TIP! A lot of novice players mostly focus on their offensive skills, but developing good defensive skills will help you become a better player. Defense can make or break a basketball game.

Have you imagined yourself as Larry Bird or Magic Johnson. Work on your technique, practice your skills and perfect your ball handling skills. Read these tips to take your natural basketball skills to the next level.

TIP! It is important that you perfect dribbling the ball. You need to use the tips of your fingers rather than your hand’s palm when you are dribbling.

It’s simple to want to work on offense when you’re getting into basketball, but it’s smarter to think about defense practice too. Defense is what wins basketball games. While everyone focuses on shots made, a good defense can kill the chances of even an amazing shot taker.

TIP! Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. When you do a crossover, you move the basketball very fast from one hand over to the other hand.

Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. If you have to keep your eye on the ball when you’re dribbling, practice can remedy that. Wherever you go, take your ball with you. You can practice dribbling when you have to walk to the store. Always look ahead when you are dribbling the ball.

TIP! If you wish to do better with basketball, you have to focus on what you’re good at. Even though your best abilities might not make you stand out each game, it is sure to help you contribute to the overall success of the team.

Learn to crossover if you get the ball often. Crossovers involve sending the basketball from one of your hands over to the other one. You must do it fast for best success. If you do it right, a crossover dribble will assist you in changing directions and getting down the court in an efficient manner.

TIP! Even professional basketball players spend a lot of time watching other people play basketball. Watch as many games on TV as you can.

Before, during and after the season, play out games by yourself. 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. This is just fine. There is much that can be accomplished when playing on your own. Work on your pivot moves or practice your free throws. You can always find things to work on.

TIP! Don’t spend all your time practicing how to confront a zone defense. While you might see a zone defense mostly, a team can switch defenses to man-to-man quickly in order to confuse you.

Building core muscle is key to playing great basketball. The concept encompasses the abdominal muscles, the hips and the lower back. The core links the upper and lower extremities and without a strong one, their athletic performance will be limited. A well developed core lets a player generate force with their legs to be applied to faster running and jumping higher.

TIP! Play solo basketball in the months leading up to the season, as well as during the season itself. There are times you may not find anyone to play with you.

Keeping your fingers spread wide is important for holding onto the ball. That makes sure that you don’t lose the ball when you hold it. Do not allow your palm to come in contact with the ball either. Don’t let anything but your fingers touch the ball during passing or shooting.

TIP! Try using hand signals to prevent passes in error. It can be frustrating making a pass when a player moves away towards the basket.

Understand your opponent. Review videotapes and monitor scouting reports. Learn which of the opposing players are left-dominant and which are right-dominant. Once you have a solid idea of your opponent, you can dial in on the best way to defend. A smart defensive player is a strong one.

TIP! When playing basketball, it is important to always keep your eye on the ball. You develop a good feel for the game around you, making it much easier to quickly react to your opponent.

If the opposition is hot on your tail, pass between your legs. Try practicing this by bouncing your ball hard in between your legs while stepping forward or backward. When you get this move down, you will have an advantage.

TIP! Consistency in your approach is vital to becoming solid at free throws. This can include the number of times you dribble, how you position your feet, or anything else.

Upset and disrupt your opponent’s play. All successful basketball players do this. Force them out of their comfort zone. When making a move, be aggressive. Other players should not influence the plays you make. The more aggressively smart team is usually the one who wins. Rather, you make the initial move and break up their flow.

TIP! In order to perfect your layup shooting technique practice, take off with your left foot if you shoot with your right hand and vice versa. If you use your right hand to shoot, use your left foot to take off.

Playing basketball well means developing good court “eyesight.” This isn’t just for reading the score, but for catching passes and making shots. Peripheral vision is important during game play. Tunnel vision makes it difficult to play effectively, so try to view the entire court and all players.

TIP! A solid routine is necessary for improvement in free throw shooting. If you are inconsistent then your shot will be off.

In order to ensure that you are always ready to defend, keep your stance at all times. Shuffle your feet in a side to side motion, then use your opposite foot to push off and give you good leverage. Don’t cross your feet and no one will get around you.

TIP! To help improve your ball handling skills, start incorporating your weak hand into your dribbling. By being able to easily dribble with two hands rather than one, you have a huge advantage over your defenders.

When you are on the defense, the key is to stay as low as you can. This helps your reaction time against your opponent. Make sure you always maintain your defensive stance. If you find you have to abandon your stance to do some blocking, get back into formation as fast as you can.

TIP! You need to mess with your opponent’s head. Don’t let them get comfortable.

If you want to boost your weaker hand skills, use it whenever you can, be it opening jars or just brushing your teeth. If you can become more dexterous with it in all aspects of your life, you will be bettering your control of it. This is bound to carry over to the court.

TIP! You must be able to box out other players when attempting to rebound free throws. You’ll have a defender coming at you and this means you have to figure out what can be done to get around them.

Keep on dribbling until your shot or passing opportunity is imminent. The moment you cease dribbling, you have given yourself very few options. If you don’t shoot or pass, you can only pivot using your back foot. When you do this, your opponents can double team you and steal the ball.

TIP! Your defenders need to wait for the point guard to make it 10′ ahead of the time line. Then, they ought to trap the point guard.

Be sure you do the sort of off-court exercises that help you during games. Sprint running can help improve on-court speed, while distance running is sure to boost your stamina. If you need to perform better shots, work on your resistance by doing some weight lifting. Your shooting abilities are greatly enhanced by a more self-assured, aggressive mindset.

TIP! Switch the weight of your body while you are dribbling. When you’re playing a game, you have to dribble when you’re in a lot of different situations.

The goal to improving a game is building conversation with your teammates. Basketball is considered a team sport. Playing is more than just you and one other person. Everyone helps everyone else. Communicate with them so that they know when you need assistance, so that you all collectively play better.

TIP! Use the hand you’re not dribbling with to create a barrier between the ball and the opponent. Avoid physical contact like pushing, but keep the ball from them by separating them from it.

Now you have some things you can work on to improve your game. Consistency and confidence go a long way in making you a skilled, successful player. Keep these tips in mind and show off your newly acquired skills.