Basketball is an extremely popular sport in many countries. No matter if you watch championships, play on your own team, or just play in your yard, it’s a sport that’s here to stay. Those who play the game are always interested in improving. These tips will help you improve your game immensely.

Dribble properly. You’ll want to use your fingertips to dribble instead of using your palm. This method gives you much more control of the ball. Always dribble to your side, not your front. Instead of focusing on the ground, gaze upward.

TIP! Look forward when dribbling. If you must look at the ball while dribbling, you haven’t practiced enough.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. You can teach your body to make a free throw properly, but unless you are properly prepared mentally, you may not succeed. Relax and focus on the net, and you’ll be able to make more.

Zone Defense

Do not practice solely against zone defense. While you might see a zone defense mostly, a team can switch defenses to man-to-man quickly in order to confuse you. If you have not practiced enough on this scenario, you could run afoul of the scoreboard very fast.

TIP! A great way to bolster your basketball ability is to observe those who are considered to be the best in the sport. Go to professional games in person and/or watch them online or on TV.

Should you receive an injury during the course of the game, never try to continue playing despite the pain. Basketball is very challenging physically, and this can cause further serious injury. If you keep on playing after sustaining an injury, you may make the injury even more serious. Be sure to talk to a doctor if you feel that the injury isn’t going away.

Quickness is a virtue in basketball. If you want the advantage, you’ve got more quickly. To increase your quickness, you must practice playing fast while running drills. However, don’t try to be faster than you’re physically able to be. By playing beyond your speed capabilities, you will quickly lose control of the ball, which will lead to bad passes, bad shots, and turnovers.

Making a pass from between your legs is sometimes a good option when the opposing team is right on top of you. Refine this skill by bouncing a ball with force between the legs while stepping backwards or forwards. If you manage to master this, you will have a tremendous advantage during games.

TIP! Would you like to pull one over on the other team? Try a pass back! To accomplish this pass, grasp the ball using your dominant hand. Next get the ball pulled up behind the back.

Once you are in your defensive stance, remember to hold your ground. Slide your feet to and fro or use your opposing foot to push off to maintain your position. Don’t cross your feet and no one will get around you.

Altering your own pace is a good way to disrupt the opposition. Sprint towards the hoop then quickly plant your foot, then straighten up. Your defender will likely think you are taking a shot or passing, and straighten up as well. When they do, push ahead hard and outrun them.

You can improve a weak hand by using it in daily life. You’ll find it becomes more controllable. Your basketball skills will benefit.

TIP! Before, during and after the season, play out games by yourself. While it’s a team sport, you may not be able to find others that will play.

You have to practice hard every day if you desire to step up your outside shooting game. An even better way to improve your accuracy is to practice shooting after pulling up from a dribble. When you are off the ground, keep your eye on the basket, but not earlier. This improves your accuracy.

Use the non-dribbling hand to create a buffer between the ball and your opposition. Be careful not to push your opponent or you may get a foul. Keep it up and dribble with your other hand.

Practice all types of shots while in different distances and angles. Begin with practicing your grip and balance. Sometimes you are forced into off-balanced shots, but that only makes you less accurate. Pay attention to the air valve on the ball. Using your dominant hand, spread your fingers out and place your hand on top of the valve while making sure it’s centered.

TIP! Hand signals will help you avoid those errant passes. One things that’s frustrating in basketball is passing to a teammate while they try heading to the basket.

If basketball is something you wish to pursue seriously, your diet should reflect that. If you play all the time, you need to eat carbs on a regular basis. Don’t neglect protein and fat, though. You should try to include more wheat bread, chicken, nuts and peanut butter into your diet. Stay away from salt and sugar as much as possible.

After a rebound has occurred, the spot where you are positioned will dictate whether possession is retained. If you need to get up with power, use the strength of both legs when you jump and both arms to grab the ball. Once you get the rebound, come down with both feet wider apart than your shoulders in order to secure good balance, and make sure the ball is held close to the chest.

Take advantage of a player that shows weakness with a particular hand by forcing them to that side. For example, if they’re left handed, step toward them using the right foot and they’ll need to switch sides. Always keep a low center of gravity so you are prepared to steal the ball at the right moment.

TIP! Build your core strength and focus on your legwork when you train for basketball. Your balance will improve if you strengthen your core.

Build your passing game. Passing causes confusion among your opponents. Your teammates will be happy when you prove you’re about the team. You can show your skills when the time is right. You will be able to show off your individual talents but you must also learn to be a team player.

As you can see, your game can be improved in many ways. Many techniques can be mastered easily through repetition. Practice is essential to mastering any of these, so be sure that you’ve got access to a hoop and try to play basketball when you can. You can build better basketball skills no matter who you practice with.