TIP! Keep your head up when you dribble. Looking directly at the ball means you aren’t good at the game yet.

People just adore the game of basketball. Understanding the nuances of the game helps you to appreciate it in its splendor. This article is meant to help readers do precisely that.

TIP! Concentrate on your strong points if you want to improve your game. Your skills may not turn you into the star player, but knowing how to make the most of your skills will make you a more valuable player.

Keep your head up when you dribble. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling. Take you ball with you everywhere. 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! Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. Layups account for up to 80 percent of the shots taken during a game.

If you have the ball a lot, learn to execute a crossover. Switch from one side to the other while dribbling. It should be done quickly. When executed properly, a crossover dribble lets you alternate directions suddenly so that you can move down the entire court quickly.

TIP! Successful free throws require you to be mentally and physically strong. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter.

Practice your layup shot often. Layup shots make up nearly 80% of a game’s shots. Dribble the ball in front of you while taking large strides followed by a smooth shot. This will assist you in perfecting your ability to jump and then shoot.

TIP! A great way to hone your own basketball abilities is to watch the pros. Try to go to games, watch televised games, or check out videos of the pros playing.

One way to get a good understanding of your game is to ask your fellow players about your ability. Do you do something really good? You may be quick with your footwork or are always there for backing them up. Determine what others like about your game and fine tune those skills.

TIP! Passing the ball is an important part of playing basketball so practice making and receiving passes. Try to catch all of the passes that are thrown to you.

Spreading the fingers is something you have to do to handle the ball right. This will help you keep a better grip on the ball. Try to keep your palm off of the ball as well. When passing and shooting the ball toward its target, the sole contact point should be fingers.

TIP! Make better passes through the use of coordinated hand signals. One of basketball’s most frustrating elements is the concept of sending a quick pass onto a teammate who has just moved in a different direction.

To become a reliable free throw shooter, always go through the same routine before each shot. For example, you might tug your ear, dribble three times, or flex your wrists. Just keep things brief, but make sure you always do the same moves.

TIP! If your shooting is in a slump, take a look at your shoulders. When they are out of alignment, all shots will fail.

Dribbling the ball fast and hard will help you to keep better control of it. This causes the ball to return to your hand more quickly, so the offense has less time to try to get it away from you. If you have somebody guarding you very closely, pass the ball to an open teammate.

TIP! Passing between the legs is great when you are being closely guarded. This can be practiced by dribbling the ball as hard as you can between the legs while you step in either direction.

Work on getting the ball down the length of a full court with five or fewer dribbles during drills. This may seem like an impossible challenge, but it will increase your stride length and your speed. In games, this drill will become useful when you have fast break opportunities.

TIP! Be slick with your feet so you can get a rebound from a teammate. Your defender will move towards you, so figure out how to slither past him and grab the ball.

When the opportunity arises you always want to take a charge. This play gets your team possession of the ball and a foul against your opponent. This can devastate a competitor psychologically as well as being a powerful play on the court.

TIP! Dribble hard to avoid ball stealing. Dribbling fast allows you to keep better control of the ball and there is a slimmer chance of it being stolen from you.

Use your weak hand for brushing your hair, doing up your belt and opening bottles so you can build up its strength. These tasks help to make your weaker hand feel more natural when you use it on the court. This will begin to spill over into your basketball game as well.

TIP! To better your outdoor shooting skills, take about a hundred shots every day from various places on the court. Also practice transitioning from dribbling to a quick shot.

To increase your three-point shooting skill, shoot from where the NBA players range. That is the furthest distance that you would ever have to shoot from to score a three. If you are able to make NBA-range three-point-shots, you will be able to find more open looks during your own games.

TIP! Your off-court practice should mimic your on-court playing. Running, both sprints and long distance, can help your game.

If you want to play better, communicate with your teammates so you know what they intend to do. Basketball is not an individual sport. Offense and defense aren’t 1 on 1. All players on your team are interdependent. Discuss your strengths and weaknesses with teammates so you know where you need improvement.

TIP! To become a much better basketball player, try speaking with teammates and learning what they do. It is a sport that requires team work.

If you’re serious about your game, you should take your diet seriously. You use a lot of fuel playing basketball so a lot of carbs is needed, as well as adequate protein and fats. One way to keep your body in basketball shape is to incorporated grains and proteins into your diet. Try to avoid overuse of salt or sugar in your diet.

TIP! Learn about your opponents so you can force them to play your game, not theirs. Make them use the hand that their weaker with by cutting off the path on their strong side.

Millions of fans love the excitement and thrills that basketball offers. Without proper understanding, though, it is easy to get lost. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand basketball a bit better and that you can use some of these tips yourself.