TIP! Crossovers are very important if you’re a ball handler. This technique passes the ball back and forth from the right hand to the left hand.

Basketball begins as a new adventure for most. You were learning how to pass, dribble, and shoot. Now, you might even feel as though you have mastered the sport. The advice contained in this article is going to teach you that you still have a ways to go.

TIP! You need to keep your balance if you’re 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 tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. Basketball games are often won by great defensive play. While offense seems to get the praise, defense must be stellar in order to win.

TIP! Make layups a part of your daily practice regimen. Layups account for up to 80 percent of the shots taken during a game.

You should often work on your layups. A huge percentage of successful shots are layups. During practice you want to get up enough speed to quickly get to the rim then easily lay the ball towards the hoop. Like everything, practicing at game speed will only improve your skill and have you ready to play at the fastest pace.

TIP! Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game.

A great way to bolster your basketball ability is to observe those who are considered to be the best in the sport. Go to professional games in person and/or watch them online or on TV. Each player has their strengths and you can learn a lot from each one.

TIP! You should practice against a variety of defense types, not just zone. While a good chunk of the game will most likely be played in zone, your opponent might flip the switch to man-to-man coverage just to change things up and surprise you.

Do not only practice zone defense plays. 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.

TIP! If you are posting up, strategic footwork is important to becoming open and making a good shot. Although physical presence under the basket is important, getting to a good spot before your opponent does is even more important.

A good tip about passing is try doing it without dribbling the ball. It’s hard to play without dribbling, however, it can help you and your team create more accurate passes. Don’t get upset if it seems hard, this will improve your team’s passes over time.

TIP! Ask your fellow team members which of your skills that they admire. Do you do something really good? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to develop your skills to become an all around better player.

Don’t pump too much iron if you plan on being a jump shooter. You do need muscle conditioning and strength, but you can have too much when it comes to shooting field goals. Some pro shooting guards make their arms large enough to decrease their own field goal percentage.

Core Muscles

TIP! If an opponent is staying with you, try passing the ball between your legs. Bounce the ball very hard through your legs while stepping to the front or the back.

If you have a child that is strength training for basketball, their core muscles should be properly developed. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles. Your performance is going to be sub-par if you don’t have strengthened core muscles. Building strong core muscles will allow your to jump higher, run faster and maintain your balance.

TIP! Being a good defensive player means disrupting the game of your opponent. Force them into an uncomfortable zone.

Understanding your opponent is a good way to shut him down on defense. Review videotapes and monitor scouting reports. Know which players are left and right handed. Understanding your opponent allows you to effectively play defense. One of the most important keys to being a solid defender is an understanding of your opponent.

TIP! Improve both forearms and hands to improve ball control. Do some wrist curls as much as possible and your dribbling should get better.

It’s important to know where you have your feet and also what they’re doing. You will be called out of bounds if even one toe is touching the baseline as you hold the ball. If you take several steps while holding the ball, you could be called for traveling. Also, moving a foot when setting up a screen can result in a foul.

TIP! As soon as the ball leaves your teammate’s hands after a free throw, start moving into position. The defender below you will be moving toward you, so find a way to slip around him and get to the ball.

If you need some help seeing where you need work, try to get a friend or relative to record your games. Looking at tapes can help you identify strengths and weaknesses. Be honest when assessing, but avoid being overly critical. The reality of your play is often very different from your perception.

TIP! A key play on defense is to draw a charge. This helps get the ball for the team and allows another foul on the opponent.

To improve ball handling, consider focusing workouts on your forearms and hands. For example, you can improve dribbling skills by adding wrist curls to your routine. Good playing is not only instinctive, it takes hard work and discipline. You have to start moving the basketball around to get things to happen.

TIP! Use wrist curls to increase the strength in your weaker arm. If you’re able to become more ambidextrous, you are going to be able to better control it on the court.

Drills should be done where you attempt to get your basketball up the court within five dribbles or even less than that. This can seem impossible, but if you do it, you’ll get incredible speed and length. It can mean easier lay-ups when dealing with fast breaks and it can help your teammates for just a moment.

TIP! When you dribble, keep your knees comfortably bent. Standing straight makes it hard to control the ball.

With all the advice you have now, there is no limit to where you can go. Set goals for yourself, and be sure you practice, practice, practice! When you add in these tips and start using them within your strategy, your game will start to show the improvements you always wanted to see.