TIP! Crossovers are very important if you’re a ball handler. Crossovers involve sending the basketball from one of your hands over to the other one.

All around the world, millions of people enjoy the sport of basketball. You can almost always find a playground game going. You might even make a career of it if you have enough time. To learn about how to play basketball better, read on.

TIP! To improve your game, concentrate on your strong points. Your skills might not make you an all-start every time out, but playing up your strengths makes you a great contributor.

A lot of novice players mostly focus on their offensive skills, but developing good defensive skills will help you become a better player. Basketball games are often won by the defense. Offense may score points but defense keeps the other team from scoring points that your team will have to match.

TIP! Do not practice by playing against the zone defense. Though much of the game is sure to be played within a zone pattern, the opposition may try to go man-to-man in order to confuse you.

Make sure you are dribbling the right way. When you dribble, use the fingertips, not the palm. You’ll have a lot more control over the ball this way. Always dribble to your side, not your front. Never look at the ball; instead, look forward.

TIP! It is best to take a break if you sustain an injury while playing. Basketball is very challenging physically, and this can cause further serious injury.

Figure out how to perfect your free throw. This seems like an easy shot, but it is quite hard. Practice regularly and employe the technique that follows. Start with the ball held out from your face. Keep looking towards the goal and think about the ball getting into that goal. Then shoot! Shoot the ball in the trajectory you imagined.

TIP! Keeping your fingers spread will facilitate better ball handling. This way, you won’t lose the ball when holding it.

Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling. Bring your ball along when you go out. Dribble while walking to the store. Always look ahead when you are dribbling the ball.

TIP! Focus on your footwork and core strength when working out. This allows your body to be in balance and be more explosive on the court.

You should practice your crossovers a lot. This term refers to switching the hand you use. The action must be very swift if it is to be successful. Once you have learned how to do a crossover, you can travel down the court quickly.

TIP! When your shooting isn’t accurate, check out your shoulder position. No matter your skill level, you won’t make shots if your shoulders aren’t in the proper position.

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. These are not practiced skills, they are just flukes. Balance needs to be maintained to consistently make successful shots.

TIP! Quickness is a virtue in basketball. You need to be faster than the opposing team if you want the advantage.

If you want to improve your game, concentrate on 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. Know the things you’re great at and keep practicing until there is no one better than you.

Free throws require both mental and physical abilities. You must train both your body and your mind. Relax and focus on the basket; this will help you succeed.

TIP! Try to keep the ball in your line of sight at all times. You don’t just want to be able to pass and shoot well.

Watch professionals play to learn from their techniques. Watch as many games on TV as you can. You’ll notice that each player has a skill that they are great at. Choose a move that you like and start practicing it.

TIP! You can use your guards and point guard to trap an opponent with a 2-3 zone defense. This can give them an opportunity to run up to that point guard to trap them.

You should practice against a variety of defense types, not just zone. While a great portion of a game will be concentrated in the zone, your rivals could opt to go to man-to-man covering to keep you guessing. If your practice did not include this, you can quickly lose control of the game.

TIP! You should practice your dribbling while switching your balance from right to left. In the middle of a game, lots of dribbling situations will arise.

Keep your skills sharp in the off-season by playing different challenging games. Though basketball is surely a team sport, there may be times when you have nobody to play against. No problem! It is possible to get a lot done even when playing alone. Practice pivoting or you can practice doing free throws. There is no shortage of things you can do.

TIP! Dribble rhythmically until you are ready to throw your opponent’s guarding capabilities into disarray. A consistent dribbling broken up by a fast paced dribble can surprise your opponent and give you a major edge for a shot.

The key to ball control is to spread your fingers out. This can help you avoid losing it when you hold it. Your palm should touch the ball as little as possible. The only things that should touch the ball are your fingers, as you shoot or pass.

TIP! You have to know how to change the path of your opponent. This is an ability you need on both defense and offense, since you get to control where your opponent goes in either case.

Concentrate on your shoulders if you have gotten into a shooting slump. If your shoulders are in a bad position, no matter how good you are, you won’t make the shot. You’ll want to ensure that your shoulders are squared up towards the hoops. The dominant shoulder must be perfectly aligned with the rim.

TIP! As you come off a rebound, come down with legs that are spread out wider than the broadness of your shoulders. This will increase your balance.

Passing between your legs can be helpful when the other team is riding you hard. Practice this by bouncing the ball hard between your legs as you take a step forward or back. Mastering this move can give you an advantage on the court.

TIP! You should try to remain calm while you are shooting. This will help improve your focus during the shot.

A consistent pre-shot routine when at the line will increase your chance at success. Failure to use consistency may make your shots less accurate. Repetition is an excellent way to improve your ability to make each free throw. Stick with a routine until you can perfect it. This will help you develop a routine. If that routine goes off, it will cause you to miss your shot.

TIP! When you’ve got the ball, you must know when to take a shot, and then when you should pass it to another player who’s got a better shot. You don’t want to be the player that cost your team the game due to your selfishness.

Alternating your pace is critical to keeping the defense guessing. When you’re going towards the net you should plant the foot in front and start straightening up. This will cause the guard to believe you are slowing, and it will also cause them to straighten up. Once that happens, switch tactics and move forward. You should go right past them.

TIP! A good defensive technique against your opponent is to constantly force them towards the sideline. Pushing them out to the side will give them with fewer options.

A powerful play called the trapping machine, is to have your guards wait for the point guard to come just past midcourt. They should then trap the point guard. Simultaneously, make sure you own forwards are free to sprint to the opposing players who are out on the wings. You will see the opposing point guard make a bad pass that anyone on your team can steal.

TIP! Work on your pump fake move. The pump fake is an unrivaled shooting technique.

After reading the above article you should have an idea on what it takes to follow the game of basketball. As with any sport, getting better takes hard work and a willingness to learn. Begin playing and before you know it, you will be playing every day. You can have fun at the same time!