TIP! When learning the game of basketball, it’s easy to get caught up in offensive play. But you should also give plenty of attention to defense.

When you first stepped onto a basketball court, it was a brand new experience. You explored passing, shooting, and dribbling. Today, you are probably a lot more confident. The information below will teach you to be a better ball player.

TIP! Perfect your free throw. This kind of shot seems easy, but it really is not.

Know your strengths and they’ll help you become a better player. Your skills may not turn you into the star player, but knowing how to make the most of your skills will make you a more valuable player. Know your strengths and keep practicing to get even better.

TIP! Knowing how to perform a crossover is a must when you handle the basketball frequently. This technique passes the ball back and forth from the right hand to the left hand.

Watch the pro’s play if you want to improve your game. Go to a bunch of professional games in person, watch them on television, or just get online to search for basketball videos. You’ll see that every great player has specific skills that cause them to be great and you have the opportunity to practice what you’re watching them do.

TIP! Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. Layups sometimes wind up being 4 out of every 5 shots in basketball.

You should practice against a variety of defense types, not just zone. 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. If your practice hasn’t included this type of scenario, you might lose control rapidly.

TIP! Asking for feedback from coaches and teammates about your playing is important in order to become a stronger player. Are you skilled at something? You may be quick with your footwork or are always there for backing them up.

If you are posting up, strategic footwork is important to becoming open and making a good shot. Securing a good location is critical when playing basketball. After grabbing the position, you need to hold the area. Good footwork is key to a good basketball game.

TIP! Practice passing while looking another way. This will easily confuse your opponents.

When working out, focus on building your core strength and perfecting your footwork. You will stay balanced if your core is strong. The most important muscle groups include your back, stomach, and pelvic region. Your speed and footwork can be improved by jumping rope.

TIP! When moving in for a layup, push off from your weaker foot and lead with your shooting hand. That means, if you shoot right-handed, use your left foot for taking off.

If you slump when you shoot, look at what your shoulders are doing. When your shoulders are not properly positioned, then it is almost impossible to perform at your best. Be sure shoulders always remain squared towards your hoop. If your right hand is your dominant hand, your right shoulder must be aligned with the rim. For left-handedness, the opposite is true.

TIP! Be sly on your soles to catch rebounds from free-throws your own team members are making. The more quickly you get under the basket, the better you chance of grabbing the rebound.

Practice drills where you strive to make it across the full court within 5 dribbles. This may be difficult in the beginning, but if you manage it, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with. In games, this drill will become useful when you have fast break opportunities.

TIP! If an opponent charges at you, let him run into you. Taking charges gives you an opportunity to get defensive stops, get the ball and lay the groundwork for fouls.

In order to confuse the offense, try changing your pace. You can try faking a jump shot by planting quickly, and straightening your body. Your defender is going to assume that you’re slowing your speed and will start straightening up, too. As they do, push forward hard and run by them.

TIP! Change up your pace so that you are not predictable to the offense. When you approach the goal, put your front foot in firm place and start straightening up.

In order to help develop your non-dominant hand, you should use that hand only when trying to open things, and also when brushing your teeth. If you’re able to do more with your other hand daily, you can start controlling it better. You will soon see a difference on the court if you are consistent with these simple exercises.

TIP! If you play basketball, you should incorporate strength training into your workout routine. Those who do very well at this sport have a combination of stamina and strength.

Use the hand you are not dribbling with to keep your defender away from the ball. Avoid physical contact like pushing, but keep the ball from them by separating them from it. By doing this, the ball will be better protected and you will have better control of the ball.

TIP! If you are in a defensive position, keep yourself low. You will be able to react more quickly and jump higher because of this.

Make sure that you are exercising properly for basketball. For example, you can improve individual plays with sprinting. You can improve overall game performance and endurance with long distance running. You can acquire muscle through weightlifting that helps with hustling and shooting. The confidence this gives you will help you with your shooting.

TIP! Bend the knees when you dribble a basketball. The farther the ball has to bounce, the less control you will have of it.

Dribble with a rhythm, that is until you need to outsmart your opponents. Consistent dribbling disrupted by a sudden, fast pace will surprise your opponent, giving you the advantage. Perfecting this can make you nearly unstoppable on the court.

A corner shot often bounces to the opposite end of the court. Attempt to catch the resulting rebound by watching the angle from which it was shot.

TIP! Dribble with a rhythm, that is until you need to outsmart your opponents. The opposing player expects you to maintain that rhythm, so when you switch things up you create an element of surprise.

Having good positioning on the court when trying to grab a rebound will help you keep the ball. Use both feet to jump for the ball, then hold on with both of your hands. You will have a better chance of keeping possession of the ball by keeping it close and landing in a balanced position.

TIP! If basketball is something you wish to pursue seriously, your diet should reflect that. You use a lot of fuel playing basketball so a lot of carbs is needed, as well as adequate protein and fats.

With all the advice you have now, there is no limit to where you can go. Make goals for yourself and keep improving. Using these tips, you will see you game skills improve with each game.