TIP! If you typically handle the ball a lot, it pays to learn the crossover. This is when you switch hands while dribbling.

It cannot be said enough that so many people get joy from basketball. Although what’s really true is that many people still have lots to learn in order to help them truly enjoy this game even more. The following tips can help basketball players at every level.

TIP! Make sure that your regular practice includes catching of passes. When you practice, mix it up so that you can catch perfect passes and errant throws.

If you have the ball a lot, learn to execute a crossover. This technique passes the ball back and forth from the right hand to the left hand. Speed determines the success of the crossover move. By having the ability to move either way quickly, you will become a better all-around player.

TIP! Hand signals can help you to stay away from making bad passes. One thing that can frustrate you when playing basketball is to try and pass while a player is trying to run to the basket.

Always work on your layups. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take 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! Ask your teammates what they like about how you play. Do they feel you are really good at something? They may say that you are a great team defender or are always playing with excellent speed.

Free throws are mental as well as physical. You can train your body to complete the motions of making a free throw, but if you are mentally prepared to fail, you will. Be relaxed and concentrate on the basket and you will help you make more free throws.

TIP! If you’re shooting isn’t what you’d like it to be, make sure that your shoulders are in the correct position. When the shoulders are wrongly positioned, your shot is unlikely to succeed.

Do not practice solely against zone defense. Zone play will be important, but man-to-man will pop up from time to time, too. If you have not practiced enough on this scenario, you could run afoul of the scoreboard very fast.

TIP! Have a friend or family member videotape your games, then view the video to see the result. Are you able to see missed opportunities or ways in which you could have improved? Assess yourself honestly, but don’t be a harsh critic.

When developing your jumping skills, limit your use of weight-training. Muscle strength is beneficial for playing any basketball position, but there is such a thing as too much. Certain pro guards ended up increasing their arm size so much that their shooting started to suffer.

Free Throw

TIP! Use deception by looking elsewhere when you make passes. This will confuse your opponents.

In order to become a better free throw shooter you need to have a good practice routine. A routine that is constantly in flux will only open up more opportunities for failure. The simplest way to get better at shooting free throws is through constant repetitive motions when shooting the ball. If your free throw routine is out of whack, you will miss.

TIP! Using a weaker hand helps improve overall dribbling skills. When you are ambidextrous, you’ll be a better player.

Practice dribbling with your weak hand as much as possible. Utilizing both hands to dribble the basketball and switching effortlessly is key to advantage over an opponent. Hold the dominant hand behind the back and make certain you use just the weak hand. You will quickly strengthen your non-dominant hand for dribbling.

TIP! You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. An exercise to help develop your basketball skills is to perform wrist curls.

To avoid having the ball stolen, dribble hard. This is because the ball returns to you hand faster, so the opposing team has less of a chance to get it. Stop dribbling when people guard you too closely.

TIP! To get a rebound of a free throw that one of your teammates is taking, you need to be sly with your feet. Your defender will move towards you, so figure out how to slither past him and grab the ball.

Perform drills in which you move the ball up the court in just five dribbles. This initially seems undoable, but it helps build speed and stride. This translates to simple layups, fast breaks or just a general increase in your team’s numbers.

TIP! Practice noticing what is in your peripheral vision. This is so that you’re able to catch passes, get shots in, and look at the scoreboard.

Be sure your vision is unobstructed. While it will allow you to catch passes and read the score, there is more to it than that. Develop your peripheral vision on the court. If you scan the entire court instead of keeping your eye on the basketball, you will be aware of oncoming defensive pressure as well as the positions of your open teammates.

TIP! In order to ensure that you are always ready to defend, keep your stance at all times. Shifting your weight back and forth between your feet will help you to stay in position.

Don’t leave your defensive stance. You can shuffle your feet to either side, or push with your opposing foot, so you will be ready and in position. Don’t allow your feet to cross, and this will make you a hard defender to beat.

Strength Training

TIP! The hand not used to dribble the ball should serve as a wall separating the ball from the opposing players. This is much safer than just shoving an opponent, which is a serious foul and bad sportsmanship to boot.

In basketball, strength is important, so do strength training. Strength and stamina are both needed to excel at basketball. Even little kids who play basketball will develop more overall body strength. As the teenage years approach, weights can be used for even greater impact. When you’re an adult you have to be sure to do strength training to do well on the court.

TIP! Maintain a rhythm to the dribble until you are ready to surprise the opponent. A consistent dribbling broken up by a fast paced dribble can surprise your opponent and give you a major edge for a shot.

When playing defense, always try to stay low. This helps your reaction time against your opponent. Maintain your proper defensive stance no matter what. You may have to break your stance if you must block a shot, but return as fast as you can.

TIP! A missed corner shot will usually end up on the opposite side of the basketball court. Place yourself in position after this shot is made.

Use a 2-3 zone as a way to trap opponents. You can do this by having guards wait for the point guard to come at least 10 feet past midcourt. The guards must then rush the opposing team’s point guard and create a trap. While that is happening, your forwards should race out to the opposing wing players. This will cause the point guard to throw a pass that will allow your forwards to steal.

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

Basketball provides lots of potential as both a spectator sport and physical activity. However, you need to know everything about the subject to be sure you’re reaping all of its benefits. Use what you learned here to keep you at the top of the game.

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