Basketball is not just a game you play in gym class or intramural competition. It can be played anywhere there is open space. If you are an aspiring basketball players, it would be a good idea to read this article to learn some new skills.

If you handle the ball often, you need to learn how to do a crossover. This is when you switch hands while dribbling. The action must be very swift if it is to be successful. One done the right way, the crossover dribble can help you change directions and get down the court more efficiently.

TIP! It’s natural to focus on offensive abilities when practicing the sport of basketball, but your practice time needs to focus on defense. Basketball games are often won by great defensive play.

If you want to excel, you have to play to your strengths. If you can rely on your strengths, you will become a better player. Realize your limitations, and roll with your talents.

Bounce Passes

Bounce passes are important in the game of basketball. Bounce passes need to be at waist level when received. If it helps to measure it out, consider aiming for a mark on the floor about three-fourths of the way between you and your teammate. There are, however, other factors that influence the pass.

TIP! When dribbling, make sure that you look forward and keep your head up. If you are looking at the ball for any reason while dribbling, you have not put in enough practice.

A good way to get your basketball game up to speed is to start trying to see how the pros are playing. Watch as many games on TV as you can. You’ll see that every great player has specific skills that cause them to be great and you have the opportunity to practice what you’re watching them do.

Good footwork is essential to escaping coverage and putting yourself in position to take a shot when you are posting up. While actually being beneath the basket is key, establishing a good position prior to the opposition is even more so. Once you have a location, it is important that your feet are firmly planted there. Good footwork is key to a good basketball game.

Shooting Slump

TIP! Make sure that you practice your layups frequently. 80% of all shots in a game are usually layups.

Concentrate on your shoulders if you have gotten into a shooting slump. When you’re in a shooting slump it usually means that your shoulders are not square to the hoop. Keep your shoulders squared with the basket at all times. The dominant shoulder must be perfectly aligned with the rim.

Quickness is a blessing in basketball. Make an effort to do all things on the court more speedily than the opposing team. Regular drilling will increase your speed. Make sure you never play past the speed you are comfortable. You will not be able to control your moves if you play faster than you are able to.

When you have a chance, take a charge. Letting the other guy run into you stops the game without having to use a time out, and adds another four to the opponent’s total. It can be a momentum changer by making the other team think twice about dribbling the ball into the lane.

TIP! Watch the pro’s play if you want to improve your game. Watch professionals play or go check out talented local teams to see who has the moves that you want to learn.

Keep dribbling until you want to shoot or pass. Once you stop dribbling, you are extremely limited in your options. If you decide not to shoot a basket or pass the ball on, you are only allowed to pivot on the heal that is furthest back. When you do this, your opponents can double team you and steal the ball.

Make sure you practice shooting all over the court. The first thing you should do is practice your grip and balance. You’re much more accurate if you are balanced well. Use your basketball’s valve for perfecting your grip. Cover the basketball valve with your palm and spread your fingers. This will center your hand on the ball.

If you’re serious about your game, you should take your diet seriously. When you play on a regular basis, you have to load up on carbs to get energy, and you also need proteins and fat. One way to keep your body in basketball shape is to incorporated grains and proteins into your diet. Sugar can give you an energy spike but it fades rather quickly, so try to stay away from sugary foods.

TIP! One great way to pass good is to drill when you can without dribbling. This is very hard to accomplish, but it forces you and your fellow players to work on accurate passing skills.

Double dribbling is a huge no-no. This occurs when you halt the dribble once, only to begin dribbling immediately thereafter. Once dribbling is done, you must either shoot or pass the ball. You are not allowed to recommence dribbling. This will make a turnover occur which means the opponent will get the ball.

Control your nerves when you are shooting. This will help improve your focus during the shot. Your eyes should fix a point behind the rim while you shoot. If you want to make a layup, look where you need to bounce the ball.

When guarding a person that is stronger or taller, be sure you stay in between that person and the player with the ball. This will stop them from being open for a pass, ensuring that they don’t get the ball as they would likely be able to shoot it right over you.

TIP! If you are good at shooting the ball then the last thing you want to do is lift weights. Muscle strength is beneficial for playing any basketball position, but there is such a thing as too much.

Pivoting is key to being a great basketball player. Practice your footwork so that you can pivot without thinking about it, and avoid getting tangled in your feet or disoriented. Practice pivoting stance and work to react quickly when you obtain the ball.

Write down a plan of what you should work on at the gym each time you go. There are a lot of people that don’t have a plan when they head to the gym. They socialize and move around without any type of direction. If your workout is in written form, it is easier to concentrate on what you need to get accomplished.

Whether you enjoy the occasional casual game or compete in local tournaments, improving your skills on the court can help you get more out of the game. Use the information you have learned here. Your playing style will improve with the more knowledge that you learn.