You probably felt like you entered an alternate universe the first time you played basketball. You learned to get the ball around from player to basket. Now, you might feel as though you are a pro. Learn about those skills in the following paragraphs.

Make sure to dribble properly. When you dribble a basketball you have to use the fingertips instead of the hand’s palm. When you do this you will have more control over the ball. Dribble on the sides of your body instead of directly before you, and bounce it waist level. Look up, not down.

TIP! 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. Basketball games are often won by great defensive play.

Make sure you are looking forward and looking up as you’re dribbling. You should never be looking at the basketball while dribbling. Take the basketball around off-court wherever you are. Walking to your mailbox? Dribble the ball. If you are looking at the ball, you cannot see what is happening down the court in front of you.

One of the most important skills when playing basketball is balance. You’ve seen the pros fall out of bounds when trying to shoot 30 feet from the basket; this is a bad move. These are not practiced skills, they are just flukes. Good balance while shooting will lead to landing more baskets.

TIP! Dribbling the ball the right way needs to be done. You’ll want to use your fingertips to dribble instead of using your palm.

Learn how to throw a proper bounce pass. The bounce pass needs to reach the player at waist level. One thing you should do is always remember the ball should be bounced three quarters on its way towards the person you’re passing too. This all depends on many factors.

Passing the ball is an important part of playing basketball so practice making and receiving passes. When you practice, drill yourself to pay attention to errant throws and passes that are picture perfect. Some passes may be too high, too low or off target, so you should practice receiving passes often. You can do the rest of your team a favor by practicing how you can best complete imperfect passes.

TIP! If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. This is when you switch hands while dribbling.

Remember to practice a lot of different possibilities so that you will not limit your game. A lot of the game is sure to be played in the zone, but your opponent could change to man-to-man coverage. When you don’t know how to defeat it, you will lose.

Keep your weight lifting to a minimum as a jump shooter. Even though having strong muscles is great for the inside game, being on the outside it can harm you when shooting the ball. Shooting guards that end up with bulked up arms sometimes find that it affects field goal percentages.

TIP! Focus on your strengths to get better at basketball. Your best skills may not be center-stage every game, but knowing how to play the best angles can help you give more to your team.

These tips can help you advance your abilities on the court. Start working towards your goals and you can start bettering the skills you have. Make use of these good tips to improve your strategy and become the player you have always dreamed of being.

Basketball is a remarkable sport because it allows you to achieve great things with only a few simple skills. You can get the basics in a couple minutes. There’s much more to learn to become better at basketball, and using the advice below will help.

When learning the game of basketball, it’s easy to get caught up in offensive play. But you should also give plenty of attention to defense. Victory requires the ability to play defense. Offense gets all the praise and attention, but without a good defense, any basketball team is destined to lose.

TIP! Balance is important when shooting. While the all-time greats have shown time and time again how they can shoot while off-kilter, this is not the ideal way to score.

Your balance is an important aspect to consider when you are shooting. While the all-time greats have shown time and time again how they can shoot while off-kilter, this is not the ideal way to score. They are not doing it right. If you have correct balance when you are making a shot, you will make more consistent baskets over time.

Free throws are as much mental as they are physical. Your body can be trained to make free throws, but your mind has to be focused on success if you want to make the basket. Stay relaxed and just focus on the goal and you will increase your free throw rate.

TIP! A good tip is to practice your layups on a daily basis. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game.

Unseen passes can be avoided when proper hand signals are used by teammates. One thing that can frustrate you when playing basketball is to try and pass while a player is trying to run to the basket. Hand signals can be a great way to find out if a teammate will be able to receive your pass. No signal, no pass.

Ask your fellow teammates if they have an opinion of your skills in the game. Do you have an area where you excel? Perhaps you are great backup or fast on your feet. By understanding what your teammates see as your best skills, you can ensure that you keep a strong focus and hone these abilities even more.

TIP! Free throws are as much mental as they are physical. It’s easy to physically train for a free throw, yet mental preparation is also needed.

Spread your fingers out to handle the ball properly. You are more likely to hold onto the ball this way. Your palm should touch the ball as little as possible. Don’t let anything but your fingers touch the ball during passing or shooting.

Always have an awareness of the location and movement of your feet. Stepping even over a baseline when you’re in possession of the ball will have you called out of bounds. Taking a lot of steps when you’re not dribbling means you’re traveling and that’s a turnover call. Avoid lifting your feet when you are screening or in position for a charge or the foul will be called on you instead of your opponent.

TIP! You want to be prepared for any type of defense the other team plays. The majority of game play might take place in the zone, but that doesn’t mean that the opposing team will not try to catch you off guard.

Maybe you just began learning about playing basketball before you read this. Perhaps you were good at basketball already. Either way, the information here can help you improve your game. Put these tips into action and you are sure to become a more effective player.

Basketball fans transform whenever basketball season comes, whether it’s playing or just supporting their teams. To make fans cheer, you have to be good at what you do. Every teammate contributes, so taking time to figure out your skills can help you better your game. Start practicing today. Here are many great ways to bring your game skills to the level you have always wanted.

Put the emphasis on your strengths can help you to be a better basketball player. 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. You can also focus on your weaknesses if you know what they are.

TIP! Make sure you spend your time focusing on your strengths. You might not have star ability, but you can be an outstanding team player.

Passing the ball is an important part of playing basketball so practice making and receiving passes. Be sure to be able to catch off-target throws on top of good ones. During a game, not all of your passes will hit the mark. Help your team by learning to catch those bad passes, as well as those perfect passes.

Practice using different types of defenses. While a good chunk of the game will most likely be played in zone, your opponent might flip the switch to man-to-man coverage just to change things up and surprise you. You might lose your control of the court if the other team use this technique, unless you are ready for this possibility.

TIP! If you want to take jump shots, don’t build your arms up too large. Muscle strength can be great for basketball players, but it is actually possible to have excessive amounts for playing on the perimeter.

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. That’s OK! There is much that can be accomplished when playing on your own. Practice pivoting or you can practice doing free throws. You can always find things to practice.

If you have student that wants to play basketball for their high school team, they will need to spend some time training their core muscles. Core muscles are comprised of the hips, lower back, and abdominal muscles. Your performance is going to be sub-par if you don’t have strengthened core muscles. A solid and strong core lets force that comes from the legs get used for beneficial movements when playing, like faster running and higher jumping.

TIP! If you have a high school level basketball player for a kid, be sure their core muscles are properly trained. Focus on hips, lower back and abs.

Try using hand signals to prevent passes in error. One thing that can frustrate you when playing basketball is to try and pass while a player is trying to run to the basket. Avoid this with hand signals that let you know if the player is open to receiving the pass. If the signal is absent, do not pass to that player.

Ask teammates what they admire about your playing skills? Can they tell you what you’re really good at? Perhaps you are quick footed, or you are always ready to lend a hand on the court. Learn what other’s see as your natural skills and make sure to keep and develop those skills more fully.

TIP! Find out what your teammates like most about how you play? Do you do something really good? It may be that you are quick on your feet or that you are always there to back them up. Find out what others think your natural abilities are, and be certain to keep developing those skills.

Keep your eye on the ball. This keeps you aware of what is going on so you aren’t surprised. Keep your eyes open for areas that are open.

As this article has shown you, you can improve the game you play in many ways. Better players make better teams. There is a part for everyone in basketball, from the players on the court to the fans in the stands. Your part as a player is to assist your team any way that you can. So keep these tips in mind and become a player that everyone can be glad to have on the team.