Basketball is an extremely popular sport in many countries. No matter if you prefer to watch games on television, play in a pick-up game on weekends or shoot baskets in the driveway, you likely know that basketball isn’t going anywhere. If you enjoy playing, imagine how much more fun it would be if you were a better player. Check out the advice below to discover ways to help shift your game to that next gear.

Learn to correctly dribble the ball. Don’t use your palm to dribble, but use your fingertips instead. This way you’ll have a lot more control over the ball. Also, dribble off to the side instead of in front. The ball should bounce no higher than your waist. Don’t look at the ground, always keep your eyes focused forward.

TIP! It is easy to be focused on offense when you are learning how to play basketball, but you really should focus your practice on defense. Basketball games are often won by the defense.

Don’t limit your practice to just playing 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. If you haven’t prepared yourself for that, you might lose your game very quickly.

If you are good at shooting the ball then the last thing you want to do is lift weights. Being weighed down by too much bulky muscle can have a negative impact on your jump shot. Many guards in the pros have developed their arm muscles too big, which has really harmed their shooting percentage.

One of the keys to becoming a great basketball player is developing core muscles. They should train their lower back, hips, and abs. Without a strong core, a player’s performance may not be as good as it could be. Having a strong base allows the player a solid position from which to jump and accelerate during the game to help speed up their movements.

TIP! Free throw practice is vitally important. This is something that seems simple, but in reality it can be hard.

To hold the ball right, spread your fingers out. That makes sure that you don’t lose the ball when you hold it. Do not allow your palm to come in contact with the ball either. When passing and shooting the ball toward its target, the sole contact point should be fingers.

When exercise, concentrate on perfecting footwork and strengthening your core muscles. Your balance will improve if you strengthen your core. You should get a good workout in your hips, buttocks, back and abs. Jump rope like the boxers do to increase your footwork speed.

Quickness is a blessing in basketball. Always stay ahead of the opposition. You will have to do a lot of drilling to play faster. Though, you should never attempt to a play faster game than your abilities permit. Playing beyond your capabilities will lead to bad passes and lots of turnovers.

TIP! Make sure you dribble properly by keeping your head held up, facing forward. If you have to keep your eye on the ball when you’re dribbling, practice can remedy that.

Having a pre-free-throw shot routine will help you become dependable at free throws. This could mean dribbling twice, shaking out your head to loosen your neck or whatever else makes you comfortable. Just keep things brief, but make sure you always do the same moves.

If an opponent is staying with you, try passing the ball between your legs. To practice this skill, bounce the ball between your legs so that it passes through as you step back and forth. Mastering this skill will provide you with a major advantage on the court.

Accept a charge when you can. This allows you to get the ball back for your team, setting up a foul. This is a great way to take control of the court and intimidate the other team.

TIP! Perfect your layup technique. 80% of all shots in a game are usually layups.

There are many things you can do to improve your moves. A lot of them are easy as learning the techniques and practicing them. Practice is important to anything worth doing – just do it! No matter if you are practicing with teammates or shooting in your own driveway, the work you do is sure to pay dividends.