limited athletic performance. A well developed core lets a player generate force with their legs to be applied to faster running and jumping higher.

TIP! A good player on defense will annoy the heck out of the opponent and cause the other team to get flustered. Don’t let them get comfortable.

Figuring out the opponent is a great way to do well against a tight defense. Monitor scouting news and watch footage of other teams in action. Keep track of which players are right hand dominant and which are left hand dominant. Once you understand the opposition, you will now how to mount your defense. Understanding the intricacies of the game will make you a better player.

TIP! Practice moving the ball from one courtside to the other in just 5 dribbles of the ball. You may find this very challenging, but once accomplished it will give you a real edge.

As you exercise to improve your game, it is important to work on your footwork and strength. Your body will be more stable and easier to move when you have strength in your core muscles. You must work out your hip, back and abdomen muscles. Similar to boxers, jumping rope can better your speed and footwork.

TIP! If you want to build the dexterity of your weaker hand, start using it for everyday tasks like shining your shoes or opening doors. You will have more control as you use it to do daily activities that require dexterity.

Watch your shoulders if you obtain a shooting slump. Whenever your shoulders aren’t in a good position, you simply will not shoot well, regardless of your skill level. Keep your shoulders square in line with the basket. The shoulder that is dominant should be perfectly aligned with the hoop rim.

TIP! Don’t stop dribbling until you are ready to pass or shoot. You have few options remaining to you after you stop dribbling.

Video tape your games, and then review your technique later. Looking at tapes can help you identify strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be too critical, but do be honest. The reality of your play is often very different from your perception.

TIP! While you dribble, alternate your momentum from your left to right side. Games require you to be able to dribble under all types of conditions.

Do your free throw shooting the same way every time. This might mean that you dribble the ball twice, bend your knees, touch your forehead, or any other movement. This routine will help you make your free throws, but make the routine a quick one.

TIP! If a shot is taken from the corner and missed, the ball typically ends up across the court from the player. It may bounce back right into the opponent’s hands.

If you wish to get a free throw rebound from a teammate, you have to stay on your toes properly. You need to seek out a way to quickly slide around your opponent and be able to quickly react to the ball. This gets you the rebound without you committing a foul.

TIP! Be sure that you’re not double dribbling. To keep from double dribbling, simply refrain from starting to dribble a second time after you have already stopped dribbling once in that same possession.

Be sure your vision is unobstructed. This is not just to make reading the scoreboard easier, but also to facilitate the making of shots and catching of passes. Try making your peripheral vision the best it can be. If you scan the entire court, not just the location of the ball, it is possible to anticipate defense moves in advance and see which teammates are open.

TIP! When catching a rebound, be sure to land with legs that are spread wider than your shoulder span, to help keep your balance. Your hands must be positioned on both sides of the ball, and the ball must be held tightly against your chest.

Developing your muscle strength and flexibility will make you a better basketball player. Being physically tough is as important as having the stamina to keep up with the game. Younger kids can benefit from boosting their arm and leg strength with proper exercise. As they start to get older, get them some weights to help them exercise harder. When they become an adult, weight training becomes mandatory.

TIP! Follow the path of the ball once it has left the hands of your teammate or the opposing player. Rebounds represent a crucial component of any basketball game.

If you want to improve your outside shooting skills then you need to take hundreds of shots each day from all over the court. To help you get even better, practice dribbling the ball and quickly pulling up for a shot. Look at your target while you’re in the air, but not before that. All these techniques give you the feel of actual game play, and this will help you become more accurate.

TIP! Passing should be an essential element in your game. Passing keeps the defense confused.

If possible, keep the ball below your knees. Your opponents will find it tougher to steal 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! Ask yourself what your weaknesses are. Don’t lie to yourself.

The hand not used to dribble the ball should serve as a wall separating the ball from the opposing players. You don’t need to push any opponents since that’s a foul, but try using your non-dribbling arm like a separator for keeping the ball safe. This move helps to keep the ball protected and you in control of it.

TIP! Hard dribbling needs to be practiced. Bouncing the ball hard makes it move faster.

There are several ways you can improve your basketball skills. Many are simple, like learning a concept and practicing it over and over. Practice is the key to learning anything, so practice often to help improve your game. No matter if you are practicing with teammates or shooting in your own driveway, the work you do is sure to pay dividends.