TIP! It’s natural to be drawn towards offense as a novice, but the pros know defense is where the game is won or lost. Basketball games are won with a good defense.

It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of basketball among fans. A basic understanding of basketball will make the game more enjoyable. By checking out the advice below, you can learn more about the great game of basketball.

TIP! Look forward when dribbling. If you need to look at the ball while dribbling, you’ll need to practice more.

Many people forget that defense is as important as offense during practice. Basketball games are won because of good defense. Offense gets more attention, but the team is going to lose without a strong defense.

TIP! You must have good balance to shoot well. While the all-time greats have shown time and time again how they can shoot while off-kilter, this is not the ideal way to score.

When dribbling, focus on what’s in front of you by keeping your head up. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet. Take the basketball around off-court wherever you are. Practice in your home and wherever you walk. If you are looking at the ball, you cannot see what is happening down the court in front of you.

TIP! Hitting free throws is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Making the right physical motions is easier than having the right mind set.

It is vital that you learn to crossover the basketball while dribbling. 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! Be sure to watch professional games to learn some great tips and tricks to improve your game. Watch pro games on TV, or attend games in person.

You should practice against a variety of defense types, not just zone. While much of the game is played in zone, the opponent can flip to man-to-man coverage, changing everything and surprising you. You might lose your control of the court if the other team use this technique, unless you are ready for this possibility.

TIP! To learn how to pass well, drill without dribbling. It’s hard to play without dribbling, however, it can help you and your team create more accurate passes.

One of the best ways to play a strong defensive game is to know your opponent. Watch games if you can and look at their tendencies. Pay attention to dominant hands. Defense is more effective when you know what your opponent is likely to do. A defender that is knowledgeable is an effective defender.

TIP! If you have a high school level basketball player for a kid, be sure their core muscles are properly trained. The concept encompasses the abdominal muscles, the hips and the lower back.

When trying to improve your strength to have better basketball footwork, work on building up your core. Your body will be able to move quicker and be more balanced when you have srong core muscles. Work the abdomen, buttocks, hip, and back muscles. Much like boxers do, you have the ability to bolster your footwork and agility by using a jump rope.

Free Throw

TIP! When an injury occurs while you are playing ball, don’t keep playing with pain. Basketball is very physical and there’s always a risk of injury.

To help perfect your free throw abilities you should perform a consistent routine. For example, many people touch their foreheads or tap their chest before making a free throw shot. When you have a steady and consistent routine, your muscles will remember what to do to shoot those free throw shots.

TIP! Asking for feedback from coaches and teammates about your playing is important in order to become a stronger player. Are you really good at any one thing? Perhaps they see you as someone who is fast on the court, or that you’re a really good teammate.

To improve your dribbling skills, practice dribbling with your weaker hand. Dribbling with both hands helps you gain the upper one. To help develop your weaker hand, avoid using your dominant hand. Your weak hand will soon develop better dribbling skills.

TIP! Quickness is something that’s desired in basketball. You need to be faster than the opposing team if you want the advantage.

To get a rebound of a free throw that one of your teammates is taking, you need to be sly with your feet. Defenders will start to move at you, so you need to get around them to grab the ball. By doing this, you can increase your chance to get the rebound despite starting in a disadvantageous position.

TIP! To become a reliable free throw shooter, always go through the same routine before each shot. Whatever you do, from bending your knees to dribbling three times, do every time.

Never break your defensive stance as this will assure you are in your proper position for defense. Stay in the right position by pushing off of your opposite foot. If you never allow your feet to cross one another you will invariably be a very hard player to get passed.

TIP! Launch your layup jumps from the foot that is opposite the hand you shoot with. That means, if you shoot right-handed, use your left foot for taking off.

Altering your own pace is a good way to disrupt the opposition. While you run at the net, plant the front foot and start straightening your body. The offense will believe that you’re stopping or slowing down and may follow in your steps. Use this opportunity to sprint past your opponent.

TIP! Work on getting the ball down the length of a full court with five or fewer dribbles during drills. This might seem impossible at first, but if you achieve it, you will have remarkable stride length and speed.

Strength and flexibility training can help your skills in basketball. In order to be the best you can at basketball, you need to be strong and hardy. Even smaller children can use fitness routines to build stronger arms and legs. When they become teenagers, they will be able to step up to weight work to become even stronger. It’s important to continue strength training when you are an adult to maintain your performance.

TIP! Do not release your defensive stance. You can shuffle your feet to either side, or push with your opposing foot, so you will be ready and in position.

To trap someone in a 2-3 zone, get your guards to wait for the point guard to get about 10 feet past midcourt. Then they need to get to the guard on point to trap him. While this is going on your forwards can be sprinting to the players located on the wings. You will see the opposing point guard make a bad pass that anyone on your team can steal.

TIP! Always stay low when playing defensively. Doing this allows you to have quick reactions, especially to your opponent.

If you want to improve your outside shooting skills then you need to take hundreds of shots each day from all over the court. To help you get even better, practice dribbling the ball and quickly pulling up for a shot. Look at your target while you’re in the air, but not before that. This helps to simulate game conditions and improving your accuracy.

TIP! If you want to build the dexterity of your weaker hand, start using it for everyday tasks like shining your shoes or opening doors. These tasks help to make your weaker hand feel more natural when you use it on the court.

A missed shot from the corner of the basketball court will usually go to the opposite side. If this is the case, you need to guess where it will end up and catch the rebound as a result.

TIP! If possible, the action should remain below your knees. This makes it more difficult for your opponents to steal the ball.

Basketball is one of the best loved sports in the US, and it is played in many other countries as well. However, it’s so easy for novices to be lost, wondering what the fuss is all about. This article should have given you all you need to know.