Have you ever seen yourself as LeBron James, Michael Jordan or some other professional player when playing basketball. Don’t just dream about improving your game; instead, take the pointers and learn how you can get out there and practice right now. The tips that follow will get you on the path to greatness.

Watch your form while you dribble the ball. Avoid using your palm while dribbling. Instead, use your fingertips. This provides you with much more ball control. Dribble off to the side waist high. Never look at the ground. Always look up.

TIP! Practice layups often. This is the most popular shot in basketball.

When dribbling, focus on what’s in front of you by keeping your head up. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling. Take the basketball around off-court wherever you are. If you walk to the store, dribble the ball. You will not be able to see what’s happening before you on the court while beholding the ball.

If you want to improve your game, concentrate on your strengths. You can contribute to the team by consolidating your best skills, even if these skills do not make you one of the star players. Understand where you excel, and work on those talents until they are perfected.

Every great player understands how to properly perform a bounce pass. Bouncing the pass to the receiver should be at their waist. It’s best to bounce the basketball about 75 percent of the way towards your teammate. Although, there will be other circumstances that are involved too.

TIP! Free throws are as mental as 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.

One good way to learn good passing is drill often without dribbling. It is hard to play basketball without dribbling, and demands accurate passing and teamwork, so it will be a challenge. The accuracy of passes will greatly improve over time and the drill will become a lot easier.

If you become injured when playing basketball, stop immediately. It’s a challenging sport that’s very physical, and you have the ability to get injured. If you try to keep playing, you can hurt yourself worse. See a doctor if the injury is serious enough.

Find out what your teammates like most about how you play? What do you need to focus in on and practice more? You might be quick, or you might always be around to support them. Find out what others perceive as your natural gifts and build upon those more completely.

TIP! Practice playing a man-to-man defense and zone defense. Most of the basketball game will probably be played in this zone, but the other team might decide to surprise you and do some man-to-man coverage.

If you find yourself unable to shoot well, consider your shoulders. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot. Keep your shoulders square in line with the basket. You want your strong-side shoulder in perfect alignment with the rim.

To generate consistency with layups, leap from the opposite foot from the hand you use to shoot. If you normally shoot using your right hand, jump with your left. That way, the body stays balanced while it moves toward the hoop.

You can really up your performance on the court by doing strength training. You need both stamina and strength to be a good player. Even the youngest players need to have strong arms and legs. When they become teenagers, they will be able to step up to weight work to become even stronger. Then they will be ready to really learn the skills that really make an excellent player.

TIP! To learn how to pass well, drill without dribbling. It is hard to play basketball without dribbling, and demands accurate passing and teamwork, so it will be a challenge.

Only stop dribbling if you want to shoot or pass. After you halt the dribble, your options become quite limited. If you don’t shoot or pass, you have to pivot on the back foot. Putting yourself in this position makes you more vulnerable to having the ball stolen by the opposing team.

You can place your off-hand out in front of you to serve as protection against the defense. You don’t need to push any opponents since that’s a foul, but try using your non-dribbling arm like a separator for keeping the ball safe. Hold your arm slightly elevated as you dribble with the opposite hand.

Practice various shots from various places on the court. First, practice your balance and grip. Sometimes you are forced into off-balanced shots, but that only makes you less accurate. Use the valve on the basketball to perfect your grip. Spread your fingers, and place your dominant hand over the area where the valve is located.

TIP! Hand signals will help you avoid those errant passes. You can become easily frustrated when a teammate does a poor job of anticipating your next passing move.

It is important to take your diet seriously if you want to be the best player you can be. In order to be ready for practice and games, it is vital that you have the proper energy stored in your body. Peanut butter and nuts are great choices. Try not to use too much salt or sugar.

Anticipate where the ball will go. For instance, corner shots usually bounce off the rim, ending up on the opposite side. If that happens, you need to anticipate when it will land so you can catch it on the rebound.

Stand between the person with the ball and the one you are supposed to be guarding. This prevents them from becoming open for passes and makes sure that they do not get the ball, which they would be have the ability to shoot over you.

TIP! If you’re injured in a basketball game, don’t attempt to play while in pain. It’s a challenging sport that’s very physical, and you have the ability to get injured.

Passing is the most important part of the game: not shooting. Good passing throws the other team off. It will also improve your relationship with your teammates since you are sharing the glory with them. You will have a chance to showcase your abilities at some point. Since you know you’ll have your moment to shine, have patience and help some others shine as well.

Now that you’ve finished this article, you can get out there and practice. You need to be confident and you have to practice. Keep these tips in mind and show off your newly acquired skills.

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