TIP! You can easily focus on offense when learning to play basketball, however, you must really focus how playing defense. Defense ultimately determines the winner of a game of basketball.

Before succeeding at anything, you must research and learn how to do it. Along the same lines, nobody ought to expect basketball greatness in the absence of know-how and practice. This article details many of the tips the experts use to make their game as good as it is.

TIP! Make sure that you’re dribbling the ball correctly. When dribbling the basketball, use your fingertips rather than the palm of your hand.

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. Offense may be splashier, but lacking a solid defense, any team is sure to lose.

TIP! Practice shooting free throws. The free throw shot might seem simple, but it can actually be pretty difficult.

Know how to dribble the ball in the correct way. Use fingertips to dribble. This method gives you much more control of the ball. Dribble along the side of the body, not immediately in front of it, and keep the bounce to the waist level or below. Keep your head up, do not stare down towards the ground.

Paying Attention

TIP! Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. In a crossover, you transfer the basketball from hand to hand.

Always keep your head up when dribbling instead of focusing on the ball. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling. Always have a basketball handy. Try dribbling even when walking to a store. Paying attention to the ball means you’re not paying attention to the rest of the game.

TIP! A good way to get your basketball game up to speed is to start trying to see how the pros are playing. Watch pro games on TV, or attend games in person.

Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. Layups account for up to 80 percent of the shots taken during a game. Run as fast as possible, while jumping and performing a smooth shot. That technique of running and jumping helps you get ready for an actual game.

TIP! Do not practice solely against zone defense. While a great portion of a game will be concentrated in the zone, your rivals could opt to go to man-to-man covering to keep you guessing.

Basketball players need to build strong core muscles. Focus on hips, lower back and abs. The core is the muscle group that links the arms and legs together. If their core strength is poor, then so will their athletic performance be. Having a strong base allows the player a solid position from which to jump and accelerate during the game to help speed up their movements.

TIP! If you’re a jump shooter, don’t lift weights too often. It’s possible to have excessive muscles when you play the perimeter.

Understanding the opponent is a good way to win with defense. Watch games if you can and look at their tendencies. For example, you might look to see which players favor their left side and which have dominant right hands. Once you understand the opposition, you will now how to mount your defense. A defender with an education will be good at what they do.

TIP! Keeping your fingers spread will facilitate better ball handling. The ball will not get away if you always keep your fingers spread when handling the ball.

You need to be quick to be good at basketball. If you can play quicker than the opposing team can, then you will be at an advantage. Playing fast requires steady drilling. But do not try to play faster than you are able. Playing beyond your speed can result in bad passes and excessive turnovers.

TIP! Pay close attention to your shoulders if you’ve suddenly developed a shooting slump. No matter your skill level, you won’t make shots if your shoulders aren’t in the proper position.

It can help you when you pass through your legs. To practice this skill, bounce the ball between your legs so that it passes through as you step back and forth. Mastering this skill will provide you with a major advantage on the court.

TIP! Always be aware of your feet. If you have the ball and you step outside the baseline, then you’re out of bounds.

Practice looking in a different direction when you pass. This can go a long way toward confusing the opposition. When you do this right, looking this way will make the opponents go to the wrong place so that when you pass the other person has a better chance at making a shot. It can be a really powerful play.

TIP! Practice with your weak hand when it comes to dribbling. Being able to effortlessly dribble with both hands gives you the ability to run both sides on an opponent and keep them off guard.

You want to keep your vision completely clear at all times. This isn’t just for reading the score, but for catching passes and making shots. Having excellent peripheral vision is vital to do well in this game. 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! A great way to stay in a correct defensive stance is to always stay in position no matter what. Slide your feet to and fro or use your opposing foot to push off to maintain your position.

When you have the chance, take charge. Turnovers are an important part of the game that can end up giving your team the upper hand. Perfecting this play can really give you an advantage on the court.

TIP! Keep dribbling until you want to shoot or pass. If you stop, you limit your options.

Varying your pace and direction keeps the offense off guard. When you’re moving towards the net, act like you’re going to straighten up. Your guard will do the same, thinking you plan to stop. When that happens, push ahead and run past.

TIP! Keep your dribbling consistent until the time you want to confuse your opponent. The opposing player expects you to maintain that rhythm, so when you switch things up you create an element of surprise.

Keep low when you play defense. Staying low will help you to be a more swift opponent when you mirror the man standing in your path. Hold a defensive stance always. If you need to block the opposing team’s shot, resume your stance as soon as you can.

TIP! A corner shot often bounces to the opposite end of the court. Figure out where it will be and rebound the ball.

To trap someone in a 2-3 zone, get your guards to wait for the point guard to get about 10 feet past midcourt. They should then trap the point guard. As your guards are doing this, send your forwards out to the outside opponents. The point guard will then probably throw an easily interceptable pass.

TIP! If you’re sure that the person in possession of the ball isn’t good with one hand, try getting them to use it. If it is their left hand, come at them and stand on your left foot.

To improve your perimeter shooting, it is important to practice every day from various spots on the court. An even better way to improve your accuracy is to practice shooting after pulling up from a dribble. Look at the target when you’re airborne and not a moment before. Doing so allows you to move more precisely and with greater accuracy.

TIP! Know where the ball goes when it is in the air. Rebounds are an integral part of the game.

Being able to fix your own car provides you with great pride unrivaled by other situations. Learning to be the best basketball player possible would be even more exciting. You can win games and impress your teammates.