TIP! It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Defense is what keep the other team from scoring.

Basketball season is an exciting time of year for fans. If you play the game and want to get better, you need to put in the work and make a commitment. Every member of a basketball team has strengths and weaknesses, so take stock of your skill and determine what you need to practice. Follow these tips to learn how to play basketball effectively and become an important member of your team.

TIP! It is important that you perfect dribbling the ball. Avoid using your palm while dribbling.

A lot of novice players mostly focus on their offensive skills, but developing good defensive skills will help you become a better player. Basketball games are won more often by defense than offense. If your team doesn’t have a good defense, you’re not going to make it far in a game.

TIP! When dribbling the basketball you should keep your head up. By focusing your sight on the ball, you cannot be fully aware of your surroundings.

Learn to crossover if you get the ball often. Crossovers involve sending the basketball from one of your hands over to the other one. This should be something you do quickly. If done correctly, a good crossover helps you get past your opponent and to the rim.

TIP! Balance is essential to shooting. Many the professional player can be seen slipping out of bounds or making baskets from far away, but these are not proper techniques.

Balance is vital to good shooting. You’ve seen the pros fall out-of-bounds and shoot a basket up to 300 feet away, however, this isn’t proper technique. These are not practiced skills, they are just flukes. Having a good foundation under you while shooting will always yield better results over time as you keep on practicing and honing your skills.

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 games, watch them on TV and you can also watch videos.

A good tip is to practice your layups on a daily basis. During any game, layups make up about 75 percent of the game. Don’t just walk through a layup drill. It is key to go at game tempo to practice the timing needed to maintain accuracy. This method will teach you to improve your jumps and shots throughout the game.

TIP! Practice basketball in season and out of season. It is possible to enjoy this team sport even in the absence of your team.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. You can practice for hours on how to make the shot, but if you over think things or get distracted you will miss every time. Relax, take your time and be focused.

TIP! Build hand signals so passes are more successful. One of the most challenging aspects is trying to send the ball to your teammate as they are going for the basket.

If you’re going to be a jump shooter, don’t lift too many weights. It’s possible to have excessive muscles when you play the perimeter. Shooting guards that end up with bulked up arms sometimes find that it affects field goal percentages.

TIP! Speed is one of the best virtues when playing basketball. Try playing faster than the opponents for a better advantage.

Never try to push through pain after an injury. Basketball is hard to play well even when you are healthy, so don’t push it. If you continue playing, you could make the injury even worse. Be sure to seek medical care if you have a serious injury.

TIP! Practice your footwork and control the position of your feet at all times. If you have the ball and you step outside the baseline, then you’re out of bounds.

Asking for feedback from coaches and teammates about your playing is important in order to become a stronger player. Is there something that you excel at? Perhaps you have an excellent understanding of defensive strategies or you are the fastest player on your team. Discover what other people feel are your strongest skills and then set about perfecting them.

TIP! If you wish to get a free throw rebound from a teammate, you have to stay on your toes properly. Be aware that the defender who is below you will start moving in your direction.

If an opponent is staying with you, try passing the ball between your legs. Try practicing this by bouncing your ball hard in between your legs while stepping forward or backward. If you can master this move, it will give you quite the advantage when you are on the court.

TIP! It is important that you can clearly see everything that is occurring during a game. This is not just to make reading the scoreboard easier, but also to facilitate the making of shots and catching of passes.

If you want to make the most of your layup, push up from the foot that is opposite the hand you will shoot from. That means, if you shoot right-handed, use your left foot for taking off. This can help you to remain balanced, continue moving toward the hoop, and will keep your body between the defender and yourself.

TIP! Basketball players need to engage in strength training. Strength and stamina are both needed to excel at basketball.

A consistent pre-shot routine when at the line will increase your chance at success. A consistent routine enables the shooter to have a perfect motion every time. The most effective method to achieve a great free throw is by practicing it repeatedly until you get it right. If you alter your routine then chances are the shot will not be good.

TIP! When you are on defense, make sure to keep yourself low. This will let you get to the jump quicker and let you react to your opponent easier.

If you want to dribble the basketball better, you need to practice dribbling with your weaker hand. If you’re using both hands to dribble the ball well then you can get by an opponent easily. Tie your dominant hand behind your back and force yourself only to use your weak hand. Your weak hand won’t be that for long!

TIP! To turn a normal 2-3 zone into a trapping machine, have your top two defenders (your guards) wait until the point guard has come about ten feet past the time line (midcourt). Once he passes mid court the guards should rush up on him.

Practice drills where you strive to make it across the full court within 5 dribbles. This will help you to gain speed, stride length and control of the ball. This drill can help you to have success with lay-ups during a fast break.

TIP! Don’t cease dribbling until you get ready to shoot or pass. When you stop dribbling the ball, you only have a limited amount of plays you can perform.

Be sure your vision is unobstructed. This is not just to make reading the scoreboard easier, but also to facilitate the making of shots and catching of passes. Peripheral vision must be razor-honed. When you can see the big picture, you can react to anything.

TIP! Switch your body’s weight from side to side while practicing your dribbling. Real game dribbling has a lot of variety.

Never break your defensive stance as this will assure you are in your proper position for defense. Keep your feet moving to each side or push your opposing foot off so you can keep yourself in position. Stay low and make it hard for opponents to get around you.

TIP! You need to follow a rhythm when you dribble so you can break the rhythm and throw off an opponent. By mixing up your regular dribbling rhythm with a faster pace, you will throw your opponent off guard, perhaps leaving you with an open shot or pass.

Many methods are available for amping up your game. Improved players lead to improved teams and eventually happier fans. Everyone has to play a part in the team and people that cheer on the games also have a big part to play too. Players have to work hard to better their game. Remember these tips and use them to become the player everyone wants on their team.