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.

Don’t worry about becoming Michael Jordan or LeBron James, focus on becoming the best player you can be. Work on your technique, practice your skills and perfect your ball handling skills. Keep on reading and see how your dreams of playing ball can become reality in the near future.

TIP! The way to properly dribble is to keep your head up while looking ahead of you. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet.

A bounce pass is an important technique to learn. Bounce passes need to be at waist level when received. One good rule is for you to bounce the basketball most of the way toward the other player. This all depends on many factors.

TIP! It is vital that you learn to crossover the basketball while dribbling. A crossover happens when you switch hands the ball is in.

Even professional basketball players spend a lot of time watching other people play basketball. Get tickets to some pro games, if possible, or catch some games on television. Every truly great player has unique skills that you can learn from.

TIP! You need good balance when you shoot. While the all-time greats have shown time and time again how they can shoot while off-kilter, this is not the ideal way to score.

Spreading the fingers is something you have to do to handle the ball right. This keeps it under control. Also, keep your palm off the ball. The only things that should touch the ball are your fingers, as you shoot or pass.

TIP! Keep your weight lifting to a minimum as a jump shooter. Muscle is good, but you can have too much.

Watch tapes of yourself playing basketball to get a more objective perspective. You can see where you can improve and what plays you missed. Look at how you did and judge yourself. It can be an eye-opener to see how you’re playing the game really, not just what you picture it to be.

TIP! Spread your fingers out to handle the ball properly. This can help you to remain in control of the ball at all times.

Practice looking the other way when passing. You can really confuse your opponents this way. When done properly, this technique distracts the opposition and gives your pass recipient a chance to focus on the basket. It’s quite a play when done properly.

TIP! Work on passing through your legs to add another skill to your arsenal. Refine this skill by bouncing a ball with force between the legs while stepping backwards or forwards.

To generate consistency with layups, leap from the opposite foot from the hand you use to shoot. That means, if you shoot right-handed, use your left foot for taking off. This helps to maintain balance throughout your body and allows you to use yourself as a barrier between the defender and yourself.

TIP! Practice passing while not looking in the direction of the pass. This may confuse your opponents, greatly.

A good way to develop ball handling skills is to make your forearms and hands stronger. An exercise to help develop your basketball skills is to perform wrist curls. Don’t stay stopped; always move around the court. You need to be able to move the basketball to make things happen.

TIP! Make your forearms and hands stronger so you can handle the ball better. Wrist curls can work good if you wish to start handling the ball like you’re able to dribble in any situation.

An excellent way to have proper defensive posture is to remain in the correct stance. To do this, avoid lurching or stepping across the floor; instead use smaller, shuffling steps to move with your opponent. Stay low and make it hard for opponents to get around you.

TIP! You want to keep your vision completely clear at all times. This isn’t just so you can read the scoreboard and be able to make shots and catch passes.

Always bend the knees while dribbling. Opposing players can steal the ball more easily if you stand up straight because you can’t control the ball as well. Just a little bending at the knees can make a huge difference in your overall ball control.

TIP! When dribbling you want to keep your knees bent. It makes it much easier to control the ball while dribbling as opposed to standing straight up, which makes controlling the ball much harder.

You can improve your shooting skills by practicing with shots from different spots on the court. Also practice transitioning from dribbling to a quick shot. Once in the air, keep an eye on the target. But, be sure not to look at it beforehand. This can help to improve your accuracy by simulating actual game conditions.

TIP! To better your outdoor shooting skills, take about a hundred shots every day from various places on the court. Practice dribbling and quick shots.

While you dribble, alternate your momentum from your left to right side. Basketball games are fast and you will encounter different scenarios while dribbling. You might have a truly open court, but you might also be dealing with an onslaught of opposition. Going through the court will be easier if you can quickly adjust your direction without interrupting your dribbling. It will help you when you need it most.

TIP! Dribble the ball below knee level. This prevents your opponents from stealing the ball.

Use the hand that doesn’t have the ball as a block. Be careful not to push your opponent or you may get a foul. Keep it up and dribble with your other hand.

TIP! Do exercises that will assist you in becoming a better player. Sprinting exercises can help you to become faster, while running for long distances can assist you in making it through the whole game.

You will be more balanced when landing after catching a rebound if you will land with legs spaced wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold the ball next to your chest with your hand on either side. Watch where your elbows are because if you hit someone with them, that is a foul.

TIP! Practice making shots from a lot of different places on the court. Practice your grip and balance first.

When you shoot, do what you can to temper your nerves. Keep your view on the basket. Specifically, keep your eyes trained on the rim’s back. If you’re going to shoot a lay-up, focus your eyes on the places on the backboard that you’re going to need to hit.

TIP! Work together with the other players on the team. You will be amazed at the difference in the level of your team’s play when everyone is on the same page.

To be very good at basketball you need to learn how to pivot. Practicing pivoting will be able to help prevent you from tangling your feet or getting disoriented. Practice this stance until you get really fast at pivoting with the ball.

TIP! If you’ve studied the opposing team and found one player isn’t as good with one hand as with the other, try to make that player use his off hand. Use your body position to make the opponent move in a direction that is not as strong.

Understand your own personal weaknesses. Make sure you’re honest with yourself. If you are repeatedly missing foul shots then focus your practice time on those, as opposed to the three pointer shots. Focus on playing more physically and making your short shots if that’s your weakness. To be the best player possible you have to acknowledge your weaknesses.

TIP! If the person you’re guarding is bigger than you are, put your body between this person and the player with the ball. This prevents any easy passes that can go over your head.

Now that you have had a chance to read up on some great pointers, it’s time to get out and practice. It’s important to practice regularly and be confident with what you are doing. Keep these tips in mind and show off your newly acquired skills.