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.

No matter a person’s sex, basketball makes many people happy. People of all races, and ages love basketball. Develop your skills and share with your friends and teammates how much you have improved. Which ones? Keep reading to find out.

TIP! Watch your form while you dribble the ball. Instead of using your palm to dribble focus on using your fingertips.

A lot of novice players mostly focus on their offensive skills, but developing good defensive skills will help you become a better player. Basketball games are often won by great defensive play. The offense gets lots of attention, but if the defense is lacking no basketball team will ever win a game.

TIP! Crossing over is a vital skill to have for handling the basketball. When you do a crossover, you move the basketball very fast from one hand over to the other hand.

It is important that you practice layups. Layups sometimes wind up being 4 out of every 5 shots in basketball. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. Running and jumping well in practice means better jump shooting in actual games.

TIP! Keep your weight lifting to a minimum as a jump shooter. It’s possible to have excessive muscles when you play the perimeter.

Observing what the professionals do can be a great way to improve your game. Go to professional games in person and/or watch them online or on TV. Each player has their strengths and you can learn a lot from each one.

TIP! Footwork is what gets you ready for a shot. You need to have physical presence beneath the net, but you also have to choose the right spot to be in.

You need to practice more than defeating a zone defense. Always try to anticipate when your opponent is going to switch up their game to catch you off guard. Practicing these techniques can give you a competitive edge over your competition.

TIP! In order to handle the ball correctly, spread your fingers out. That makes it less likely that you lose control of the ball.

A great way to learn how to pass is by doing drills often with no dribbling. This is very hard to accomplish, but it forces you and your fellow players to work on accurate passing skills. Don’t get too frustrated if you’re having a hard time when you start because after a while passes are going to be more accurate.

TIP! Quickness is a virtue in basketball. Speed always gives you an edge over your opponent.

Play by yourself to practice. While it’s a team sport, you may not be able to find others that will play. That is not a problem. Solo games also help. Work on your pivot moves or practice your free throws. There’s always some work to do.

Core Muscles

TIP! You can use your guards and point guard to trap an opponent with a 2-3 zone defense. Then, they need to run at the point guard to trap him.

If you have a kid that wants to play basketball in high school, be sure they’re working on their core muscles. Core muscles include hips, abs and the lower back. The core is the muscle group that links the arms and legs together. If their core strength is poor, then so will their athletic performance be. Building a solid core helps maintain the leg strength that lies at the core of a strong game.

TIP! Take any opportunity to strengthen your weaker hand and build your skill by using it to brush your teeth or open jars. If you can become more dexterous with it in all aspects of your life, you will be bettering your control of it.

When posting up, solid footwork is essential to getting yourself into position to shoot. While actually being beneath the basket is key, establishing a good position prior to the opposition is even more so. After positioning yourself on the court, make sure that you are secure. These skills require solid footwork.

TIP! To make your three-point shot better, practice it from the minimum NBA approved distance. All other three point lines are closer than what the NBA uses.

When injuries occur on the court, it is unwise to keep on playing. This is a physically challenging game, so you may end up hurt much worse. Trying to play while injured will just make your situation worse. If an injury is serious, go to see a physician.

TIP! To become a much better basketball player, try speaking with teammates and learning what they do. You need a team to play basketball.

A great way you can prepare for what happens on the basketball court is to avoid having your back to the ball. You will enjoy greater court awareness and avoid feeling surprised by rapid changes in game play. Keep your eyes open for areas that are open.

TIP! It is necessary to be capable of altering the path of your opponent. Whether you are playing defense or offense, controlling the movements of your opponents is vital.

If the other team has a good defense, passing the ball between your legs is a good option. You can practice this technique by stepping forward or backward and bouncing the ball with force between your legs. When you get this move down, you will have an advantage.

TIP! Be sure that you’re not double dribbling. Double dribbling happens when you’ve stopped dribbling once, and then start again a few seconds later.

You must disrupt your opponent’s game when you’re playing defense. Take them out of their own comfort zone. Stay aggressive. Do not allow them to decide which plays to make. If you let them, they’ll totally take the control from you. Rather, you move first so that you interfere with their rhythm.

Strength Training

TIP! When you’re in possession of the ball you have to know when a shot should be made or a pass needs to be. By ignoring other teammates who are open to hog the ball yourself, you could end up costing your team the game.

Strength training can improve your game. Stamina and physical strength are required for basketball excellence. Proper exercise allows younger players and older players an improved physical presence on the court. Adding weights in stronger increments is effective as the child becomes a teenager. When you’re an adult you have to be sure to do strength training to do well on the court.

TIP! Passing must be a crucial element in your game. Passing will confuse opponents.

Using your weak hand to brush your teeth can help you build skills with that hand. Being able to dribble and shoot the ball with both hands will make it much more difficult for opponents to defend you. This is bound to carry over to the court.

TIP! You have to have a good pivot to play well. You must practice your footwork until pivoting correctly is second nature.

Until the moment you are prepared to shoot or pass, you must dribble constantly. You do not have many options after you stop dribbling. If you opt to not pass or shoot, you’re left with pivoting on your back foot. If you cannot shoot or pass the ball, you are in danger of getting the ball taken away from you.

Part of being a great basketball player is knowing when it is time to give the ball to someone else. When you assist, you are still winning the game.

TIP! You should never argue with an official. You might not agree with their calls, and you can ask them a question if you wish.

Keep your eye on the ball, no matter whose hands it was in before it started to move. Rebounds are terribly important to the game. If won’t matter that you’re a great defender who causes the opponent to miss a shot if you can’t get back the ball.

TIP! If someone has the ball, put on the pressure. Staying around six feet of them just lets them hold the ball or dribble for about five seconds.

When dribbling, you need to work on bouncing the ball quite hard. Normally, you will be dribbling the ball to your side but during fast-break opportunities you will need to dribble the ball in front of you. So, always dribble as hard as you possibly can.

TIP! Try and foil any shot made by your opponent. It doesn’t matter if you are not assigned to cover the player with the ball.

Now you should be prepared to play with heightened confidence. Now you know some tips even your opponents don’t know. Keep in mind that basketball should be fun at all times. Play anytime you get a chance and make having fun a priority, even though you should also look for ways to implement the strategies you just read.