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.

People all over the world derive countless hours of enjoyment from watching and playing basketball. In the game of basketball, there is much to learn about. Keep reading to find out great ways to bring your game skills to a whole new level.

TIP! Knowing how to perform a crossover is a must when you handle the basketball frequently. Crossovers involve sending the basketball from one of your hands over to the other one.

While focusing on offense is fun, you must also make sure you focus on defense. Defense is essential to winning these games. Offense is flashier, so it draws the attention of fans and journalists, but a team that can’t defend well won’t win any games.

TIP! Keep your weight lifting to a minimum as a jump shooter. Muscle is good, but you can have too much.

Make sure you are dribbling the right way. When you dribble, only use your fingertips instead of your palms. Dribbling this way improves your ball control dramatically. Bounce only at the level of your waist at the side and not in front. Don’t look at the ground, always keep your eyes focused forward.

TIP! If you have student that wants to play basketball for their high school team, they will need to spend some time training their core muscles. Core muscles include the hips, abs, and lower back.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. You are able to train your hands and legs to free throw well, but if you think you will fail, you will. Relax, take your time and be focused.

Professional Games

TIP! In order to handle the ball correctly, spread your fingers out. This will help you keep a better grip on the ball.

Be sure to watch professional games to learn some great tips and tricks to improve your game. Go to a bunch of professional games in person, watch them on television, or just get online to search for basketball videos. You will quickly notice all the different skills that they have which makes them a great player, then take what you learned and use it to help improve your own game.

TIP! Quickness is a blessing in basketball. You’ll have an advantage if you’re faster than an opponent.

Work on pass catches. When you practice, drill yourself to pay attention to errant throws and passes that are picture perfect. This will help to improve your game when it gets intense. Be a better teammate by anticipating a bad pass to make sure it doesn’t get into the opponents hands.

TIP! To get more out of layups, take off using the foot that;s the opposite of your shooting hand. This means that if you shoot with your right hand, take off from your left foot.

Don’t just practice playing against a zone defense. While you might see a zone defense mostly, a team can switch defenses to man-to-man quickly in order to confuse you. This can cause your team to lose momentum to the other side if this isn’t something you’ve practiced.

TIP! To help you shoot better free throws you need to come up with a consistent routine. If you’re consistent, your shots will be too.

Hand signals can help stop you from turning the ball over. One of basketball’s most frustrating elements is the concept of sending a quick pass onto a teammate who has just moved in a different direction. Using signals helps communicate passes with your team. Without a signal, the ball controller shouldn’t make a pass.

TIP! You need good vision if you are going to play basketball. Your eyesight will affect more than just making shots.

Footwork is the best way to find an opening shot. You always want to beat your opponent to the open spot. Once you have a location, it is important that your feet are firmly planted there. Strong footwork is key.

TIP! In order to improve your game, make sure you do plenty of strength training. You need both stamina and strength to be a good player.

See if your teammates admire something in particular about your game play. What are your your best skill areas? You might be quick, or you might always be around to support them. You can learn a lot about your skills by knowing how others see you on the court.

TIP! In order to improve your weaker hand, make use of it for everyday things, such as brushing your teeth, eating out of a spoon, etc. If you can become more dexterous with it in all aspects of your life, you will be bettering your control of it.

Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. That makes it less likely that you lose control of the ball. Additionally, the palm of your hand should not come into contact with the ball. Fingers need to be the only thing that touches the ball when you shoot it or pass it.

TIP! When dribbling you want to keep your knees bent. If you are standing up straight, you will have more difficulty controlling the ball.

Knowing your opponent is the best way to play a tough defensive game. Review tapes and keep up with scouting reports. See if you can determine each players strong and weak sides. Once you have a solid idea of your opponent, you can dial in on the best way to defend. A smart defensive player is a strong one.

TIP! Keep your dribbling in a rhythm until you want to throw your opponent off guard. A consistent dribbling broken up by a fast paced dribble can surprise your opponent and give you a major edge for a shot.

Speed is everything in the sport of basketball. Make an effort to do all things on the court more speedily than the opposing team. Steady drilling is the key to playing fast. Avoid playing faster than your abilities allow. By playing beyond your speed capabilities, you will quickly lose control of the ball, which will lead to bad passes, bad shots, and turnovers.

TIP! Create a strong team environment on and off the court. Basketball is a sport that goes so much further when a team truly connects.

The game of basketball is one that offers great exercise to play and lots of enjoyment to watch. But, to really ensure that you are getting everything basketball has to offer, it pays to get as informed on the topic as possible. This article has hopefully provided you with a ton of new information.