TIP! Practice your defense more than your offense. Defense is how you win a basketball game.

Basketball has been universally loved by the young and old for many years. However, just because people love the sport doesn’t mean they play well. No matter your skill level, this article will provide you with some helpful tips.

TIP! When using the ball a lot, you must relearn a crossover. A crossover happens when you switch hands the ball is in.

When you dribble, look forward, keeping your head up. If you must look at the ball while dribbling, you haven’t practiced enough. Always have a basketball handy. If you walk to the store, dribble the ball. Always look ahead when you are dribbling the ball.

TIP! Practice catching passes often. When you practice, drill yourself to pay attention to errant throws and passes that are picture perfect.

If you want to excel, you have to play to your strengths. You can contribute to the team by consolidating your best skills, even if these skills do not make you one of the star players. Learn what your strengths are, then practice to perfection!

Free Throw

TIP! Always be aware of where you have your feet and what you are going to do with them next. You want to make sure you don’t step over the bounds by even a teeny bit.

Learn how to block out movement, noise and other distractions when taking a free throw. You are able to train your hands and legs to free throw well, but if you think you will fail, you will. Relax yourself and concentrate on your shot.

TIP! Passing between your legs can be helpful when the other team is riding you hard. To practice this skill, bounce the ball between your legs so that it passes through as you step back and forth.

A great way to hone your own basketball abilities is to watch the pros. Get tickets to some pro games, if possible, or catch some games on television. This is a great way to learn new techniques to try out on the court.

TIP! Use deception by looking elsewhere when you make passes. This trick can be used successfully to confuse defenders.

You can learn to trick the opposing team. Try using a back pass! Use your dominant hand to palm the basketball. Next, place the ball behind you. Then do a wrist flick in the same direction that you want the ball to end up. This should trick the opposing team.

TIP! To be a good dribbler, and a more versatile player, you have to develop not only your dominant hand but your weaker side as well. If you use both your hands to dribble, it is easier to control.

Have your team mates critique your playing skills. Do you do something particularly well? They may say that you are a great team defender or are always playing with excellent speed. Find out what others think your natural abilities are, and be certain to keep developing those skills.

TIP! Dribbling hard keeps the ball from being stolen from you. This makes the ball come back to you faster so the people on defense aren’t able to steal it as easily.

Keeping your fingers spread will facilitate better ball handling. This will keep the ball from getting away while you hold it. Do not allow your palm to come in contact with the ball either. Whether you are passing or shooting the ball, your fingers are the only part of your hand that should be touching the ball.

TIP! Make it your goal to dribble the ball across the entire court in under 5 dribbles. This will help you to gain speed, stride length and control of the ball.

Study you opponent well to give yourself an edge. Pay attention to how they play. See if you can determine each players strong and weak sides. When you know some of the other player’s moves, you’ll have a leg up during a game as you’ll be able to predict what he is going to do. A smart defender is someone who is good at his position.

TIP! Playing basketball well means developing good court “eyesight.” This is so that you’re able to catch passes, get shots in, and look at the scoreboard.

Speed is a key attribute in the game of basketball. You will have the advantage over your opponents if you can really play fast. To speed up the pace of your play, you need to keep practicing. Make sure you never play past the speed you are comfortable. Playing beyond your capabilities will lead to bad passes and lots of turnovers.

TIP! Varying your pace and direction keeps the offense off guard. Plant a foot and start to straighten your body.

To be a good dribbler, and a more versatile player, you have to develop not only your dominant hand but your weaker side as well. Utilizing both hands to dribble the basketball and switching effortlessly is key to advantage over an opponent. Bind your dominant hand so you will be forced to make use of your weaker side. Very soon, you will develop dribbling skills with the hand you considered weak.

TIP! To help ward off your opponent, practice using your other hand to help shield him away from you. Don’t push your opponent because that is a foul; however, you may use your free arm to create a barrier that keeps your opponent away from the ball.

You need to take charge when the opportunity presents itself. This play gets your team possession of the ball and a foul against your opponent. This may completely break the competition down.

Strength Training

TIP! You have to learn to get your opponent to alter their path. Whether you’re playing offense or defense, controlling what the other player does is essential.

It can be great help to do strength training when you’re training for basketball. When you play basketball you need a lot of stamina and strength to keep going through the entire game. Small kids who play stand to reap real benefits from strengthening their legs and arms. As players mature, weight training can begin. Adult players must use strength training to prevent loss of mobility, speed, and power.

TIP! If the person you’re guarding is bigger than you are, put your body between this person and the player with the ball. In this way, you will prevent the larger player from being able to receive a pass.

Undoubtedly, basketball has been a popular sport for all sorts of people for a very long time. The key to basketball, whether watching or playing, is knowledge. Remember these tips in order to improve your basketball game.