The key to mastering the game of basketball is practice. Now that you know that, you have to actually know how to practice in the correct way for it to be effective. You will also find out which skills are most important.

Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. If you need to look at the ball while dribbling, you’ll need to practice more. Take your basketball everywhere. If you are heading down to the market, dribble as you go. If you look at the ball, you’re unable to see what’s going on down the court before you.

Free Throws

Free throws require both mental and physical abilities. 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. Relax your mind and keep your concentration centered on the basket to make more of these freebies.

Make sure to practice catching passes. You want to practice catching perfect passes and bad passes. Understand that during a game, you will receive very scattered passes. Some will be good; some won’t. Being able to get imperfect passes will limit turnovers.

TIP! Make sure you dribble properly by keeping your head held up, facing forward. If you have to keep your eye on the ball when you’re dribbling, practice can remedy that.

Spreading out your fingers is key to handling the ball correctly. That will ensure that it doesn’t get away from you as you hold it. Don’t let your palms touch it. Only use your fingers to dribble, pass or shoot.

If you’re shooting isn’t what you’d like it to be, make sure that your shoulders are in the correct position. If your shoulders aren’t correct, you may not be able to make the shots. Your shoulders should always be square towards the basket. The shoulder that’s dominant needs to be lined up with the rim perfectly.

Have your games taped so you can play them back later and observe your court presence. Do you see how you could’ve handled a situation differently? Be honest when assessing, but avoid being overly critical. At times, it can help to see the truth of who you are, not as you imagine yourself.

TIP! If you have the ball a lot, learn to execute a crossover. A crossover means moving the ball between your hands.

Dribble with force to prevent the ball from being stolen. The ball will get back to the hand faster, giving the other team less of an opportunity to grab it away. If you are being guarded closely, bring your dribbling to an end and pass the ball to another open team member.

Try some drills that require you to move the basketball from one end of the court to the other in no more than five dribbles. This may not seem feasible, but once you master it, your speed and stride will be truly impressive. You will find that it becomes easier to score and make layups.

Never break your defensive stance when playing ball. Shuffle your feet in a side to side motion, then use your opposite foot to push off and give you good leverage. Keep your body constantly facing toward your opponent in order to ensure the best possible defense.

TIP! Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. Almost 80% of shots will be layups.

In order to confuse the offense, try changing your pace. Sprint towards the hoop then quickly plant your foot, then straighten up. Your guard will do the same, thinking you plan to stop. When that happens, rush forward and power past them.

In order to improve your game, make sure you do plenty of strength training. It is impossible to succeed if you lack endurance and strength. Small kids who play stand to reap real benefits from strengthening their legs and arms. As they age, begin adding weights to their exercise routine. When they become an adult, weight training becomes mandatory.

Be sure to be well acquainted with your team mates so that you can all work well in cooperation. It takes the efforts of an entire team to succeed. This means that defense and offense are not one-on-one. Everyone must contribute as a team. Communicate with your team and you will have more success.

TIP! Free throws are as mental as physical. Training your body is important, but you also have to be mentally ready for the shot.

Practice rhythmic dribbling up until the point you wish to shake an opposing player. Your opponent is looking for the best opportunity to steal the ball, and switching it up can break their concentration. It’s not just about going fast, it’s about changing the sound so the person gets a little confused.

It is necessary to be capable of altering the path of your opponent. With practice, you can learn how to control the path of others players with your footwork. By doing this you will be able to go wherever you want on the court without their interference.

If you guard someone that bigger than you are, try staying between the person with the ball and them. This way, they won’t be open, so the ball cannot be passed to them. If they were to get he ball, they’d be able to make a shot over you.

TIP! Hand signals can help stop you from turning the ball over. It can be frustrating making a pass when a player moves away towards the basket.

Always focus on where the ball is going after it leaves your teammates hands or the opposing players hands. Rebounds are an essential component of basketball. No matter how hard you work to perfect your defensive technique, if you can’t retrieve the ball then you can’t score.

The tips from this article will help you play better basketball, no matter your skill level. Use one tip and you’ll see your game get better. You can improve your game in every way, just like professional.