TIP! While focusing on offense is fun, you must also make sure you focus on defense. Defense can make or break a basketball game.

Countless individuals love the sport of basketball. You can just shoot some baskets at the park, or try to make a career out of playing. Read this article to gain some information about how to improve your skills.

TIP! Dribble the ball correctly. When you dribble a basketball you have to use the fingertips instead of the hand’s palm.

When dribbling, make sure you hold your head high and look straight ahead. If you have to keep your eye on the ball when you’re dribbling, practice can remedy that. If you are just getting started, bring your ball with you everywhere. Practice in your home and wherever you walk. If you look your ball, you can’t see the court.

TIP! Improving your balance means improving your shots. Everyone has watched a pro player drift out of bounds while still making their shot, but this isn’t something to emulate.

Crossovers are very important if you’re a ball handler. Moving the ball from hand to hand is a crossover. This action most be quick to work out. When done properly, crossover dribbling is a great way to quickly switch direction or move around the court in an efficient manner.

TIP! You have to know how to bounce pass properly. Executed properly, a bounce pass will connect with the receiving player at the waist.

Try playing basketball games alone before and during the season. Basketball is sport played in teams, but there are times when no one is around to play with you. There’s nothing wrong with that. You are able to do a lot with solo games. You can practice many different techniques, such as your free throw routine. There’s always some work to do.

TIP! Passing the ball is an important part of playing basketball so practice making and receiving passes. When you practice, mix it up so that you can catch perfect passes and errant throws.

Make layups count by taking off with the foot that is opposite to your shooting hand. That means, if you shoot right-handed, use your left foot for taking off. This will keep your body properly balanced with forward momentum.

TIP! Would you like to completely fool the opposing team, making them look silly? Back passes are a great way to confuse other players. To accomplish this pass, grasp the ball using your dominant hand.

Be sure your vision is unobstructed. This will enable you to make good shots as well as catching passes that come your way. Try making your peripheral vision the best it can be. Being aware of the entire court will help you to better anticipate who will move where.

TIP! When it is not basketball season, keep in practice by shooting baskets and practicing your skills. Though basketball is surely a team sport, there may be times when you have nobody to play against.

Stay in your defensive stance while defending your basket against opponents. Slide your feet to the sides or push off using the opposite foot to always be in position. If you never allow your feet to cross one another you will invariably be a very hard player to get passed.

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 hips, abs and the lower back.

In order to confuse the offense, try changing your pace. When you approach the goal, put your front foot in firm place and start straightening up. The guard is sure to anticipate a slow-down and will then straighten their own body. As hes does, plow forward and run by him.

TIP! Good footwork remains a vital part of basketball. Securing a good location is critical when playing basketball.

Defensive players need to stay low. This allows you to jump faster and increases your reaction time should the person you’re covering do something. Be in the correct defensive stance all the time. The only time you should be out of your stance is when you are jumping to block an opponent shooting.

TIP! Be aware of what your feet are doing and where they are. If you slide onto the baseline, you will lose the ball for being out of bounds.

A powerful play called the trapping machine, is to have your guards wait for the point guard to come just past midcourt. Once he passes mid court the guards should rush up on him. Your forwards should sprint to cover the other players on the outside. Your forwards should easily be able to steal the pass that the point guard throws.

TIP! Develop a routine to use every time you shoot a free throw. It could be that you dribble several times, bend at the knees, brush your hair out of your eyes or do something else.

Use wrist curls to increase the strength in your weaker arm. If your ability to use that hand starts to improve, the benefits to your basketball playing talents will be substantial. This will show in your next match.

TIP! Use small weights and resistance training to build the muscles in both forearms and hands. Wrist curls can be great for honing ball handling skills.

Only cease dribbling when you are prepared to shoot or pass. Standing there without dribbling takes away most of your options on offense. You can’t do anything but pivot if you don’t shoot or pass. Once this happens, you are prone to being double-teamed and more likely to turn the ball over.

TIP! Accept a charge when you can. By taking charge you can create a defensive stop so you can get the ball, and allows you to create setups so that the opponent will foul you.

Try using your non-dribbling hand like a barrier between the ball and your opponent. This keeps your opponent from being able to steal the ball. Keep is slightly up as you dribble with your other hand.

TIP! When you dribble, bend your knees. You will have a hard time controlling the ball if you always stand straight and opponents will be able to steal the ball.

Be sure that off-court exercises are proper for playing on-court. Sprints helps with individual plays, and long-distance running gives you stamina. To play more physically, lift weights to make yourself a more dominating presence. You will develop a confidence and attitude that you make you a better shooter.

TIP! Use the hand you aren’t dribbling with to keep the opponent away from the ball. You don’t need to be shoving the opponents, but you’re able to keep them away by using the arm that isn’t dribbling as a separator.

Double dribbling is considered a foul. This occurs when you halt the dribble once, only to begin dribbling immediately thereafter. If you have already ceased dribbling, your only options are to pass or shoot the basketball. You cannot return to dribbling again. This will lead to you having to turnover the ball to the opposing team.

TIP! After catching a ball on the rebound, position your legs so that they are set more widely than your shoulders. This improves your balance upon landing.

Be aware of your position when a shot is made so you can be in a good spot to grab a rebound. Use both feet when jumping; this improves both height and control. Once you have the ball in your position, come down to the ground with your legs spread out to make sure you don’t stumble.

TIP! Dribbling is both physically and mentally challenging. You must understand the way a ball spins, the force it hits the floor with and how the ball bounce in coordination to how your body is positioned.

When you shoot, try to stay calm. Maintain focus on the basket. Specifically, make it a habit to look right behind the basket when you take a shot. When you are going all in for a lay-up, focus your vision on the backboard you will be banking the basketball off of.

TIP! Avoid arguing with the game officials. If you disagree with the call, you can ask the official questions about it.

If you’re guarding a taller person, try to keep your body between that opponent and the person with the ball. In this way, you will prevent the larger player from being able to receive a pass. Then they will not be able to get the ball and shoot it over your head.

TIP! Put pressure on your opponent but don’t simply run from one player with the ball to another player with the ball. This will end up leaving your man open.

Follow the path of the ball once it has left the hands of your teammate or the opposing player. Rebounds are essential to the game. Gaining possession on a turnover is always going to be a positive for your team.

TIP! There are two main kinds of defenses, man-to-man and zone defense. In zone defense, you defend an area as opposed to a player.

These tips can help you become a more versatile basketball player. With good knowledge and a little work, you can enjoy the game to the utmost. Once you being to play, you’ll probably be hooked. Whatever you do, remember to have fun!