TIP! A lot of novice players mostly focus on their offensive skills, but developing good defensive skills will help you become a better player. Defense ultimately determines the winner of a game of basketball.

Basketball is exciting and fast-paced; of course people love it. But, to really play it well, there are several things to keep in mind. Here, you will read tips that will help you improve your basketball skills.

TIP! When dribbling, make sure that you look forward and keep your head up. You need more practice if you feel that you cannot dribble without focusing on the ball.

Make sure to dribble properly. Use the fingertips, not the palm, for the best dribbling. Using your fingers allows you to better control the basketball. Dribble the ball around the height of your waist, and over to one side. Always look up and never look down at the ground.

TIP! If you want to improve your game, play up your strengths. If you can rely on your strengths, you will become a better player.

Keep your head up when you dribble. If you need to look at the ball while dribbling, you’ll need to practice more. The ball can go with you when you go anywhere. Dribble the ball as you go about your day doing errands like walking the dog. If you’re looking at the basketball, you won’t be able to see what is coming at you.

TIP! A good way to get your basketball game up to speed is to start trying to see how the pros are playing. You can do this by watching games in person and on television.

If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. This technique passes the ball back and forth from the right hand to the left hand. This must be done quickly to be successful. When executed properly, a crossover dribble lets you alternate directions suddenly so that you can move down the entire court quickly.

TIP! If you have a high school level basketball player for a kid, be sure their core muscles are properly trained. The core is the following areas: abdominal muscles, lower back muscles and hip muscles.

Start out with proper balance before attempting to take a shot. Your knees should be bent with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. They are improvising. When you shoot, you should always be properly balanced, which will help you make more baskets more consistently.

TIP! Never turn away from the ball so that you can always be prepared for what’s coming. This will give you court awareness and keep you from being surprised by quick passes or turnover potentials.

Keep practicing your layups. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game. When practicing this technique, run toward the goal and shoot. Knowing how to run and jump quickly and smoothly will assist you in knowing how to leap and shoot more effectively while playing.

Core Muscles

TIP! To land your layups, jump off the foot opposite the hand you shoot with. So, if you shoot using your left hand, launch with your right foot.

If you have a child who has expressed interest in becoming a basketball player in high school, make sure he trains his core muscles. Core muscles include hips, abs and the lower back. The core links both the lower and upper extremities. Without a strong core, they will have limited athletic performance. A core that’s solid and strong will allow you to use force that comes from your legs so you can jump higher and run faster.

TIP! 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.

Make use of hand signals so that wild passes can be avoided. It can be frustrating passing to a teammate when you’re both heading to the basket. This can be prevented through the use of hand signals. If there is no signal, the player should not make the pass to them.

TIP! To be a strong defender, you must have the ability to disrupt and interfere with the opponents’ plans. Do not allow your opponent to become comfortable with their style, or yours.

If you’re posting up, good footwork is the key to getting open and getting a good shot. Focus on positioning yourself more quickly than the opposing player is just as important as having someone beneath the hoop. Once you get into your position, you need to secure it. Footwork, therefore, is crucial.

TIP! Dribbling hard helps you protect the ball. This means you get the ball back from your opponent faster.

If you are shooting as well, pay attention to the position of your shoulders. When the shoulders are wrongly positioned, your shot is unlikely to succeed. Be sure that your shoulders square up in front of the hoop. The dominant shoulder must be perfectly aligned with the rim.

TIP! In your drills, you should attempt to move the basketball the length of the court in fewer than half a dozen dribbles. This may be difficult in the beginning, but if you manage it, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

Good footwork can really help you to get those rebounds. The more quickly you get under the basket, the better you chance of grabbing the rebound. In this way you can get the rebound without a foul.

TIP! When on defense, try to keep yourself low whenever you can. You will become faster and react faster.

Basketball is a sport that is enjoyed around the globe. This article has helped to show that continual learning is a part of really excelling at the sport. These tips will ensure you grow as a player.