TIP! If you hold the ball a lot, you have to learn crossovers. Crossovers involve moving the ball from hand to hand.

Basketball is an exciting, fast-paced sport that keeps fans on their feet. But, most people don’t have the knowledge it takes to excel at this sport. Keep reading for some awesome advice that most any basketball player or fan can use.

TIP! Put the emphasis on your strengths can help you to be a better basketball player. You might not have star ability, but you can be an outstanding team player.

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. While offensive players sometimes seem like the stars of the show, it is the efforts of defensive players that allow them to shine.

TIP! Free throws are as much mental as they are physical. 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. Crossovers involve moving the ball from hand to hand. You have to do this quickly to be good at it. Learn how to perform a crossover dribble will help you get down court quickly.

TIP! Completing passes to your teammates is just as important as dribbling the ball. It is quite challenging to play the game without dribbling, but it does make sure you and your teammates make accurate passes.

Having a good foundation is key when shooting the ball. You have seen some crazy shots made by professionals, but these shots aren’t going to be based on fundamentals. They’re just improvising at this point. By focusing on balance in your shot, you will develop the consistency needed to be a great scorer.

TIP! Would you like to pull one over on the other team? Trick them using a back pass. Hold the ball in your strong hand to start the pass.

Practice layups often. Eighty percent of the shots taken in a game are layups. It’s critical to practice running towards the basket at full speed and following up with a good jump and smooth shot. Practicing your running and jumping as a single motion will improve your technique faster than practicing them separately.

TIP! If you have a kid wanting to play basketball in high school, be certain that they are properly training their core muscles. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles.

Never try to push through pain after an injury. Basketball is physically challenging, and injuries are not uncommon. Trying to tough it out and keep playing, even if you are experiencing discomfort, can exacerbate an injury even more. Serious injuries may require medical attention.

TIP! Your defensive game will be more successful if you know your opponents. Follow the scouting reports and watch tapes of their games.

When your shooting isn’t accurate, check out your shoulder position. When your shoulders are positioned improperly, you will never make the basket regardless of how good your abilities are. Make sure your shoulders are always square towards the hoop. The dominant shoulder needs to be aligned correctly with the rim.

TIP! Basketball players must be fast. If you want the advantage, you need to be quicker than your opponents.

A great drill to try is to see how many dribbles it takes for you to make it across the court. The ideal number of dribbles is five. Although this might seem tricky in the beginning, this can really help your game if you can master this skill. This may mean you can get your team some numbers for a period of time, or you can do easy lay-ups.

Strength Training

TIP! Use deception by looking elsewhere when you make passes. This will make your actions very confusing to the other team.

In order to improve your game, make sure you do plenty of strength training. Strength and stamina are both needed to excel at basketball. Proper exercise allows younger players and older players an improved physical presence on the court. When they become teenagers, they can start using weights to increase their exercise. As adults, it will be imperative to maintain a strength training routine.

TIP! When moving in for a layup, push off from your weaker foot and lead with your shooting hand. Thus, if you use your right hand for shooting, you need to push off using your left foot.

To increase the strength of your weaker hand, utilize it for doing everything, including brushing your teeth and opening jars. The more dextrous you become with it in your daily life, the better able you will be to control it. This will show in your next match.

TIP! Try to keep the ball in your line of sight at all times. This means more than just being able to see well enough to play, but “seeing” the court deeply.

Keep dribbling until you’re ready to either pass or shoot. You have few options remaining to you after you stop dribbling. If you don’t shoot or pass, you have to pivot on the back foot. That leaves you wide open to double teaming by your opponents and the potential of a stolen ball goes way up.

TIP! Don’t break out of defensive stance always remain in the proper defensive position. Stay in the right position by pushing off of your opposite foot.

Don’t just practice while static; try to move around while shifting your weight to learn how to best control the ball. Games require you to be able to dribble under all types of conditions. You may have an open court, by you’re just as likely to be swarmed by multiple opponents. Because of this, you must be able to dribble efficiently regardless of your body’s position. It will help you when you need it most.

TIP! You can use your guards and point guard to trap an opponent with a 2-3 zone defense. The guards must then rush the opposing team’s point guard and create a trap.

Diet is essential when it comes to playing ball. Complex carbohydrates and protein will give you energy to ensure that you get through a long, fast-paced basketball game. Good foods that provide these essentials include nuts, lean meats and whole wheat breads. Avoid sugar and salt when possible.

TIP! Keep your knees loose when you dribble the ball. It makes it much easier to control the ball while dribbling as opposed to standing straight up, which makes controlling the ball much harder.

You need to be able to alter your opponents path. No matter what side of the ball you’re on, being able to direct your opponents movements is key to winning. This will allow you to determine the outcome of the game.

TIP! To improve 3 point shooting, practice from NBA distance, at least. All the other three point lines are much closer than the NBA line.

When you return to the floor from a rebound, make sure your legs hit the floor at wider than shoulder-width apart so that you maintain your balance. Clasp your hands around the sides of the ball, and clutch it tightly to your chest. Don’t let your elbows poke another player or you will gain a foul.

TIP! You can improve your shooting skills by practicing with shots from different spots on the court. Taking quick shots during practice will help you during the game when the pressure is on.

Pivoting is something you must do if you wish to get good at basketball. Practice your footwork so that you can pivot without thinking about it, and avoid getting tangled in your feet or disoriented. Establish a solid pivoting stance, then practice your reaction time for when you get your hands on the ball.

TIP! Practice dribbling as you sway your body from side to side. This will happen during games frequently.

Basketball is both a wonderful game to watch and an exhilarating game to play. To make sure that you’re getting the most out of the game, you should know all that you can about the sport. Hopefully, this article has helped you do that.