If you have wished you were a basketball star, you know you’ve got to commit and practice enough. Regardless of whether you are playing for fun or competition, it is always nice to be good at what you do. By following the tips here, you can improve your game.

Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. If you must look at the ball while dribbling, you haven’t practiced enough. Bring your ball along when you go out. Dribble the ball when you’re walking to the shops. Always look ahead when you are dribbling the ball.

TIP! Put the emphasis on your strengths can help you to be a better basketball player. If you can rely on your strengths, you will become a better player.

Lay off the weights if you are trying to become a jump shooter. While muscle mass is good for any basketball position, perimeter play requires less than other positions. If your arms are too big, your field goal percentage will go down.

Play basketball against yourself even during the off-season. You may not always be able to find someone to play with you. There is nothing wrong with that. You are able to do a lot with solo games. Practice pivoting or you can practice doing free throws. You can always hone your skills when practicing alone.

Hand signals can help stop you from turning the ball over. One of the most challenging aspects is trying to send the ball to your teammate as they are going for the basket. The use of hand signals can help you avoid this difficulty. If the signal is absent, do not pass to that player.

TIP! Make layups a part of your daily practice regimen. Up to eighty percent of the baskets attempted in a game are layups.

In order to get a good shot, you must use good footwork. Being physical under the rim is crucial, but having good positioning on the court is even better. After positioning yourself on the court, make sure that you are secure. Expert footwork is the key to these skills.

Ask your teammates what they like about the way you play. Are you great at any one thing? Perhaps you have an excellent understanding of defensive strategies or you are the fastest player on your team. Find out what others think your natural abilities are, and be certain to keep developing those skills.

You need to mess with your opponent’s head. Take them out of their own comfort zone. Execute aggressive moves. Do not allow them to pick and choose their plays. Your opponent will take any opportunity to give you the run around. To avoid this, stay aggressive and try to interrupt their thought patterns and rhythm.

TIP! You should learn the best way to throw a great bounce pass. It is best when the ball hits the receiving player near the waist.

When you are defending, keep your stance low. This stance will keep you ready for whatever comes your way. Hold a defensive stance always. When you must break from your stance in order to block shots, make sure to return to form right away.

To turn a normal 2-3 zone into a trapping machine, have your top two defenders (your guards) wait until the point guard has come about ten feet past the time line (midcourt). Then your defending guards should encircle the point guard to trap him in place. While that is happening, your forwards should race out to the opposing wing players. The point guard will make a pass that forwards can steal.

Stop Dribbling

TIP! Don’t just practice your game against the zone defense. A lot of the game is sure to be played in the zone, but your opponent could change to man-to-man coverage.

Only stop dribbling when you are prepared to shoot or pass. When you stop dribbling the ball, you only have a limited amount of plays you can perform. Your only option, besides shooting or passing, is to use your back foot to pivot. Putting yourself in this position makes you more vulnerable to having the ball stolen by the opposing team.

Keep the ball below knee level if possible. This is going to make things harder for your opponents if they want to steal the ball. You need to bend your body somewhat to accomplish this. It will, however, increase your overall effectiveness, as you are making the ball much harder to steal.

Use your non-dribbling hand as a barrier between your opponent and the ball. Don’t push your opponent because that is a foul; however, you can use your arm as separator between your opponent and the ball. When dribbling, use it as a shield.

TIP! Playing basketball does not require excessive muscle development. Muscle strength is beneficial for playing any basketball position, but there is such a thing as too much.

Keep your dribbling consistent until the time you want to confuse your opponent. A consistent pace for your dribble will lull your opponent, and help you move more quickly than they do when the time comes. It’s not just about going fast, it’s about changing the sound so the person gets a little confused.

If you are aware that the player with the ball has a weak hand, force the use of that hand. For instance, you could step toward a player on their right side to force them to switch to their left hand. Keep your knees bent and body low in order to increase your chance to steal the ball.

It is important to know when to make the shot and when to pass the ball to another player. 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! Never try to push through pain after an injury. This is a physically challenging game, so you may end up hurt much worse.

Focus on the ball whenever it leaves any players hands. One of the biggest key plays in the game is the rebound. After all, you need to be able to get possession of the ball to shoot it for a score.

You’ve got to start taking action and using the techniques and tips in this article. Over time you will see progress if you stick to a plan, practice regularly and never give up. The three step plan can help you succeed.