TIP! Make it a point to concentrate on both your defensive and offensive skills. Focusing only on offense does not make you a well-rounded player.

Many people love basketball because it’s so fast-paced, and exciting to watch. You must know the basics in order to jump onto the court and play. This article will provide you with great tips to better your game.

TIP! Learn what a crossover is and how to do it. A crossover means moving the ball between your hands.

Try learning how to hit free throw shots. It seems easy to do but surely isn’t. When practicing your free throw, concentrate on where you want the ball to go when it leaves your hands. Start by holding your ball before your face. Have your eyes on your goal and picture your ball going into it. Once you’ve visualized this, take your shot as you just saw it in your head.

TIP! Learn how to block out movement, noise and other distractions when taking a free throw. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game.

If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. In a crossover, you transfer the basketball from hand to hand. This action most be quick to work out. When executed properly, a crossover dribble lets you alternate directions suddenly so that you can move down the entire court quickly.

TIP! Passing quickly without dribbling is a great way to practice. While this may be difficult, it gets you used to finding teammates and thinking on the run.

Shooting has much to do with proper balance. Having good balance will allow you to keep better control of the ball as well as play a better defense. Taking a shot when you are off balance will probably lead to a turnover. You need to maintain good balance while shooting, which is sure to produce greater consistency.

TIP! If you want to be a master of the jump shot, do not make weight lifting a priority. Strong muscles are certainly useful for basketball, but you can overdo it if you plan to play on the perimeter.

Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss. Relax yourself and focus on the hoop.

TIP! There are passes that can confuse the other team momentarily. The back pass is perfect for this.

Tricking the other team is a good way to win a game. The back pass is perfect for this. To do this pass, hold on to the ball with your dominant hand. Next get the ball pulled up behind the back. Finally, flick your wrist towards the direction in which you wish that ball to travel. This will trick your opponents.

TIP! To keep passes under control, make use of hand signals. It can be frustrating making a pass when a player moves away towards the basket.

Play by yourself to practice. Basketball is sport played in teams, but there are times when no one is around to play with you. This is just fine. You are able to do a lot with solo games. Practice pivoting or doing free throws. You can always practice.

TIP! Keeping your fingers spread wide is important for holding onto the ball. This can help you avoid losing it when you hold it.

Unseen passes can be avoided when proper hand signals are used by teammates. It can be frustrating to attempt to pass the ball to a team mate as that person is heading toward the basket. Hand signals can help you communicate with your teammate on the court. If you don’t receive a signal then realize your teammate is not able to get the pass.

TIP! Understanding your opponent is a good way to shut him down on defense. Watch tapes and be sure you’re paying attention to scouting reports.

If posting up is what you’re doing, you have to have good footwork to get open for a shot. There are two important points you must remember. You must create a physical presence below the basket, and you must secure a good spot in advance of your opponent. After establishing good position, you need to make sure you hold it. Footwork is the key to either of these.

TIP! To make your layups count the most, take off from the foot opposite your shooting hand. Practice shooting using your right hand, then jump off your left foot.

Build your core strength and work on your footwork. Your body will be more stable and easier to move when you have strength in your core muscles. Don’t forget to also work out muscles in your back, buttocks, abdomen and hips. To help get even quicker and have better footwork you can jump rope.

TIP! Being a successful defensive player means upsetting and disrupting your opponent’s play. Make them feel uncomfortable and to where they’re second guessing their next move.

To get better at shooting free throws, make sure to keep a consistent pre-shot routine. Focus on your shot and eliminate all outside distractions. As long as it’s quick, using a consistent routine can help your body retain the memory to make those shots after your “ritual.”

TIP! Strength training can improve your game. It is impossible to succeed if you lack endurance and strength.

Your forearms and hands should be strengthened if you wish to handle the ball better. Wrist curls work well at helping you handle the ball. Making a goal isn’t just standing there as the ball miraculously comes to you and then shooting it at the basket. Strength and flexibility in your hands will allow you to move the ball more gracefully and swiftly.

TIP! Be sure that off-court exercises are proper for playing on-court. For example, you can improve individual plays with sprinting.

Make sure that you can see clearly. This will help you to secure the ball during the game. Try making your peripheral vision the best it can be. Being aware of the entire court will help you to better anticipate who will move where.

TIP! To succeed in basketball you should learn how to change the path of your opponent. Whether you are in an offensive or defensive stance, make other players do what you want.

An excellent way to have proper defensive posture is to remain in the correct stance. Slide your feet from side to side or push off with your opposing foot so that you are always in position. Remember not to let yourself get crossed up with your feet, which will throw off your balance, making it easier to get around you.

TIP! Passing should be an essential element in your game. Passing keeps the defense confused.

Change your pace up to throw the offense off. Try to block the net by planting your foot hard. The guard is sure to anticipate a slow-down and will then straighten their own body. You should push and get past them as they straighten themselves.

TIP! One of thing you should learn if you are going to be a good basketball player is how to pivot. Work on your footwork to be able to move smoothly.

As this article mentioned, basketball is a beloved sport enjoyed globally. This article has helped to show that continual learning is a part of really excelling at the sport. Use the tips above to become the best basketball player you can be.