TIP! You must learn how to dribble, how a crossover is done and other important ball handling skills. This is when the ball is moved from hand to hand.

One of the neat facts about basketball is that it is easy to learn. You can get the basics in a couple minutes. However, there are many advanced techniques that can be learned. Continue reading to learn the how you can become the best player.

TIP! Keep practicing your layups. Layups account for up to 80 percent of the shots taken during a game.

Watch your form while you dribble the ball. Instead of using your palm to dribble focus on using your fingertips. This provides you with much more ball control. Dribble on the sides of your body instead of directly before you, and bounce it waist level. Always look upwards, never at the ground.

TIP! Frequently train yourself on your pass catching moves. Be sure to be able to catch off-target throws on top of good ones.

Crossovers are key for ball handlers. When you do a crossover, you move the basketball very fast from one hand over to the other hand. 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! If you are posting up, strategic footwork is important to becoming open and making a good shot. You must beat the opposing playing to an open spot.

Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. Training your body is important, but you also have to be mentally ready for the shot. Relax yourself and concentrate on your shot.

TIP! The trick to grabbing a rebound on a teammate’s missed free-throw is to plan your footwork in advance. Guards will be attempting to stop you, so get around them.

Footwork is the best way to find an opening shot. You need to have physical presence beneath the net, but you also have to choose the right spot to be in. Once you’ve reached a good spot, you need to secure it. These skills require solid footwork.

TIP! To avoid having the ball stolen, dribble hard. 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.

Never turn away from the ball, so that you can always stay ready for anything. This helps keep you aware of the action, and it takes away the surprise factor. Maintain awareness of open areas on the ball court that may allow you to quickly score a basket.

TIP! Try to keep the ball in your line of sight at all times. This means more than just being able to see well enough to play, but “seeing” the court deeply.

The key to ball control is to spread your fingers out. This gives you better control of the ball. Do not allow your palm to come in contact with the ball either. You should try your best to only hold onto the ball with your fingertips when passing and shooting.

TIP! Take charge when the opportunity presents itself. Taking charges gives you a chance for earning a defensive stop, gives your team the ball, and gives one more foul called in your favor.

Whenever you work out, practice footwork and work on your core strength. When you have strong core muscles, your body will be better balanced and will move faster. Don’t forget to also work out muscles in your back, buttocks, abdomen and hips. Jump rope like the boxers do to increase your footwork speed.

TIP! Always set your three-point shooting practice goal at the official NBA distance. All other three point lines are closer than what the NBA uses.

Get someone to analyze how you play on tape. Do you see anything you could do differently? Don’t get yourself down about your performance, but stay honest with yourself concerning where your game needs some work. Sometimes you think of yourself as something you are not.

TIP! You should make sure when practicing dribbling that you shift from one hand to the other. Expect to encounter many different situations in a game.

Practice passing while looking in the opposite direction. You are able to confuse opponents with this technique. You give your teammate a better chance to make the shot because the opposing player is moving the wrong direction when you pass the ball. It really can be a powerful technique.

TIP! Become a better basketball team by becoming a stronger team when playing and in practice. Basketball is a sport that goes so much further when a team truly connects.

In order to be successful with layups, the foot that is opposite from shooting hand is the one you should take off from. Practice shooting using your right hand, then jump off your left foot. Also, this will improve your balance as you approach the basket.

TIP! Be careful not to double-dribble. That happens when you stop one time, and start again in a few seconds.

If you wish to succeed in a defensive role, you must be able to break your opponents’ concentration. Get them outside their comfort zone. When making a move, be aggressive. Never let them control the game plays. Otherwise, the opponents will win all the shots and dominate you. Try making the initial move and interrupt their rhythm.

TIP! Having good positioning on the court when trying to grab a rebound will help you keep the ball. Use both feet to jump for the ball, then hold on with both of your hands.

Mix things up offensively to keep the other team’s defense off-balance. When running towards the net, step on your front foot, and start to straighten up your body. You will have the guard think that you’re slowing down. In turn, they will straighten themselves. Use this opportunity to sprint past your opponent.

Strength Training

TIP! Control your nerves. Keep your eyes and thoughts focused on the basket.

To increase your basketball playing abilities, consider strength training exercises. It’s important to have stamina and strength when playing basketball. Even the youngest kids that play will benefit from the game. As they grow a bit older, they can add free weights to their strengthening routine. Once they transition into adulthood, strength training must continue to be a core part of their exercise routine.

TIP! If the person you’re guarding is bigger than you are, put your body between this person and the player with the ball. This prevents them from getting easy passes, and hopefully prevents them from catching the ball and shooting it over your head.

You can improve your shooting skills by practicing with shots from different spots on the court. If you wish to get even better at this, try dribbling and then stopping to make a quick shot. When you are in the air, take a gander at the target. Don’t do it prior to this point. This is a good way to simulate real game-time conditions and increase accuracy.

TIP! Learning to pivot is important when playing basketball. Having excellent footwork through repetition in practice allows you to develop a nice pivot that becomes second nature in a game.

You may have just learned how to play basketball right before you read the above information. Maybe you have been playing your whole life. No matter the case, the information below can help you play better. Put these tips to work whenever you next hit the court.