Basketball is fun, fast-paced and sometimes frustrating. To be good at it, you have to understand the game. You can get tips on improving your game from this article.

TIP! If you have a child who has expressed interest in becoming a basketball player in high school, make sure he trains his core muscles. This will involve their lower back, hips, and abs.

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. Victory requires the ability to play defense. Offense is often what gets the glory, but most winning basketball teams play great defense.

TIP! To make sure there are no errant passes, use hand signals. One thing that can frustrate you when playing basketball is to try and pass while a player is trying to run to the basket.

Know how to dribble the ball in the correct way. When you dribble a basketball you have to use the fingertips instead of the hand’s palm. This way you’ll have a lot more control over the ball. Always dribble to your side, not your front. Instead of focusing on the ground, gaze upward.

TIP! Have your team mates critique your playing skills. Do you do something particularly well? You may be quick with your footwork or are always there for backing them up.

Make sure you learn how to shoot free throws. It looks simple to do, but it isn’t that easy. Try using this technique in practicing. Start out by holding the basketball right in front of you. Concentrate on the basket and visualize the basketball going in. Shoot the ball how you imagine it going in.

TIP! You need to be quick to play good basketball. If you want the advantage, you’ve got more quickly.

A great way to bolster your basketball ability is to observe those who are considered to be the best in the sport. Whether seeing an all-pro on YouTube, attending a game in person, or sitting on the couch with buddies to watch your local professional team, there are many chances to observe the best. You will notice great skills from different players that you can practice.

TIP! A consistent routine will help you to achieve great free throws. If you aren’t able to be consistent then you’ll be off when you shoot.

Shake things up rather than focusing solely on a zone defense. Most of the basketball game will probably be played in this zone, but the other team might decide to surprise you and do some man-to-man coverage. If you haven’t trained yourself to counter this, you could lose any control you have over the game.

TIP! Dribbling the ball fast and hard will help you to keep better control of it. This causes the ball to return to your hand more quickly, so the offense has less time to try to get it away from you.

One way to get a good understanding of your game is to ask your fellow players about your ability. Can they tell you what you’re really good at? It could be your speed, or it could be your back-up abilities. You can learn a lot about your skills by knowing how others see you on the court.

TIP! You want to keep your vision completely clear at all times. This isn’t just for reading the scoreboard.

Keeping your fingers spread will facilitate better ball handling. This can help you avoid losing it when you hold it. Your palm should touch the ball as little as possible. Fingers need to be the only thing that touches the ball when you shoot it or pass it.

TIP! Changing your pace is key to keeping the offense on their toes. When running towards the net, step on your front foot, and start to straighten up your body.

Always be sure of where you’re placing your feet so you’re aware of what they’re doing. If you have the ball and you step outside the baseline, then you’re out of bounds. If you take too many steps and don’t dribble, then you are walking. Also, moving a foot when setting up a screen can result in a foul.

TIP! When you are on the defense, the key is to stay as low as you can. This allows you to jump or react quicker.

Learn to pass the ball without looking at your intended target. This will easily confuse your opponents. The look will cause your guard to turn away. When completed correctly, it creates an awesome play.

TIP! Using your weak hand to brush your teeth can help you build skills with that hand. If you gain more mastery of it in all walks of life, you improve overall control.

Your forearms and hands should be strengthened if you wish to handle the ball better. Wrist curls can work good if you wish to start handling the ball like you’re able to dribble in any situation. Don’t ever believe you’re going to be able to stand still, receive a pass and take a shot. Things rarely happen unless you are actually moving the basketball.

TIP! Work on dribbling the ball while switching the momentum of the body from side to side. This will help you learn to dribble during all different kinds of situations.

Perform drills in which you move the ball up the court in just five dribbles. This may seem like an impossible challenge, but it will increase your stride length and your speed. Being able to do this lets you lead your team on a fast break and gets you to the rim that much quicker.

TIP! Try using your non-dribbling hand like a barrier between the ball and your opponent. Avoid physical contact like pushing, but keep the ball from them by separating them from it.

Be sure that your site is good. This is so that you’re able to catch passes, get shots in, and look at the scoreboard. You want to make sure that you see what is going on to the sides of you. If you look across the whole game and not just focus on the ball, you can see oncoming defensive pressure in advance, as well as open teammates.

TIP! Keep your dribbling in a rhythm until you want to throw your opponent off guard. By mixing up your regular dribbling rhythm with a faster pace, you will throw your opponent off guard, perhaps leaving you with an open shot or pass.

In order to ensure that you are always ready to defend, keep your stance at all times. You will always be in a defensive position if you slide your feet one way and then the other and push off using your opposing foot. Keep your body constantly facing toward your opponent in order to ensure the best possible defense.

TIP! After catching a ball that has rebounded, land on your feet, spreading legs wider than your shoulders in order to get greater balance. Make sure that your hands are on both sides of the basketball, and that you hold it close to your chest.

Keep dribbling when you’re going to switch the body’s momentum from side to side. Dribbling during game play requires you to adopt a variety of dribbling skills. There may be times when you are covered by multiple opponents; however, there may be times when you have the whole court in front of you. You have to be able to lean and still dribble straight. This will help you in bad situations.

TIP! Try to calm your nerves in order to become a top-notch scorer. Keep your eyes and thoughts focused on the basket.

These tips should help you improve your game and make the sport more fun. To play better, you need what you have learned here. Use these tips and you’ll improve greatly at basketball.