TIP! When learning the game of basketball, it’s easy to get caught up in offensive play. But you should also give plenty of attention to defense.

You probably felt like you entered an alternate universe the first time you played basketball. Dribbling and passing and shooting were the skills you were trying to master. Today, you may feel like you know it all and are a master of the game. The tips you’ll find below will show you there is still a lot to learn.

TIP! Correct dribbling is key. Use fingertips to dribble.

Knowing how to perform a crossover is a must when you handle the basketball frequently. In a crossover, you transfer the basketball from hand to hand. If order for the maneuver to be a success, it has to be performed with speed. Once you have learned how to do a crossover, you can travel down the court quickly.

TIP! If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. In a crossover, you transfer the basketball from hand to hand.

Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. Eighty percent of the shots taken in a game are layups. Run as fast as possible, while jumping and performing a smooth shot. Practicing this technique helps you learn to make layups during a game.

TIP! Observing what the professionals do can be a great way to improve your game. Go to actual games or watch on TV.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss. Relax, take your time and be focused.

TIP! Don’t pump a lot of iron if you wish to become a jump shooter. You do need muscle conditioning and strength, but you can have too much when it comes to shooting field goals.

Watch how the pros play basketball. Watch some games on TV, view videos of professional games, and go to some games. Every player has a skill that allows him to succeed. Practice their moves to become better.

TIP! If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. It’s easy to be hurt when playing basketball.

Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. This way, you won’t lose the ball when holding it. Don’t allow yourself to have your palm touching the ball either. Don’t let anything but your fingers touch the ball during passing or shooting.

TIP! One of the best ways to play a strong defensive game is to know your opponent. Watch tapes of their games and see how others move on the court.

If you’re shooting isn’t what you’d like it to be, make sure that your shoulders are in the correct position. If you have bad shoulder position it doesn’t matter how great you are the shot isn’t going to go in. Keep your shoulders square in line with the basket. Line up your shooting shoulder with the rim as well.

TIP! When you’re trying to work out, you should build up your core strength while getting your footwork perfected. Your balance will improve if you strengthen your core.

Speed is a key attribute in the game of basketball. Speed always gives you an edge over your opponent. Steady drilling will help speed up your play. Make sure you never play past the speed you are comfortable. If you play too quickly, you lose control over the ball and the match.

TIP! If your shooting is in a slump, take a look at your shoulders. If you have bad shoulder position it doesn’t matter how great you are the shot isn’t going to go in.

If you wish to do free throw shots reliably, always do the exact same thing before making each shot. This could mean dribbling twice, shaking out your head to loosen your neck or whatever else makes you comfortable. Don’t dilly dally, but do complete your ritual.

TIP! If you wish to succeed in a defensive role, you must be able to break your opponents’ concentration. Force opposing players into an unfamiliar or unexpected position.

Improve both forearms and hands to improve ball control. Wrist curls are great for bettering your ball handling in basketball to the point where you could practically do it sleepwalking. Good playing is not only instinctive, it takes hard work and discipline. Good dribbling skills will help you always stay in movement.

TIP! A key play on defense is to draw a charge. A charge can help you take the ball and perhaps set up a foul against the other team.

Prevent the opposing team from stealing the ball by dribbling hard. This speeds up the dribbling cycle, which means the person covering you has less of a chance to steal the ball each cycle. If someone is close to you and is really good at guarding you, pass to another person that’s open.

TIP! If you want to stay in a good defensive position, simply avoid breaking out of your defensive stance. You can shuffle your feet to either side, or push with your opposing foot, so you will be ready and in position.

AS you dribble the basketball down the court, keep your knees bent. The ball is harder to control dribbling when you stand up straight. It also leaves you open to a steal from the opposing team. Just a little bending at the knees can make a huge difference in your overall ball control.

TIP! One way to increase your three-point skill is to practice at the NBA range. All the other lines are closer.

Keep on dribbling until your shot or passing opportunity is imminent. After dribbling is stopped, your choices are very limited. If you opt to not pass or shoot, you’re left with pivoting on your back foot. The chances of the ball being stolen is high, and you might be double teamed as well.

TIP! Understanding your teammates is a vital part of basketball. You are sure to understand that it takes teamwork to play basketball.

Switching up your dribbling rhythm can really throw the defense off. Changing your pace quickly can take the other player by surprise and give you an advantage. Both the speed and the sound will contribute to confusing the player that is guarding you.

TIP! You should spend some time shooting from various places on the court. The first thing to do is to practice on your balance and your grip.

A missed shot from the corner often results in the ball landing on the opposite side of the net. Positioning yourself on the opposite side of the basket will increase your chances of getting the rebound.

TIP! A missed corner shot will usually end up on the opposite side of the basketball court. If that happens, you need to anticipate when it will land so you can catch it on the rebound.

Make passing an important element of your game. Passing moves the ball quicker and confuses the opposing team. It also shows you value teamwork and this will be appreciated by your teammates. You will have a chance to showcase your abilities at some point. Since you know you’ll have your moment to shine, have patience and help some others shine as well.

TIP! Make a strong team both off and on the basketball court. A good basketball team usually comes from having a team that is gelling and in sync with one another.

With all the advice you have now, there is no limit to where you can go. Set reasonable goals and practice regularly to become the best player possible. Using these tips will allow you to become an amazing player.

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