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 is what stands between you and a win.

Today is the day to learn about basketball. As a devotee of basketball, your goal is to become the best. However, you cannot know everything there is to know about basketball, and all good players are aware of that fact. Read this article to find out if there is something you can use to make you a better player. Read on for some useful ways you can improve your basketball game.

TIP! You must learn how to dribble, how a crossover is done and other important ball handling skills. Switch from one side to the other while dribbling.

Don’t limit your practice to just playing against the zone defense. Usually, a big part of the game is probably going to be in zone; however, the opposing team can suddenly switch to man-to-man to catch you off guard. Be sure to practice for this eventuality so you will not become rattled and lose the game.

TIP! Bounce passes are extremely efficient when done properly. Proper bounce passes ought to hit the recipient at the level of their waist.

Ask your teammates what they like about the way you play. Do they feel you are really good at something? You could potentially be excellent in one area while you are busy focusing on another, unaware. Learn what other’s see as your natural skills and make sure to keep and develop those skills more fully.

TIP! There is a lot of pressure when shooting free throws. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter.

You never want to have your back to the ball if you can help it. This keeps you aware of what is going on so you aren’t surprised. Also, you need to stay aware of areas which might open up and give you an easy basket.

TIP! Don’t spend all your time practicing how to confront a zone defense. While much of the game is played in zone, the opponent can flip to man-to-man coverage, changing everything and surprising you.

Spread your fingers out to handle the ball properly. The ball will not get away if you always keep your fingers spread when handling the ball. Don’t let your palms touch it. Whether you are passing or shooting the ball, your fingers are the only part of your hand that should be touching the ball.

TIP! Playing basketball does not require excessive muscle development. It’s important to be strong, but not too strong.

When working out, focus on building your core strength and perfecting your footwork. Your body will retain balance and move quicker when you have strong core muscles. Focus on your hip, abdomen, and back muscles. Jumping rope is great for improving your footwork and also helping you to gain speed.

TIP! Practice basketball in season and out of season. Sometimes during off season, or when practicing, you can’t play as a team or find even a single opponent.

Pay close attention to your shoulders if you’ve suddenly developed a shooting slump. Regardless of your skill level, if you don’t have your shoulders positioned correctly, you will miss. Be sure shoulders always remain squared towards your hoop. The dominant shoulder must be perfectly aligned with the rim.

It can help you when you pass through your legs. Practice dribbling the ball between your legs. Mastering this movement gives you a big advantage on the court.

TIP! To become a great free thrower, practice and develop a routine you will use during each shot. Perhaps you will dribble twice, follow up by bending your knees, pulling your earlobe or performing some other ritualistic action for good luck.

Use the foot opposite of the hand you shoot with for a better layup. If you normally shoot using your right hand, jump with your left. This gives you better balance, while keeping you poised toward the basket.

TIP! Good footwork will help you get rebounds off your teammates’ foul shots. Guards will be attempting to stop you, so get around them.

Using a weaker hand helps improve overall dribbling skills. You will be able to get past your opponent more easily if you can use either hand to dribble the ball. Force yourself to not use your stronger hand. Eventually, your weak hand will be trained to dribble properly.

TIP! 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.

You need to put a damper in your opponent’s plan if you want to be successful with defending. Make them uncomfortable. The more aggressive you are the better. Don’t let them dictate the game. This will give your opponent the advantage. Instead, you move first and throw them off their game.

TIP! Use your weak hand for brushing your hair, doing up your belt and opening bottles so you can build up its strength. Try becoming ambidextrous outside of the court, and you will soon find that you do not have a weaker hand when playing basketball.

To avoid having the ball stolen, dribble hard. The ball bounces faster, giving the guard less time to steal. If you have somebody guarding you very closely, pass the ball to an open teammate.

TIP! Always bend the knees while dribbling. It makes it much easier to control the ball while dribbling as opposed to standing straight up, which makes controlling the ball much harder.

Make it your goal to dribble the ball across the entire court in under 5 dribbles. This may not seem feasible, but once you master it, your speed and stride will be truly impressive. That translates to smooth layups during fast breaks.

TIP! If someone is shooting from a corner of the court, a missed shot will likely bounce right over the net and to the other side of the court. If this is the case, you need to guess where it will end up and catch the rebound as a result.

Now you should be more confident in your game the next time you play. It’s fun to apply new tips to the court. Keep these tips in mind to help you get better at basketball than you ever imagined. Enjoy yourself while playing, basketball is truly the best sport!