TIP! It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. Victory requires the ability to play defense.

Basketball is a favorite of all ages. However, there are subtle nuances to the game that you may not be aware of. These tips can help anybody improve their basketball skills, no matter what their age.

TIP! If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. When you do a crossover, you move the basketball very fast from one hand over to the other hand.

Make sure that your regular practice includes catching of passes. You should practice catching errant passes, along with perfectly executed ones. During the course of a game, you can expect there to be many errant passes. Help your team by learning to catch those bad passes, as well as those perfect passes.

TIP! Your mind plays as big a part in making a free throw as your actual body does. Your body can be trained to make free throws, but your mind has to be focused on success if you want to make the basket.

A good tip about passing is try doing it without dribbling the ball. It is hard to play basketball without dribbling, and demands accurate passing and teamwork, so it will be a challenge. Don’t get frustrated if it’s hard at first because it will get better over time.

TIP! Frequent pass catching practice is important. When you practice, mix it up so that you can catch perfect passes and errant throws.

To keep passes under control, make use of hand signals. Players can get easily frustrated if they make a pass to players that aren’t available to catch the ball. Using signals helps communicate passes with your team. If you don’t see a signal, try to find someone else to pass to.

TIP! Make it your goal to never turn away from the ball on the court. It’s all about court awareness, and always facing the ball will make it so you are less surprised by passes.

You may get injured while practicing or playing. Don’t try to play if you are hurt. Basketball is very physical and there’s always a risk of injury. Playing through an injury can prolong it which is always bad. In case of serious injury, it is time to see a doctor.

TIP! Passing the ball through your legs is a useful maneuver if the opposing team is right on top of you. Refine this skill by bouncing a ball with force between the legs while stepping backwards or forwards.

Asking for feedback from coaches and teammates about your playing is important in order to become a stronger player. Do you do something particularly well? Perhaps you have good dribbling skills or maybe your footwork is enviable. Determine what others like about your game and fine tune those skills.

TIP! Can you see well? This isn’t just for reading the scoreboard. Develop your peripheral vision on the court.

When working out, focus on building your core strength and perfecting your footwork. With strong core muscles, you will have better balance. Your muscles in your buttocks, hips, abdomen, and back should be worked. Similar to boxers, jump rope to help increase speed and better your footwork.

TIP! When you are on the defense, the key is to stay as low as you can. This allows you to jump or react quicker.

If your shooting is in a slump, take a look at your shoulders. You won’t be able to make a shot if your shoulders aren’t in the right position. Be sure shoulders always remain squared towards your hoop. The shoulder that is dominant should be perfectly aligned with the hoop rim.

TIP! Keep your knees bent while dribbling. If you are standing up straight, you will have more difficulty controlling the ball.

Quickness is something you have to have when playing basketball. If you want the advantage, you need to be quicker than your opponents. You need to really drill to get to the point where you can play fast. Don’t play too fast and risk your chances. You will not be able to control your moves if you play faster than you are able to.

TIP! The only way to gain skill in outside shooting is to make over 100 practice shots every day from various spots on the court. To improve further, work on fast dribbling just before shooting.

Always be aware of your feet. If you have the ball and you step outside the baseline, then you’re out of bounds. Taking too many steps without dribbling means a walking call and another turnover situation. A foul will result if you try to take a charge or set a pick and your feet are moving.

TIP! While you dribble, alternate your momentum from your left to right side. Basketball games are fast and you will encounter different scenarios while dribbling.

You must disrupt your opponent’s game when you’re playing defense. Force them to leave their comfort zone. Make assertive moves, keeping your opponent unsure of your next move. You don’t want the defense choosing your plays so to speak. This will give your opponent the chance to run over you. Instead, make the first move and interrupt their rhythm.

TIP! Be sure that off-court exercises are proper for playing on-court. Work on sprints to make you faster and build your stamina.

To trap the opposing players in a 2-3 zone, have the defending guards hold back till the opposing point guard has moved beyond the midcourt line by about ten feet. They should then trap the point guard. At the same time, have your forwards on the blocks sprint out to the players on the wings. Your forwards should easily be able to steal the pass that the point guard throws.

TIP! Switching up your dribbling rhythm can really throw the defense off. Consistent dribbling followed by fast dribbling can confuse your opponent and put you in place for a shot.

When dribbling, bend your knees. Standing straight will make you see that it’s harder to handle and easier for the opposing players to take. Your ball control will improve dramatically by simply bending a little at the knees.

TIP! When rebounding, hit the floor with your legs wide apart. Hold the ball next to your chest with your hand on either side.

You should make sure when practicing dribbling that you shift from one hand to the other. Basketball games are fast and you will encounter different scenarios while dribbling. It is possible to be completely open, but it is also possible to be surrounded. You will have to know the right way to dribble when the body is doing different things. By nailing this skill, you have a better chance to avoid a turnover.

TIP! Control your nerves when you are shooting. You have to focus directly on the basket.

Keep the action beneath your knees, if you can. This will make it harder for opponents to get the ball away from you. You’ll have to bend over, but it will be worth the effort.

TIP! Focus on the ball and where it is going. A big part of a basketball game are rebounds.

Use the hand you are not dribbling with to keep your defender away from the ball. You can’t push with that arm, but it can serve as an obstacle that helps keep your opponent from reaching in. Keep it up and dribble with your other hand.

Always know the angles the ball is likely to take if it misses a goal. This knowledge will help you get more rebounds.

TIP! A penetrating dribble can help you beat a team that uses a zone defense. If you are able to get past your defender, the opposing team will have no option but to switch up their zones.

Create a strong team environment on and off the court. Basketball is something that can work in a team’s favor if they all work together well. If you feel like you know your teammates like the back of your hand, and you trust them too, then you’ll see your game lifted to new heights!

TIP! Practice your dribble by bouncing as hard as you can. This will make it harder for any defender to pull off a steal from you.

Having good positioning on the court when trying to grab a rebound will help you keep the ball. Jump using both of your feet to gain greater balance and control and grab the ball with two hands. After rebounding the ball, land with your feet wider than your shoulders for better balance and keep the ball close to your chest.

TIP! For basketball players with advanced skills, dribbling the ball becomes both a physical and mental task. You can control the ball spin and where it will land by where you feet and legs are planted.

Basketball is enjoyed by people from all different backgrounds. The more you know about this sport, the more you will get out of it. This article can help you build your skills.