TIP! Learn to correctly dribble the ball. Don’t use your palm to dribble.

To really enjoy the game of basketball, you need to have some basic knowledge of how the game is played. Lacking in the fundamentals? Don’t worry about that. It’s easy to learn more about basketball. Continue reading this article for advice you can make use of whether you watch or play this sport.

TIP! Make sure you dribble properly by keeping your head held up, facing forward. Looking at your ball when you dribble indicates that you haven’t practiced enough.

While focusing on offense is fun, you must also make sure you focus on defense. Defense is essential to winning these games. While offense seems to get the praise, defense must be stellar in order to win.

TIP! Focus on your strong point to help you become a better ball player. Your talent might not make you a star; however, learning your strengths will help you become a better team player.

Dribbling the ball the right way needs to be done. Proper dribbling technique involves use of the fingertips, not the palm of the hand. This allows you to control the ball much better while you dribble. You should be dribbling the ball at your side instead of in front of your body. The ball should always be dribbled at waist level. Do not look at the ground; look up at all times.

TIP! If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. Basketball is physically demanding, and it is easy to get hurt.

Be sure to watch professional games to learn some great tips and tricks to improve your game. You can follow the pros in online videos, on TV and you can also attend a basketball game if there is a pro team in your area. You are sure to notice the key skills each player has mastered, and from there you can start practicing.

TIP! The key for controlling the ball well is to spread your fingers. That makes sure that you don’t lose the ball when you hold it.

Playing basketball does not require excessive muscle development. Muscle strength can be great for basketball players, but it is actually possible to have excessive amounts for playing on the perimeter. Shooting guards that end up with bulked up arms sometimes find that it affects field goal percentages.

TIP! As you perform your fitness routine, make it a point to target your core and your footwork. Your body will maintain balance and move more quickly when your core muscles are strong.

Play games against yourself in and out of season. Basketball is sport played in teams, but there are times when no one is around to play with you. That is okay. You are able to do a lot with solo games. Practice free throws and work on pivot moves. There is no shortage of things you can do.

TIP! You want to always be aware of foot placement and what you’re doing. Stepping even a toe on the baseline with the ball in your hands means you are out of bounds.

If you post up, you need to use good footwork to get open and make sure you get a good shot. Although it’s important to have a physical presence underneath the basket, it’s more important that you get in a good place before your opponent can. If you are just stepping into position, you now have to secure the spot. Expert footwork is the key to these skills.

TIP! Make layups count by taking off with the foot that is opposite to your shooting hand. Thus, if you tend to shoot with the right hand, make sure to jump off with the left.

In order to be your best on defense, take the time to completely understand the player you are guarding. Watch taped games, and keep current with scouting reports. Learn who the left handed players are and who the right handed ones are. Understanding your opponent allows you to effectively play defense. A person that knows about defending makes a strong defender.

TIP! A good defensive strategy will keep your opponent on their toes. Force them to leave their comfort zone.

Where are your feet? Stepping your toe in a baseline with a ball in your grip will mean that you’re out of bounds. Not dribbling when you take more than a few steps will result in a walking call as well as a forfeit of the ball. Also, moving a foot when setting up a screen can result in a foul.

TIP! Take every charge you can. Taking charges gives you a chance for earning a defensive stop, gives your team the ball, and gives one more foul called in your favor.

Have your games taped so you can play them back later and observe your court presence. Are you able to look at your skills in a different light? When looking at the tape, don’t be too critical, but be honest. Sometimes you have to face reality about your skills and just not dream about how you want to be.

TIP! Change up your pace so that you are not predictable to the offense. While you run at the net, plant the front foot and start straightening your body.

To improve ball handling, consider focusing workouts on your forearms and hands. One important exercise is wrist curls, which help you with your dribbling. Don’t stay stopped; always move around the court. It is essential to move the ball around in order to succeed.

TIP! Keep your knees bent while dribbling. The farther the ball has to bounce, the less control you will have of it.

You need to take a charge anytime you can. This play gets your team possession of the ball and a foul against your opponent. This can be devastating to the other team.

TIP! Control the ball at a level that is below your knees. This prevents your opponents from stealing the ball.

Shoot from every point on the court thousands of times a day to get better. An even better way to improve your accuracy is to practice shooting after pulling up from a dribble. Look at your target while you’re in the air, but not before that. Your accuracy will get better and you’ll have a better idea of what real game conditions will be like.

TIP! Use the non-dribbling hand to create a buffer between the ball and your opposition. This keeps your opponent from being able to steal the ball.

Continuously dribble the ball until you have an opening to pass it to one of your teammates, or you are prepared to shoot. When you cease dribbling, you’re really limiting your options. If you decide that you cannot shoot or pass the ball, all you can do is pivot onto the back foot. This situation leaves you vulnerable to a double team by the defense, and you risk losing the ball.

TIP! The goal to improving a game is building conversation with your teammates. It is a sport that requires team work.

These tips are simple to understand and easy to put into use. Since reading this information, you know how exciting basketball can be. Use the information above to help you become a better ball player.