TIP! Practice your defense more than your offense. Basketball games are often won by great defensive play.

Whether you are going to try out for the team or you are just going to ride the bleachers, there’s stuff you need to know about basketball. Not sure of the score? Don’t despair. Basketball is not the easiest game to learn but you can do it. Keep reading for slam-dunk tips you can use as you play or watch.

TIP! When dribbling the basketball you should keep your head up. If you start staring at the ball while you dribble, you know you need to practice more.

Dribble properly. Use the fingertips, not the palm, for the best dribbling. You retain much more ball control this way. Avoid dribbling in front of you and only dribble to the sides of your body. Keep your head up and do not look at the ground.

TIP! If you have the ball a lot, learn to execute a crossover. When you do a crossover, you move the basketball very fast from one hand over to the other hand.

Focus on your strong point to help you become a better ball player. Your best talent may not make you the star of every game, but learning to play your best angle will help you contribute more to the team. Understand your strengths and use it to your advantage to help your team win!

TIP! You should often work on your layups. In a typical game, up to four-fifths of all shots are layups.

Work on pass catches. During practice you should come up with drills where you perfect catching bad passes along with the good ones. When the game is going on, every pass isn’t going to make it to its target. Being able to get imperfect passes will limit turnovers.

TIP! Making a free throw takes mental concentration as well as physical prowess. You can train your body to complete the motions of making a free throw, but if you are mentally prepared to fail, you will.

Are you interested in being able to fool the other team? Consider the back pass. Hold the basketball with your writing hand. The next step is to draw the ball behind you. After determining which direction you want the ball to go, use a quick flick of your wrist to send it that way. It is an effective means of confusing your opponents.

TIP! Don’t just practice playing against a zone defense. 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.

Avoid errant passes by using hand signals. It can be frustrating passing to a teammate when you’re both heading to the basket. Hand signals help ensure that the player is ready to take the ball. Without a signal, players shouldn’t attempt to pass.

TIP! To make sure there are no errant passes, use hand signals. One of the more frustrating aspects of basketball is making a pass to a teammate at the same time they head to the basket.

In order to get a good shot, you must use good footwork. Being physical under the rim is crucial, but having good positioning on the court is even better. Once you have gotten into position, secure your spot. Each of these skills is reliant on good footwork.

TIP! See if your teammates admire something in particular about your game play. They will probably notice the things you do best.

Don’t play when you are injured! Basketball is hard to play well even when you are healthy, so don’t push it. If you keep on playing after sustaining an injury, you may make the injury even more serious. Anytime you have a serious injury, you should seek medical attention.

TIP! The key for controlling the ball well is to spread your fingers. This will help prevent the ball from getting away from you while dribbling.

If you aren’t shooting the ball well, you need to concentrate on your shoulders. If your shoulders aren’t correct, you may not be able to make the shots. Make sure your shoulders are always square towards the hoop. The dominant shoulder needs to be lined up with the rim.

TIP! Speed is a key attribute in the game of basketball. You need to be faster than the opposing team if you want the advantage.

If the opposing team is guarding you to much, you can try a pass between your legs. Practice this maneuver by bouncing the basketball between your legs while taking steps. Mastering this movement gives you a big advantage on the court.

TIP! It can help you when you pass through your legs. Practice dribbling the ball between your legs.

Improve your ball-handling by strengthening your hands and your forearms. Wrist curls are especially effective at making you better able to handle a basketball like you could dribble sleepwalking. Making a goal isn’t just standing there as the ball miraculously comes to you and then shooting it at the basket. You have to get the ball around, too.

TIP! Consistent free throws require a consistent technique. Your shot could be off if you are inconsistent.

Be sure that you’re able to see clearly. Not to just be able to see the scoreboard, but to actually make a shot and catch a pass. You want to be sure that your peripheral vision is at its best. Having good court awareness to see everything around you lets you see plays develop before they happen, either by warding off the defenders or getting the ball to open teammates.

TIP! If you wish to dribble the ball better, you have to start using your hand that’s considered the weak one. Dribbling with both hands helps you gain the upper one.

You need to take a charge anytime you can. Taking charges gives you an opportunity to get defensive stops, get the ball and lay the groundwork for fouls. This play can give your team a psychological boost, as well as demoralizing the other team.

TIP! A good defensive strategy will keep your opponent on their toes. Focus on getting them out of the comfort zone.

A great way to make sure you’re in a good position defensively is to keep yourself in the defensive stance. Shifting your weight back and forth between your feet will help you to stay in position. Don’t let your feet get crossed and it will be hard to get around you.

Practice Dribbling

TIP! When you are on defense, make sure to keep yourself low. Doing so improves your reaction time with regards to your opponents’ actions.

Practice dribbling while you switch your body’s momentum from one side to the other. This will happen during games frequently. You may see an open court but there are opponents ready to swarm you. Practice dribbling while leaning in many different directions. This allows you to extricate yourself from high-pressure situations.

TIP! You should make sure when practicing dribbling that you shift from one hand to the other. You will dribble during different situations.

Create a barrier between the ball and your opponent with the hand you are not using for dribbling. However, you’re not actually going to push with this hand; instead, you’re going to separate yourself using this hand. Keep it slightly up when you dribble with your opposite hand.

TIP! Maintain strong team camaraderie both on and away from the court. You will be amazed at the difference in the level of your team’s play when everyone is on the same page.

Build a sense of teamwork both off and on the court. Basketball is best played with a team which works well together. If you get to know and trust your teammates, you’ll see that your game will reach untold levels of excellence!

TIP! Passing should be an essential element in your game. Effective passing can trip up the opposing team.

One way to force turnovers is to make your opponent change course. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing defense of offense. Controlling where someone else is going can be very important. If you can master this skill then you determine where the ball is going, not your opponent.

TIP! When you workout, write down your goals. A lot of players go to practice with no plan.

See, it really isn’t that complicated. It’s quite a fun game, actually. You can use the information you got in this article to gain game perfection, or you can just perfect your television tuning skills so you can observe the pros in action.