TIP! Crossovers are key for ball handlers. A crossover is when you move the ball from one hand to the other.

The joy that so many find from basketball, both as players and fans, is never overestimated. The fact remains that many people have a great deal to learn in terms of getting the most from basketball. Read on and learn about what makes basketball a great sport.

TIP! To improve your game, concentrate on your strong points. If you can rely on your strengths, you will become a better player.

One of the most important skills when playing basketball is balance. Even though a professional can hit all sorts of crazy off-balance shots, it is not the ideal method of shooting that you want to learn. This is simply an improvised move. Point your feet towards the basket, guide the ball with your weaker hand and push the ball away with your strong hand whenever you shoot the basketball.

TIP! Always work on your layups. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game.

Be sure to watch professional games to learn some great tips and tricks to improve your game. Watch pro games on TV, or attend games in person. Every truly great player has unique skills that you can learn from.

TIP! Work on pass catches. You want to practice catching perfect passes and bad passes.

It is important to practice catching the ball from others as much as passing. While you are practicing, you should be sure to drill yourself on catching errant throws, as well as catching those perfect passes. When the pressure is on, not every pass will come straight to you. You can do the rest of your team a favor by practicing how you can best complete imperfect passes.

TIP! Do you want to fool the other team? The back pass is perfect for this. Hold the basketball with your writing hand.

If you want to take jump shots, don’t build your arms up too large. While muscle mass is good for any basketball position, perimeter play requires less than other positions. Shooting guards that end up with bulked up arms sometimes find that it affects field goal percentages.

TIP! It’s important to know where you have your feet and also what they’re doing. Stepping even a toe on the baseline with the ball in your hands means you are out of bounds.

Use hand signals to avoid errant passes. One of the more frustrating aspects of basketball is making a pass to a teammate at the same time they head to the basket. The use of hand signals can help you avoid this difficulty. If the signal is absent, do not pass to that player.

TIP! To make your layups count the most, take off from the foot opposite your shooting hand. What this practically means is that if your right hand is your shooting hand, you need to take off with your left foot.

Being able to anticipate your opponent is a key skill. Make sure that you’ve watched tapes that show the other player. You can also check out scouting reports. One simple thing to know before the game is if your opponent shoots with their right or left hand. Once you understand the opposition, you will now how to mount your defense. A person that knows about defending makes a strong defender.

TIP! To get the rebound from the free throw your teammate is making, you need to do some fancy footwork. Try to anticipate the move of the defender between yourself and the basket so that you can maneuver around him and to the hoop.

Whenever you work out, practice footwork and work on your core strength. This allows your body to be in balance and be more explosive on the court. Work the muscles in your abdomen, back, buttocks and hips. Your speed and footwork can be improved by jumping rope.

TIP! Make it your goal to dribble the ball across the entire court in under 5 dribbles. You will need to learn how to push the basketball in front of you while making long strides.

Concentrate on your shoulders if you have gotten into a shooting slump. Regardless of your skill level, if you don’t have your shoulders positioned correctly, you will miss. Ensure that you line up your shoulders so that they are squared with the basketball net. Try to line your dominant shoulder up with the rim.

TIP! Do not release your defensive stance. Use your opposite foot to push with or slide your feet around.

Passing between the legs is something that helps when you have defense all over you. To practice this skill, bounce the ball between your legs so that it passes through as you step back and forth. This technique can really throw off defenders.

TIP! In order to confuse the offense, try changing your pace. When you running towards the basket, try planting the front foot and start straightening up.

When moving in for a layup, push off from your weaker foot and lead with your shooting hand. Jump off your left foot when you shoot using your right hand. Your body will be better balanced and moving in the direction of the basket. Your body will also be kept between the defender and yourself.

TIP! Bend the knees when you dribble a basketball. If you don’t bend your knees, you are more susceptible to having the ball stolen by the other team.

If you wish to dribble the ball better, you have to start using your hand that’s considered the weak one. Getting by an opponent should be a lot easier if you can dribble using both hands. Bind your dominant hand so you will be forced to make use of your weaker side. Your dribbling skills will improve with your weaker hand.

TIP! Keep on dribbling until your shot or passing opportunity is imminent. After you have stopped dribbling, your options are quite limited.

In order to play defense successfully, you must be able to disrupt the game of your opponent. Force them into an uncomfortable zone. Make assertive moves, keeping your opponent unsure of your next move. Never let them control the game plays. The more aggressively smart team is usually the one who wins. Rather, you make the initial move and break up their flow.

TIP! Double dribbling is considered a foul. A double dribble is when you stop dribbling, then start again.

To improve ball handling, consider focusing workouts on your forearms and hands. For example, you can improve dribbling skills by adding wrist curls to your routine. You will not be able to stand in one place and shoot. Learning how to pass the ball ensures that you can get the ball safely to a teammate who has better position on the court.

TIP! Pivoting is key to being a great basketball player. Practicing pivoting will be able to help prevent you from tangling your feet or getting disoriented.

Stay low when playing defense. This will let you get to the jump quicker and let you react to your opponent easier. You must always utilize the proper defensive stance. If you need to block someone’s shot, quickly get back into your stance.

Opposing Players

TIP! When dribbling, be sure to bounce the ball with a lot of force. The reason is that by bouncing it hard, you get the ball moving faster, and your opponents have less of a chance to grab it from you.

To trap the opposing players in a 2-3 zone, have the defending guards hold back till the opposing point guard has moved beyond the midcourt line by about ten feet. They can then run toward the point guard to trap him. Simultaneously, make sure you own forwards are free to sprint to the opposing players who are out on the wings. This will cause the point guard to throw a pass that will allow your forwards to steal.

TIP! Putting pressure on your opponent, moving them towards the sideline, is a great defensive tactic. When you let a player come down the middle, they will have options.

Basketball can be fun for both players and spectators. But, if you really want to get the most out of the game of basketball, you have to learn all you can about it. Hopefully this article has provided the sort of guidance you needed.