TIP! 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.

Have you imagined yourself as Larry Bird or Magic Johnson. Instead of just aspiring to be a great, why not continue to learn more techniques and strategies that can help you out. Keep reading to see how.

TIP! Crossovers are very important if you’re a ball handler. This is when you switch hands while dribbling.

Make sure that you’re dribbling the ball correctly. Avoid using your palm while dribbling. Instead, use your fingertips. This allows you to control the ball much better while you dribble. Dribble off to the side waist high. Never look at the ground. Always look up.

TIP! Concentrate on your strong points if you want to improve your game. Your talents might not make you a star, but when you make the most of your strengths, you might better contribute to your team.

Learn to crossover if you get the ball often. This technique passes the ball back and forth from the right hand to the left hand. You have to do this quickly to be good at it. If done correctly, a good crossover helps you get past your opponent and to the rim.

TIP! Practice layups often. 80% of all shots in a game are usually layups.

Start out with proper balance before attempting to take a shot. Of course, pros may make baskets from a great distance while falling off the court, but this isn’t standard. They are professionals, and they are able to improvise successfully. If you are able to improve your sense of balance, then you will find that your percentage of successful shots improves.

TIP! Even professional basketball players spend a lot of time watching other people play basketball. Go to games, watch them on TV and you can also watch videos.

Focus on your strengths to get better at basketball. Your talent might not make you a star; however, learning your strengths will help you become a better team player. Understand your strengths and use it to your advantage to help your team win!

Proper Bounce

TIP! You need to practice more than defeating a zone defense. Though much of the game is sure to be played within a zone pattern, the opposition may try to go man-to-man in order to confuse you.

Learn how to throw a proper bounce pass. Proper bounce passes ought to hit the recipient at the level of their waist. One good rule of thumb is to bounce the ball around three quarters of the way to the other player. Practicing your bounce pass is important so that you can use it skillfully during games.

TIP! Play basketball games with yourself during the season and before it. Many times you are unable to find people to play with.

You can learn to trick the opposing team. Trick them using a back pass. To properly perform this pass you will need to have the ball in your dominant hand. The next step is pull the basketball behind the back. Flick your wrists in the direction that it must travel. This should help to trick the other team.

TIP! When avoiding 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.

One of the keys to becoming a great basketball player is developing core muscles. Core muscles are comprised of the hips, lower back, and abdominal muscles. The core is what holds the body in balance and allows the limbs to work well. A well developed core lets a player generate force with their legs to be applied to faster running and jumping higher.

TIP! Spreading out your fingers is key to handling the ball correctly. This will help you keep a better grip on the ball.

To be a good post-up player in the pain, you need to have really good footwork. You must be certain to get the good spot ahead of your opponent. Once you’ve reached a good spot, you need to secure it. Both of those skills rely on solid footwork.

TIP! In order to be successful with layups, the foot that is opposite from shooting hand is the one you should take off from. If you use your right hand to shoot, use your left foot to take off.

A great way to stay prepared at all times is to always face the ball. This provides court awareness and prevents you from unexpected turnovers or quick passes. Also, watch for areas to open up so you can make an easy basket.

TIP! Being a good defensive player means disrupting the game of your opponent. Focus on getting them out of the comfort zone.

Speed is everything in the sport of basketball. If you want the advantage, you need to be quicker than your opponents. In order to play fast, you must practice drills. However, you should not attempt to play any faster than your abilities permit. Doing so can cause the game to spin out of control as turnovers and faulty passes are made.

TIP! Be certain you are able to see well. You will need it for more than checking the scoreboard or passing and shooting.

If you wish to do free throw shots reliably, always do the exact same thing before making each shot. This can be any combination of movements that makes you feel comfortable and prepare for the shot. However, they need to be the same combination of movements each time. As long as you make it quick, if you have a consistent routine, your body will remember how to make those free throws after you go through your ritual.

TIP! Mix things up offensively to keep the other team’s defense off-balance. When you’re moving towards the net, act like you’re going to straighten up.

The key to great defense is being a nuisance to the player you are guarding. Don’t let your opponent get comfortable out there on the court. Your defensive moves must be aggressive and executed properly. Keep them from deciding what moves to make. The more aggressively smart team is usually the one who wins. Try to interrupt their game plan by taking charge and controlling the tempo.

TIP! Strength and flexibility training can help your skills in basketball. When you play basketball you need a lot of stamina and strength to keep going through the entire game.

Hard dribbling helps avoid stolen balls. A good hard dribble brings the ball back to you much faster, leaving less time for the opponent to steal it from you. If you have an opponent who is guarding you relentlessly, it is time to pass the ball.

TIP! When you are on defense, make sure to keep yourself low. You will be able to react more quickly and jump higher because of this.

Here is how you can change a normal two-three zone to become a trapping machine. You will need for the top two guards to wait until the time when the point guard is approximately 10 feet beyond the midcourt. They can then run toward the point guard to trap him. Have forwards sprint to players on the wing. The point guard should throw up a pass that your forwards can easily steal.

TIP! You should practice your dribbling while switching your balance from right to left. Expect to encounter many different situations in a game.

This article can give you many pointers in the right direction. You need to practice a lot and believe in yourself. Don’t hesitate to put your skills to the test, and don’t be afraid to change your strategy up every now and then.