Basketball is a popular game that is easy to start playing. Every player has their own skills that contribute to wins for their team. If you want to take your game to the next level, the following tips should help.

Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. If you start staring at the ball while you dribble, you know you need to practice more. Take the basketball around off-court wherever you are. Dribble the ball when you’re walking to the shops. Don’t look while dribbling, because you won’t be able to see what’s going on.

TIP! You must become knowledgeable about hitting a free-throw shot. This looks easy, but it is actually very hard to do.

Crossing over is a vital skill to have for handling the basketball. Being able to dribble the ball with both hands and crossover between the two will make you a better player. It has to be done fast to be effective. When executed properly, a crossover dribble lets you alternate directions suddenly so that you can move down the entire court quickly.

If you want to improve your basketball game, you must identify and intensify your strengths. Your team will benefit more if you stop trying to be the star of the game and work your best. Understand where you excel, and work on those talents until they are perfected.

Make layups a part of your daily practice regimen. Four out of every five shots taken in a given game will be 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! Focus on your strong point to help you become a better ball player. The best talent you have isn’t going to have you starring in every highlight reel, but having a good skill set can benefit your team.

Learn the way to throw proper bounce passes. Executed properly, a bounce pass will connect with the receiving player at the waist. A useful tip is to have the ball bounce roughly 3/4 of the distance to the recipient. But, a series of other considerations can require you to make adjustments.

If you post up, you need to use good footwork to get open and make sure you get a good shot. Getting a great position under the goal is the most important. Plant your feet and own that spot. Practicing your footwork is important to master these skills.

If the opposing team is breathing down your neck, it’s a good idea to pass 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.

TIP! Get educated on the way to properly pass the ball on a bounce. Proper bounce passes ought to hit the recipient at the level of their waist.

To land your layups, jump off the foot opposite the hand you shoot with. When shooting right-handed, take off using the left foot. That way, the body stays balanced while it moves toward the hoop.

Use small weights and resistance training to build the muscles in both forearms and hands. Wrist curls work well at helping you handle the ball. Basketball requires its players to move quickly, shoot accurately and pass well. Things rarely happen unless you are actually moving the basketball.

Dribble hard to make it less likely for the ball to be stolen. This makes the ball come back to you faster so the people on defense aren’t able to steal it as easily. If the defense gets to be too much, look to pass the ball to someone who is open.

TIP! Free throws are as much mental as they are physical, like other parts of the game. Training your body is important, but you also have to be mentally ready for the shot.

Practice drills that force you to get the basketball to the other end of the court in less than 5 dribbles. This may seem like an impossible challenge, but it will increase your stride length and your speed. If you master this, you will be able to quickly take layups.

Developing your muscle strength and flexibility will make you a better basketball player. Being physically tough is as important as having the stamina to keep up with the game. Even kids can benefit by getting stronger through exercise. Use weights when they get older. Continue training throughout the adult years to maintain a constant performance.

When dribbling, bend your knees. The farther the ball has to bounce, the less control you will have of it. You will gain a lot of ball control by bending your knees just a bit.

Always know the angles the ball is likely to take if it misses a goal. Anticipate where the ball lands and grab the rebound.

Learn how make your opponent alter their path. With practice, you can learn how to control the path of others players with your footwork. This lets you figure out where you’re needing to go while not letting them set your path for you.

What your position is in relationship to the rebound can help you figure out if you will still have the ball. Jumping with both feet creates a more balanced, powerful motion. During the jump, use both hands to gain possession of the basketball. Once you have the basketball, land with wide feet that will help you keep your balance.

TIP! Prior to basketball season, and even during it, you can play solo games. It is possible to enjoy this team sport even in the absence of your team.

If you are aware that the person holding the ball has a weak hand, you should make them use it. If it is their left hand, come at them and stand on your left foot. Your head should be parallel to their chest and your body should be low since this is the best way to prepare to steal the ball.

You should try to remain calm while you are shooting. Keep your eyes and thoughts focused on the basket. Learn to always focus your gaze on the back edge of the rim as you shoot the ball. With a lay-up, focus your attention on the backboard and how the shot will bank off into the basket.

Every player is focused on building their skill set so they can keep improving their abilities. By now, you have a firm grasp of what it takes to improve your skills. 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.