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.

Whether you’d rather cheer from bleachers or shoot the ball like a professional, you have to really understand the game if you want to truly enjoy it. Not sure of the score? Don’t give up! Basketball is a great game, and it is not hard to learn the rules. Read on for some basketball tips that will have you calling all the shots and making the slam-dunks for your team.

TIP! Free throws are an excellent skill to practice in your spare time. That’s a shot that appears simple but is actually difficult in reality.

Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. This is when you switch hands while dribbling. You must do it fast for best success. Once you have learned how to do a crossover, you can travel down the court quickly.

TIP! To get better in your basketball game, focus on your strengths. You may not be the star player, but by contributing the best way you can you will win more games.

Shooting has much to do with proper balance. While the all-time greats have shown time and time again how they can shoot while off-kilter, this is not the ideal way to score. They’re just improvising at this point. Point your feet towards the basket, guide the ball with your weaker hand and push the ball away with your strong hand whenever you shoot the basketball.

TIP! Make sure that you practice your layups frequently. Up to eighty percent of the baskets attempted in a game are layups.

Even professional basketball players spend a lot of time watching other people play basketball. Watch as many games on TV as you can. Every player has a skill that allows him to succeed. Practice their moves to become better.

TIP! To keep passes under control, make use of hand signals. It can be frustrating to attempt to pass the ball to a team mate as that person is heading toward the basket.

Make sure to practice catching passes. Don’t just work on waist-level, perfect passes, though, work on receiving tougher passes as well. When a game is underway, not every throw will be perfect. By learning to catch errant passes, you will do your team a great favor.

TIP! Good footwork is important when you’re posting up in the paint. While physical presence under a basket is important, finding a decent spot before the opponent is even more so.

Do not wait for any special season to play some basketball. Basketball is usually a team sport, but just because you can’t find others, doesn’t mean you have to just stop thinking about it. That’s OK! There’s still a lot that you can do playing on your own. Practice pivoting and free throw shooting. There is always something to practice.

TIP! As you exercise to improve your game, it is important to work on your footwork and strength. When your core is strengthened, you will have more balance and be able to move more swiftly.

To land your layups, jump off the foot opposite the hand you shoot with. Practice shooting using your right hand, then jump off your left foot. This balances your body when moving towards your basket. It keeps your body in between you and the defender.

TIP! If your shooting is suffering, take a close look at your shoulders. You won’t be able to make a shot if your shoulders aren’t in the right position.

A good basketball drill to perform is to see if you can get the ball down the entire court in 5 or less dribbles. It isn’t impossible, it just takes practice. In games, this drill will become useful when you have fast break opportunities.

TIP! A good way to see yourself playing is to have someone record your games. You should be able to see what you missed or can do better.

Never break your defensive stance when playing ball. Keep your feet moving to each side or push your opposing foot off so you can keep yourself in position. Keep your body constantly facing toward your opponent in order to ensure the best possible defense.

TIP! Work on passing through your legs to add another skill to your arsenal. To practice, simply bounce the basketball between your legs while stepping either forward or backwards.

You can strengthen you weaker hand by using it as much as possible, for instance open jars or even brush your teeth. You will have more control as you use it to do daily activities that require dexterity. This will start to appear in the game of basketball, too.

TIP! Try practicing how to pass while looking in another direction. You are able to confuse opponents with this technique.

When you dribble while playing basketball, focus on bending your knees. Opposing players can steal the ball more easily if you stand up straight because you can’t control the ball as well. Bending your knees slightly will enable you to control the ball more efficiently.

TIP! Make sure your vision is good. This will help you to secure the ball during the game.

Don’t stop dribbling until you are ready to pass or shoot. You are limited once you cease dribbling. If you decide not to shoot or pass, all you can do is pivot on your rear foot. This leaves you vulnerable to being double teamed by members of the opposing team, and it is far more likely that the ball will be stolen.

TIP! Keep low when you play defense. This will aid you as you jump and make it easier to react to the front man.

If it is possible, keep all action below the knee. This makes it more difficult for the opponent to take the ball. You need to bend a bit more for this to succeed, but you will be able to traverse the court rapidly while keeping opponents at bay.

TIP! Take any opportunity to strengthen your weaker hand and build your skill by using it to brush your teeth or open jars. If you’re able to do more with your other hand daily, you can start controlling it better.

Use the hand you’re not dribbling with to create a barrier between the ball and the opponent. 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. Keep it up and dribble with your other hand.

TIP! Keep dribbling until it is time to shoot or pass the ball. The moment you cease dribbling, you have given yourself very few options.

Stay in communication with your teammates. Basketball is played by a team. It is not a one-on-one game. You have to help each other. Speak to others and tell them when you’ll need help so everyone can play better.

TIP! Try practicing your dribbling while switching the momentum of your body from side to side. This will help you learn to dribble during all different kinds of situations.

You need to learn how to change your opponent’s personal path. Whether you are playing defense or offense, you must be capable of controlling the directions of opposing players. That will ensure you control the game.

TIP! If it is possible, keep all action below the knee. This makes it more difficult for the opposing players to get control of the ball from you.

When you are coming back down from a caught rebound widen your stance. This will help to increase your overall balance. Put your hands on the sides of the basketball and then put it close to your chest. Always keep your elbows in check because an errant elbow can cost you a foul if an opposing player is hit with it.

Was that as difficult as you thought it would be? It’s quite a fun game, actually. Use the information presented here to become better at playing or watching basketball.

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