TIP! Crossovers are key for ball handlers. When you do a crossover, you move the basketball very fast from one hand over to the other hand.

Basketball is loved around the world. No matter if you prefer to watch games on television, play in a pick-up game on weekends or shoot baskets in the driveway, you likely know that basketball isn’t going anywhere. Those who play the game are always interested in improving. The following article has excellent tips that will show you how to better your basketball playing skills.

TIP! Balance is vital to good shooting. You have seen how pros shoot a basket from thirty feet away and fall out of bounds, which is not the right technique.

It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Basketball games are won more often by defense than offense. Offense gets attention and praise, but when you lack good defense, any team can lose.

TIP! Concentrate on your strong points if you want to improve your game. 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.

You should often work on your layups. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game. Run as fast as possible, while jumping and performing a smooth shot. This method will teach you to improve your jumps and shots throughout the game.

TIP! Make layups a part of your daily practice regimen. Since layups account for the majority of scoring in a game.

Work on pass catches. Try to catch all of the passes that are thrown to you. In the middle of a heated game, not all attempted passes will go exactly where you want them to go. Being able to get imperfect passes will limit turnovers.

TIP! Better your basketball skills by watching the pros play. You can do this by watching games in person and on television.

Shake things up rather than focusing solely on a zone defense. The majority of game play might take place in the zone, but that doesn’t mean that the opposing team will not try to catch you off guard. Failure to prepare for this type of tactic makes you more vulnerable and hurts your team.

Strong Core

TIP! Don’t play when you are injured! Basketball is very physical and there’s always a risk of injury. If you continue playing, you could make the injury even worse.

If you have a kid that wants to play basketball in high school, be sure they’re working on their core muscles. That means their hips, lower back and abs. The core links both the lower and upper extremities. Without a strong core, they will have limited athletic performance. A solid and strong core lets force that comes from the legs get used for beneficial movements when playing, like faster running and higher jumping.

TIP! If you experience a slump in your scoring and shooting, your shoulders may be the cause of the problem. If you have bad shoulder position it doesn’t matter how great you are the shot isn’t going to go in.

You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. Wrist curls work well at helping you handle the ball. Don’t ever believe you’re going to be able to stand still, receive a pass and take a shot. You have to be ready to move fast and change directions on a dime.

TIP! Have a friend or family member tape your games so you can view how you appear on the court. This way, you have the opportunity to go through your play at a later time and see your mistakes.

Dribble hard if you don’t want the ball taken from you. The ball will get back to the hand faster, giving the other team less of an opportunity to grab it away. If another player is getting too close to you, it is best to pass the ball if a teammate is open.

TIP! If the opposing team is breathing down your neck, it’s a good idea to pass the ball between your legs. This can be practiced by dribbling the ball as hard as you can between the legs while you step in either direction.

Make sure your vision is good. This will prepare you for unexpected passes and help you evade defenders. Your peripheral vision should be at its best. This will help you see the whole game better and anticipate openings and defense players.

TIP! Being a good defensive player means disrupting the game of your opponent. Make them uncomfortable.

Defensive players need to stay low. You will become faster and react faster. Stay in your defensive stance. If you need to block someone’s shot, quickly get back into your stance.

Standing Straight

TIP! To rebound off your fellow player’s free throws, use sly feet. Defenders will start to move at you, so you need to get around them to grab the ball.

The first step when dribbling is to bend at your knees instead of standing straight-legged. Standing straight up lessens your ability to control the ball and increases the chances that it will be stolen. Some minor bending of the knees makes a big difference in your ability to control the ball.

TIP! Take a charge if you can. This play gets your team possession of the ball and a foul against your opponent.

Practice your dribbling skills while shifting your momentum to alternate sides. Real game dribbling has a lot of variety. You may have an open court, by you’re just as likely to be swarmed by multiple opponents. This is why it’s important to switch the direction you will be dribbling. In this way, you can escape all kinds of difficult situations.

TIP! Switch your body’s weight from side to side while practicing your dribbling. You’re going to be dribbling in many different conditions during a game.

Practice making shots from a lot of different places on the court. Start by practicing grip and balance. You can shoot off balance, but it’s not very accurate. Pay attention to the air valve on the ball. Cover the valve with your palm, and spread your fingers around the ball.

TIP! Be sure you do the sort of off-court exercises that help you during games. For example, building up your stamina will help you play your hardest throughout the game.

When catching a rebound, be sure to land with legs that are spread wider than your shoulder span, to help keep your balance. Hold the ball tightly against your chest with one hand on each side. Keep your elbows under control so you don’t cause a foul by hitting someone.

TIP! When you have the ball, know when to try to make a shot and then when to pass it off to someone who has a better shot. You’ll feel better if you’re able to help your teammates score the winning shot than you would if you cost your team the game.

As you have learned, there are many ways to improve your game. Continue to learn new techniques and perfect your skills. Practice makes perfect, and basketball is no exception. It helps to be near a basketball net as often as possible. Whether you are practicing to play competitively or just for fun, the information in this article will improve your game.