TIP! Free throws are an excellent skill to practice in your spare time. As easy as these shots may seem, they are rather hard.

People of all ages have loved basketball for years. That said, few understand the game enough to play well. No matter your skill level, this article will provide you with some helpful tips.

TIP! Crossing over is a vital skill to have for handling the basketball. This is when you switch hands while dribbling.

Many people only direct their attention to the offensive part of the game without realizing that defense is the key to winning. Basketball games are won because of good defense. While offensive players sometimes seem like the stars of the show, it is the efforts of defensive players that allow them to shine.

TIP! Work on pass catches. While you are practicing, you should be sure to drill yourself on catching errant throws, as well as catching those perfect passes.

Pay attention to what you are good at. 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. Figure out what you do well at and then you can practice that until you perfect it.

TIP! Play basketball games with yourself during the season and before it. Basketball is sport played in teams, but there are times when no one is around to play with you.

In order to help you improve your basketball acumen you should watch how the pros play. Watch professionals play or go check out talented local teams to see who has the moves that you want to learn. You’ll see that every great player has specific skills that cause them to be great and you have the opportunity to practice what you’re watching them do.

TIP! If you have a child that is strength training for basketball, their core muscles should be properly developed. Focus on hips, lower back and abs.

Do not restrict your practices to zone defenses alone. Usually, a big part of the game is probably going to be in zone; however, the opposing team can suddenly switch to man-to-man to catch you off guard. If you haven’t prepared yourself for that, you might lose your game very quickly.

TIP! Footwork is what gets you ready for a shot. While actually being beneath the basket is key, establishing a good position prior to the opposition is even more so.

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. Even though this is not an easy drill, you will be rewarded for your efforts during game time.

TIP! What do your teammates admire about your skills? Do they feel you are really good at something? You might be quick, or you might always be around to support them. Improve the skills where you tend to be a bit weaker while maintaining your stronger skills.

Try playing basketball games alone before and during the season. Many times you are unable to find people to play with. That is okay. You can still practice when playing alone. Work on free throws or three pointers. There are always things that can be done.

TIP! Keeping your fingers spread will facilitate better ball handling. This can help you avoid losing it when you hold it.

Make use of hand signals so that wild passes can be avoided. You can become easily frustrated when a teammate does a poor job of anticipating your next passing move. This can be prevented through the use of hand signals. If you don’t receive a signal then realize your teammate is not able to get the pass.

TIP! You need to be quick to play good basketball. You’ll have an advantage if you’re faster than an opponent.

You should ask your teammates about your strengths and weaknesses. Do you have an area where you excel? Continue to develop the skills that play into your natural abilities. Find out how your game appears to others and develop your skills accordingly.

TIP! If the opposition is hot on your tail, pass between your legs. To practice, simply bounce the basketball between your legs while stepping either forward or backwards.

Where are your feet? If you step on the baseline, you will be out of bounds. More than three steps will cause you to get called for travelling. Being aware of your body movements can give you an advantage on the court.

TIP! Remain low when playing defense. That helps you stay quick when it comes to the jump and will help you react more quickly to the person just ahead of you.

A good way to see yourself playing is to have someone record your games. Are you able to see what you’ve missed or things that you could improve on? It is important that your assessment is an honest one, but isn’t overly critical. It can be an eye-opener to see how you’re playing the game really, not just what you picture it to be.

Free Throws

TIP! If you want to play better, communicate with your teammates so you know what they intend to do. Basketball is a team sport.

Develop and use a consistent routine for shooting free throws. If you’re not consistent you’ll find yourself missing free throws. Free throw shooting is best improved by lengthy sessions of repetitive practice. If the routine is off in any way, then you’ll miss the shot.

TIP! What you eat can affect how you play. Complex carbohydrates and protein will give you energy to ensure that you get through a long, fast-paced basketball game.

If you want to dribble the basketball better, you need to practice dribbling with your weaker hand. Using both hands to dribble makes you a more effective player, especially when you’re trying to get past your opponent. Practice with your weak hand by tying your dominant hand behind your back. Eventually, your weak hand will be able to dribble well.

TIP! A missed corner shot will usually end up on the opposite side of the basketball court. This knowledge will help you get more rebounds.

Stay low when playing defense. This allows you to jump faster and increases your reaction time should the person you’re covering do something. You must always utilize the proper defensive stance. If you must break your stance to block someone’s shot, return to formation as quickly as you can.

TIP! Keep calm while shooting the ball. The basket should be the your main focus.

You can improve your shooting skills by practicing with shots from different spots on the court. Become better and better by practicing your fast dribble then stopping abruptly to make a shot. When you are off the ground, keep your eye on the basket, but not earlier. This simulates what actually happens in a game and improves your accuracy.

TIP! Know where the ball goes when it is in the air. Rebounds represent a crucial component of any basketball game.

Make sure the ball doesn’t bounce above your knees when you dribble. This will lower the chances of your opponent being able to steal the ball. It will take flexibility, balance and bending but just keep moving toward the goal.

TIP! Make sure passing is an essential component of your overall game. Passing can work to confuse opponents.

Having good communication on the court with teammates is a great way to play. In order to win games, you have to work together as a team. This means that offense and defense doesn’t mean one on one. Everyone has each others’ backs. Communicate with them so that they know when you need assistance, so that you all collectively play better.

TIP! Always force your opponent’s action towards the sideline when you are on defense. Letting them come down the middle leaves them with a lot of options.

Basketball has been very appealing to most people. You have to have the right information to truly enjoy and play the game, though. Remember these tips in order to improve your basketball game.