Basketball is a type of simple sport that many people play all over the world. Every player has skills they use to help the team win. If you need to improve some of your skills, keep reading for tips to help you do just that.

Dribble properly. You’ll want to use your fingertips to dribble instead of using your palm. Using your fingertips provides you with more control. Keep the ball by your side as you dribble instead of right in front your body. Always look up and never look down at the ground.

TIP! Learn to crossover if you get the ball often. Moving the ball from hand to hand is a crossover.

When you dribble, look forward, keeping your head up. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet. Wherever you go, take your ball with you. Dribble the ball while you’re walking around. Get used to looking up as you go so that you can focus your attention on the court and not on your hands and the ball.

Improving your balance means improving your shots. Your knees should be bent with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. They are not doing it right. By focusing on balance in your shot, you will develop the consistency needed to be a great scorer.

It is important that you practice layups. Up to eighty percent of the baskets attempted in a game are layups. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. Drill the jumping technique regularly so you can do layups very smoothly and always stay in control of where the ball is going.

TIP! Even professional basketball players spend a lot of time watching other people play basketball. You can do this by watching games in person and on television.

Successful free throws require you to be mentally and physically strong. You must train both your body and your mind. Take a deep breath, relax and imagine you are at practice to help yourself make the shot.

Make sure to practice catching passes. Don’t just work on waist-level, perfect passes, though, work on receiving tougher passes as well. In the heat of the game, not every pass is going to hit the bulls-eye. Learning how to catch these errant passes will put you at an advantage.

Look away when you practice passing. This will make your actions very confusing to the other team. When you do this right, looking this way will make the opponents go to the wrong place so that when you pass the other person has a better chance at making a shot. It’s a great play if done properly.

TIP! One good way to learn good passing is drill often without dribbling. It is quite challenging to play the game without dribbling, but it does make sure you and your teammates make accurate passes.

Build a consistent routine for your free throws. If you are inconsistent then your shot will be off. Practicing your free throw again and again is the only way to perfect it. If the routine is off in any way, then you’ll miss the shot.

Dribble harder if you want to avoid the ball being stolen. This is because the ball returns to you hand faster, so the opposing team has less of a chance to get it. If you have somebody guarding you very closely, pass the ball to an open teammate.

When you have the chance, take 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. This can be devastating to the other team.

TIP! Don’t bulk up if you want to be good as a jump shooter. Muscle flexibility is more important than muscle mass.

In order to confuse the offense, try changing your pace. While you run at the net, plant the front foot and start straightening your body. You will have the guard think that you’re slowing down. In turn, they will straighten themselves. Push forward and blast by them.

Keep the ball below knee level if possible. Defenders will have a more difficult time stealing the ball. You need to bend a bit more for this to succeed, but you will be able to traverse the court rapidly while keeping opponents at bay.

Diet is essential when it comes to playing ball. If you’re playing regularly, you need energy-loaded carbs as well as some fat and protein. For example, you might incorporate whole grain products, lean means, nuts, and peanut butter into your meals. Salts and sugars shouldn’t be used that often.

TIP! If your kid is going to try out for the basketball team, they should be properly training their core muscles. Hips, abdomen and back must be worked on.

When you are coming back down from a caught rebound widen your stance. This will help to increase your overall balance. Hold the ball tightly against your chest with one hand on each side. Take care with elbows, since it is a foul if you strike someone on the opposing team.

If you’re guarding a taller person, try to keep your body between that opponent and the person with the ball. This keeps them from grabbing a pass and shooting over you.

If you are in possession of the ball, learn when you should shoot and when you should pass. It is better to be part of a winning shot than to be the sole player in a shot that cost the game.

TIP! Avoid errant passes by using hand signals. Oftentimes frustration occurs when trying you aren’t on the same page with a teammate who cuts to the basketball when you try to pass him the ball.

You have to have a good pivot to play well. It is important to practice how you move your feet, so you can pivot by instinct, without stopping to think about where to put your feet. Establish a solid pivoting stance, then practice your reaction time for when you get your hands on the ball.

If the opposing team is playing zone defense, a penetrating dribble can beat them. If you get around a defender and make it to the shooting lane, the defenders will either break their defense or converge on the ball. If you feel good about it and are in position, take a shot. However, if your teammate is open to make an easy shot, pass it to him.

Every basketball player want to master the right skills. After reading the above article, you should have a good idea on what you need to improve on in order to better your game. Reread the article, if you feel it necessary, but the most important thing to do is to never cease practicing the techniques and tips within this article.

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