TIP! Focusing on the offense may come easily but you need to be able to focus on the defense as well., Defense is essential to winning these games.

For years, basketball has been a popular sport all across the world. If improving as a basketball player is important to you, practice and dedication are essential. Go over this article to improve your knowledge to help further your understanding of the game.

TIP! Dribbling the ball the right way needs to be done. Avoid using your palm while dribbling.

Make sure you are looking forward and looking up as you’re dribbling. If you are looking at the ball for any reason while dribbling, you have not put in enough practice. The ball can go with you when you go anywhere. Dribble while walking to the store. If you look at the ball, you’re unable to see what’s going on down the court before you.

TIP! You should practice your crossovers a lot. This is when the ball is moved from hand to hand.

Watching the pros can help you pick up on certain skills for improving your game. You can do this by watching games in person and on television. Watch great players to learn the specific skills that make them exceptional.

TIP! Your balance is an important aspect to consider when you are shooting. Sometimes you’ll see professional players fall out of bounds while making a shot from afar, but this doesn’t work at all times.

Remember to practice a lot of different possibilities so that you will not limit your game. The majority of game play might take place in the zone, but that doesn’t mean that the opposing team will not try to catch you off guard. If you have not practiced against this, you may lose your grip of the game for the remainder of it.

TIP! Make layups a part of your daily practice regimen. Layups comprise approximately 80 percent of all shots.

Make use of hand signals so that wild passes can be avoided. It can be frustrating passing to a teammate when you’re both heading to the basket. Hand signals can tell you if your teammate is ready. If the signal is absent, do not pass to that player.

TIP! Free throws are as mental as physical. You can teach your body to make a free throw properly, but unless you are properly prepared mentally, you may not succeed.

Footwork is what gets you ready for a shot. Focus on positioning yourself more quickly than the opposing player is just as important as having someone beneath the hoop. You need to be sure your spot is secure. The key to mastering these skills is good footwork.

TIP! Practice your passes and catches frequently. When practicing make sure you drill yourself to catch errant throws as well as picture perfect passes.

Understanding the opponent is a good way to win with defense. Make sure that you’ve watched tapes that show the other player. You can also check out scouting reports. For example, you might look to see which players favor their left side and which have dominant right hands. When you know more about the opposing team, you will play a better defense. A defender with an education will be good at what they do.

TIP! You can learn how to pass well by drilling on it separately from dribbling. It is a challenge not to dribble while playing, but it will ensure the accuracy of your team’s passes.

If you’ve developed somewhat of a shooting slump, focus on your shoulders. When they are out of alignment, all shots will fail. Your shoulders should always be squared towards the hoop. Line up your shooting shoulder with the rim as well.

TIP! Don’t pump too much iron if you plan on being a jump shooter. Although it’s true that strong muscles are beneficial, additional bulk can impede your ability to play effectively along the perimeter.

If you’re quick on the basketball court, you have a built in advantage. Gaining agility and speed will give you the upper hand when playing a game of basketball. Regular drilling will increase your speed. Don’t try playing fast until you can. Playing beyond your speed can result in bad passes and excessive turnovers.

TIP! In order to get a good shot, you must use good footwork. There are two important points you must remember.

A good player on defense will annoy the heck out of the opponent and cause the other team to get flustered. Get them outside their comfort zone. Make assertive moves, keeping your opponent unsure of your next move. Do not let them choose the plays to make. If you allow this, they will run over you. Rather, move first; attack their rhythm.

TIP! You never want to have your back to the ball if you can help it. It’s all about court awareness, and always facing the ball will make it so you are less surprised by passes.

A good way to stay defensive is to have a defensive stance. Slide your feet from side to side or push off with your opposing foot so that you are always in position. Don’t let your feet get crossed and it will be hard to get around you.

TIP! A good player on defense will annoy the heck out of the opponent and cause the other team to get flustered. Don’t let them get comfortable.

When you use these tips, you will have more fun when playing basketball. Learn as much as you can from videos and articles to enhance your skills. The more you learn, the better your game will be.