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.

The basics of paying basketball are not really hard to learn. The basic strategies of the game can be acquired in a few minutes time. In saying that, however, it does not matter what level of skill you are playing at; there is always room for improvement.

TIP! Learn how to block out movement, noise and other distractions when taking a free throw. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game.

You should practice your crossovers a lot. In a crossover, you transfer the basketball from hand to hand. This action most be quick to work out. When executed properly, a crossover dribble lets you alternate directions suddenly so that you can move down the entire court quickly.

TIP! Do not practice by playing against the zone defense. Learn how to play a man-to-man defense and a zone defense to get the best understanding of how the game works.

Practice your layup shot as frequently as possible. Four out of every five shots taken in a given game will be layups. When you practice, you need to be able to run toward the basket at full speed, then shoot while jumping in the air. Practicing your running and jumping as a single motion will improve your technique faster than practicing them separately.

TIP! Improve your passing abilities by challenging yourself to perform drills without actually dribbling. Playing without any dribbling is very hard, but builds your passing skills.

Get educated on the way to properly pass the ball on a bounce. A good bounce pass should hit the player on the receiving end at waist level. Bounce the ball so that it lands near your teammate. It does depend on a variety of other factors, however.

TIP! If you are good at shooting the ball then the last thing you want to do is lift weights. It’s possible to have excessive muscles when you play the perimeter.

Successful free throws require you to be mentally and physically strong. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game. Take a deep breathe, relax and block out all outside distractions before taking the shot.

TIP! Before, during and after the season, play out games by yourself. It is possible to enjoy this team sport even in the absence of your team.

One way to help improve your overall basketball skills is to spend some time watching what the pros do. Watch some games on TV, view videos of professional games, and go to some games. You will see that each great player has certain skills that make him great and you can practice what you see him doing.

TIP! Building core muscle is key to playing great basketball. This will involve their lower back, hips, and abs.

If you want to take jump shots, don’t build your arms up too large. Muscle strength can be great for basketball players, but it is actually possible to have excessive amounts for playing on the perimeter. Some professional shooting guards made their arms so big that it started decreasing their field goal percentage.

TIP! When avoiding errant passes, use hand signals. It’s frustrating to pass to your teammate at the very moment they’re heading toward the basket.

Practice basketball in season and out of season. Basketball is usually a team sport, but just because you can’t find others, doesn’t mean you have to just stop thinking about it. That’s fine. Solo games can help you immensely. Practice pivoting and free throw shooting. You can always practice something.

TIP! Being able to anticipate your opponent is a key skill. Watch tapes and be sure you’re paying attention to scouting reports.

When working out, focus on building your core strength and perfecting your footwork. Your body will retain balance and move quicker when you have strong core muscles. Work your ab, back, hip and buttocks muscles. Much like boxers do, you have the ability to bolster your footwork and agility by using a jump rope.

TIP! Have someone taper your games and then watch it to see how you look on the court. Are you able to see missed opportunities or ways in which you could have improved? Look at how you did and judge yourself.

Ask someone to take a video of you playing and watch it. You should be able to see what you missed or can do better. It is important that your assessment is an honest one, but isn’t overly critical. This gives you an unfettered view of how you actually performed on the court, rather than relying solely on your memory of the game.

TIP! Try practicing looking in the opposite direction when you pass. This is a great way to fake out your opponents.

Practice passing while looking the opposite direction. This should befuddle your opponent. If you do this fake the right way, then the receiver of the pass should have an advantage and a great look at the goal. When executed properly, this is a powerful play.

TIP! Make layups count by taking off with the foot that is opposite to your shooting hand. Practice shooting using your right hand, then jump off your left foot.

Launch your layup jumps from the foot that is opposite the hand you shoot with. If you play to use your right hand to shoot, you’ll want to use your left foot to take off. That will build your balance and help you stay in the right position.

TIP! Get into a consistent routine to improve your free throw shots. When you stay consistent, you get better success.

Your routines must be consistent for free throws. Inconsistent shooting will lead to inconsistent results. The most effective method to achieve a great free throw is by practicing it repeatedly until you get it right. This will help you develop a routine. If that routine goes off, it will cause you to miss your shot.

TIP! For your weaker hand, to build skills, use it off-court for as much as you can, from brushing teeth to opening jars. Being more dexterous means you will have better control.

Try some drills that require you to move the basketball from one end of the court to the other in no more than five dribbles. While this is a challenging goal, working toward it will make you a much better player. This helps give your team the advantage, and allows you to drive the center.

TIP! Don’t discontinue dribbling until you have the chance to shoot or pass. When you stop dribbling the ball, you only have a limited amount of plays you can perform.

Perhaps you have been just began to play basketball before reading this great article. Perhaps you played a match or two as a child. No matter what, the tips in the article above are great for helping you improve. Use the information from this article to help improve your game.