TIP! Get good at making free throws. It looks simple to do, but it isn’t that easy.

Do you remember the first time you played basketball? You learned to get the ball around from player to basket. Perhaps you think you have learned all you need to know about basketball. The tips you’ll find below will show you there is still a lot to learn.

TIP! If you want to improve your basketball game, you must identify and intensify your strengths. Your strengths might not make you a star player, but you’ll be contributing a lot to your team.

Make sure you are dribbling the right way. Use fingertips to dribble. You retain much more ball control this way. Bounce the ball no higher than your waist and keep the ball at your side rather than in front. You should always look upwards instead of at the ground.

TIP! Practice your pass catching often. You want to practice catching perfect passes and bad passes.

Watch professionals play to learn from their techniques. Get tickets to some pro games, if possible, or catch some games on television. Each player has their strengths and you can learn a lot from each one.

TIP! Unseen passes can be avoided when proper hand signals are used by teammates. It can be frustrating making a pass when a player moves away towards the basket.

Don’t limit your practice to just playing against the zone defense. Usually, a big part of the game is probably going to be in zone; however, the opposing team can suddenly switch to man-to-man to catch you off guard. If you are unprepared, you may lose the match fast.

TIP! During your workouts, concentrate on improving your footwork as well as your core strength. With strong core muscles, you will have better balance.

Keep your weight lifting to a minimum as a jump shooter. It’s possible to have excessive muscles when you play the perimeter. Some pro shooting guards make their arms large enough to decrease their own field goal percentage.

TIP! To get better at shooting free throws, make sure to keep a consistent pre-shot routine. This may mean you want to dribble three times, touch your forehead, bend at the knees, or do anything else.

Play basketball against yourself even during the off-season. Basketball is sport played in teams, but there are times when no one is around to play with you. That is not a problem. There is still much you can accomplish playing alone. Practice pivoting or you can practice doing free throws. You can always hone your skills when practicing alone.

Defensive Game

TIP! In order to play defense successfully, you must be able to disrupt the game of your opponent. Focus on getting them out of the comfort zone.

One of the best ways to play a strong defensive game is to know your opponent. Watch tapes of their games and see how others move on the court. You should know if a player is right or left handed. When you know your opponent, you will be better able to play an effective defensive game. Understanding the intricacies of the game will make you a better player.

TIP! To avoid turning the ball over to the other team, make sure that you’re dribbling hard. This means you get the ball back from your opponent faster.

Practice passing while looking the opposite direction. This will easily confuse your opponents. If you do this fake the right way, then the receiver of the pass should have an advantage and a great look at the goal. It’s a powerful play when done right.

TIP! You want to strive in practice to bring the ball all the way up the court in no more than five dribbles. This might not seem possible, but if you can do it your speed and length will strengthen.

Workout to increase flexibility and strength in your hands and forearms. Wrist curls can work good if you wish to start handling the ball like you’re able to dribble in any situation. One thing that is important to remember is that it is difficult to be static and be a scorer. While this does happen on occasion, you should be moving in order to execute the play.

TIP! In order to ensure that you are always ready to defend, keep your stance at all times. Use a shuffling side to side motion to ensure you are in position.

Be sly on your soles to catch rebounds from free-throws your own team members are making. The person defending the position down-court from you will be coming at you, so you need to find any way you can to slide around him that gets you to the ball. Doing this lets you get a rebound freely and not commit a foul in the process.

TIP! Practice dribbling by switching momentum. During a game, you’ll be dribbling in all kinds of situations.

A powerful play called the trapping machine, is to have your guards wait for the point guard to come just past midcourt. Once he passes mid court the guards should rush up on him. Your forwards should sprint to cover the other players on the outside. Your point guard must then launch a pass in a way that is easy for your forwards to steal.

TIP! When dribbling, use your other arm to create a wall between you and your opponent. This keeps your opponent from being able to steal the ball.

AS you dribble the basketball down the court, keep your knees bent. If your knees are not bent, the basketball will be more difficult to control. Just a slight bend in your knees can have a huge impact on ball control.

TIP! Serious basketball players take their diets seriously too. Basketball uses a lot of energy; therefore, it is important to fuel your body with lean protein and whole grains.

Practice all types of shots while in different distances and angles. Practice your grip and balance first. It’s possible to shoot off balance but it isn’t as accurate. You can perfect your basketball grip by using the ball valve. Your fingers of the dominant hand can be placed on the ball with your palm centered on the valve.

TIP! A missed shot from the corner of the basketball court will usually go to the opposite side. It may bounce back right into the opponent’s hands.

Make your opponent dribble with their weak hand. For instance, you could step toward a player on their right side to force them to switch to their left hand. Bend down so that your head is level with the opponent’s chest. This puts you in position to steal the ball.

TIP! If the person you’re guarding is bigger than you are, put your body between this person and the player with the ball. That closes the lane for a pass as you won’t be able to block their shots.

If you’re in possession of the ball, learn when you should be passing the ball to a player with a better shot and when you should be taking the shot yourself. It’s more important to get the ball to the person who can make the shot than try to take a shot that will certainly miss or be blocked.

TIP! If a team plays a zone defense, make use of a penetrating dribble to get past them. Getting past your defender and in the lane will make the other team collapse on the basketball or shift.

In order to be as good as you can be, you should be able to pivot while playing basketball. Practicing pivoting will be able to help prevent you from tangling your feet or getting disoriented. You must work on quick reactions and pivoting.

TIP! When dribbling the basketball you should focus on how hard you’re bouncing the ball in practice. The reason is that by bouncing it hard, you get the ball moving faster, and your opponents have less of a chance to grab it from you.

When you dribble, you want to practice bouncing the ball as hard as possible. This will make it harder for any defender to pull off a steal from you. Dribble hard and low.

TIP! When you’re working out, you should jot down what needs to get done. A lot of players practice without a workout plan.

When working out, make sure to jot down what you must achieve. Lots of players hit the gym without a concrete plan. Instead of practicing, they talk to friends and goof off. If you have a written workout plan, you can improve your techniques without distractions.

TIP! For more advanced players in basketball, dribbling is a mental and physical task. You must understand the way a ball spins, the force it hits the floor with and how the ball bounce in coordination to how your body is positioned.

These tips can help you advance your abilities on the court. Practice, run drills and play often. Fitting these techniques into your game strategy is going to significantly improve your game.