Basketball is a uniquely American sport, but it is now one that is enjoyed by people around the world. It is played in virtually every country on Earth. One great thing about basketball is how easy it is to get started playing. Keep reading for some tips to improve your skills on the court.

When handling the ball, make sure you spread out your fingers. This makes it less likely that the ball will slip away from you. Also, keep your palm from making contact with the ball. Only your fingers should be involved in the process of getting the ball to where you want it to go.

Jump naturally when shooting the ball. Do not overjump or else you will throw the ball’s trajectory off course. Learn this technique by performing it in slow motion during your practice sessions. Jump vertically and do not release the ball until you are at the peak of your jump.

Always remember that to be a great basketball player, you’ve got to be a great athlete first. Put as much time into conditioning your body and increasing your endurance as you do shooting and passing. This will improve your play under even the most excruciating circumstances, making you an invaluable team member.

Do sprints in your practice drills. Basketball is a very active sport for the entire game. And there are times in it when you need to pull up your last bit of energy for an extremely fast sprint to the opposite side of the court. Your body needs to be used to sprinting, even when worn out. You only accomplish this through practice.

Shoot at least a hundred free throws every day. Not only does this make you a better free-throw shooter, but it builds all your shooting. You can step on a court any day of the week familiar with the sight and sound of you putting the ball in the goal. This gives you serious mental confidence, regardless of how or where you actually shoot.

When injuries occur on the court, it is unwise to keep on playing. Basketball is physically demanding and you can easily get hurt. Trying to continue playing even if you’ve got discomfort can make the injury worse. See a physician if you think your injury is serious.

Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. That makes sure that you don’t lose the ball when you hold it. However, remember to keep your palm away from the ball. The only things that should touch the ball are your fingers, as you shoot or pass.

To play solid defense, if you are guarding the person with the ball, keep your eyes on the basketball. If you look at his eyes instead, he will fake a pass one way, just by looking in that direction, and then dribble around you the other way. The ball can’t lie about where it’s going.

Learn how to do a crossover if you plan to be in possession of the ball a lot. Crossovers are when you move the ball from one hand to the other while dribbling. If done quickly, the opposition won’t be able to get the ball away from you as you can pass it to the side they are not on.

There may be sneaky or subversive moves that you can make in an attempt to win a game but they are not worth it. Your teammates and fans deserve a player to be proud of, not one whose actions they have to defend. Be a player that your team and the opposing team can both respect.

Try practicing dribbling between your legs. Dribble hard and then walk over the ball, continuing the dribble when it is behind you with your other arm. When you use this trick on the court, you will find that your competitors don’t know what to do to get the ball from you.

Speed and agility is important, but you need to know how to practice to improve those skills. Running yourself ragged by training for long lengths of time or by running long distances won’t benefit your play on the court. Instead, practice sprints and other short bursts of exercise. This better mimics how on the court play really is.

Master the stop and shoot. Basketball is so much about movement that sometimes the most effective manner to get clear of an opponent is to surprise them with no movement at all. Master dribbling up court fast and when you hit a mark you’re comfortable with, stop short, pull up and shoot. Your opponent will find it tough to stop their forward movement, so you’ll have a clear look at the basket.

Remember that being good at basketball starts with being athletic. That means working on all of your skills, not just those which involve a ball. Run to build stamina and your cardiovascular health, and lift weights to build your strength. The harder you work on your overall condition, the better you will play.

Bounce passes cause the defender to bend over to try to get the ball from you, often leaving them off balance. This is a great way to pass the ball to a teammate, allowing you to spin around your defender while they have no balance, leaving you open to take a shot.

The only thing you should ever pay attention to the outside of the rectangle of the court is your coach yelling. Don’t mind what the fans are cheering or booing, or even how many people are in attendance. Certainly, never listen to your parents. Your coach let you on the team and decides your playing time, not mom and dad.

All you need to get started playing basketball is a ball and a court. Once you get started in this sport, you may find you have developed a lifelong love of the game. With the advice that you have read in this article, you can show off your skills any time you want.

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