Basketball isn’t very complex, but it is a lot of fun. Each player is crucial to the team and has special skills. If you want to take your game to the next level, the following tips should help.

Focus on your strengths to get better at basketball. You can contribute to the team by consolidating your best skills, even if these skills do not make you one of the star players. Know the things you’re great at and keep practicing until there is no one better than you.

TIP! You should learn the best way to throw a great bounce pass. The bounce pass needs to reach the player at waist level.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. Of course, you can show your body how to make free throws. However, if you’re not in the right state of mind, you won’t succeed. Relax, take your time and be focused.

Don’t pump a lot of iron if you wish to become a jump shooter. Muscle flexibility is more important than muscle mass. Certain pro guards ended up increasing their arm size so much that their shooting started to suffer.

Play solo basketball in the months leading up to the season, as well as during the season itself. Even if you can’t get a bunch of people together to play, you can still practice on your own. It’s okay! You are able to do a lot with solo games. Practice pivoting and free throw shooting. There’s always some work to do.

TIP! Making a free throw takes mental concentration as well as physical prowess. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game.

Basketball players need to build strong core muscles. Show them how to exercise their hips, lower back and abs. The core connects the lower and upper extremities, and if a person has a weak core, they will fail to excel in athletic pursuits. Building a solid core helps maintain the leg strength that lies at the core of a strong game.

Hand signals can help stop you from turning the ball over. Often in basketball, a player makes a pass at the exact same time the receiving player heads to another part of the court. Using signals helps communicate passes with your team. If the person doesn’t make a signal the person shouldn’t get passed to.

Footwork is what gets you ready for a shot. You need to have physical presence beneath the net, but you also have to choose the right spot to be in. Plant your feet and own that spot. Good footwork is key to a good basketball game.

TIP! One great way to pass good is to drill when you can without dribbling. It is tough to play when not dribbling, but your accuracy is sure to inprove.

Ask fellow team members what they like about your skills on the court. Are you great at any one thing? Perhaps you have good dribbling skills or maybe your footwork is enviable. Honest feedback can really help you to narrow in on areas where you might need a little extra help practicing.

One of the best ways to play a strong defensive game is to know your opponent. Make sure that you’ve watched tapes that show the other player. You can also check out scouting reports. See if you can determine each players strong and weak sides. Knowing an opponent’s dribbling, passing and shooting styles gives you a definite edge on defense. A smart defensive player is a strong one.

If your shooting is suffering, take a close look at your shoulders. If your shoulders aren’t properly positioned, your shot is not going to go in. Make sure your shoulders are always square towards the hoop. The dominant shoulder needs to be aligned correctly with the rim.

TIP! Find out what your teammates like most about how you play? You may have a certain skill that you have perfected. Maybe you are quick like lightening or maybe you are a strong defender.

Video tape your games, and then review your technique later. This way, you have the opportunity to go through your play at a later time and see your mistakes. Stay honest when you’re assessing yourself, but don’t over criticize yourself either. You can learn a lot by watching your plays instead of just trying to remember what you did.

Try practicing how to pass while looking in another direction. Doing this is a great way to confuse your opponents. When it’s done properly, it will cause the opponents to go to the wrong area so that you can pass to someone that has a good look at a basket before shooting. When completed correctly, it creates an awesome play.

Give your layouts the most by launching from the foot that opposes the hand you are shooting with. This means that if you shoot with your right hand, take off from your left foot. This will allow you to be more balanced while moving closer to the basket while keeping your body between the defender and you.

TIP! During your workouts, concentrate on improving your footwork as well as your core strength. With a stronger core, you’ll be able to balance better.

If you wish to succeed in a defensive role, you must be able to break your opponents’ concentration. Do not allow your opponent to become comfortable with their style, or yours. Make aggressive plays. Keep them from deciding what moves to make. If don’t play aggressively, you opponent will run you down. Force them to act and their rhythm will get disrupted.

If you don’t want someone to steal the ball, dribble hard. The ball bounces faster, giving the guard less time to steal. If your opponent is playing you up close, stop what you’re doing and quickly look to find and open teammate to pass the ball to.

Every basketball player want to master the right skills. Once you have read these tips, you will be able to improve your game immensely. Read it again if necessary; just be sure to use the tips provided here.