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.

In order to succeed at basketball and attain your goals, you must be a good practice player. That said, what’s the point in practicing when you aren’t doing it right in the first place? Follow the helpful information presented here to learn how to play basketball consistently well.

TIP! Crossovers are key for ball handlers. Crossovers involve moving the ball from hand to hand.

Many people only direct their attention to the offensive part of the game without realizing that defense is the key to winning. Victory requires the ability to play defense. Even though everyone loves to watch offense, defense is what wins you most games.

TIP! Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. This will make up about eighty percent of shots during any basketball game.

When you dribble, look forward, keeping your head up. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet. Bring your ball along when you go out. Try dribbling even when walking to a store. If you look at the ball, you’re unable to see what’s going on down the court before you.

TIP! Good footwork is important when you’re posting up in the paint. You do, of course, need to be near the basket, but finding the right spot without getting blocked is essential.

You should practice your crossovers a lot. This is when the ball is moved from hand to hand. This should be something you do quickly. When done properly, crossover dribbling is a great way to quickly switch direction or move around the court in an efficient manner.

TIP! If you’re injured in a basketball game, don’t attempt to play while in pain. Basketball is very physical and there’s always a risk of injury.

Watching the pros play is a great way to see how great basketball players use their skills in the game. You can follow the pros in online videos, on TV and you can also attend a basketball game if there is a pro team in your area. This is a great way to learn new techniques to try out on the court.

TIP! One great thing to do if you wish to be prepared while playing is to make sure your back isn’t turned to the ball. This can help you to avoid surprises by fast passes, help you keep an eye on the rest of the court, and allow you to spot potential turnovers.

Practice the skill of pass catching. Don’t just work on waist-level, perfect passes, though, work on receiving tougher passes as well. Understand that during a game, you will receive very scattered passes. Some will be good; some won’t. Therefore, it pays to practice catching passes that are a bit off-target.

TIP! The key to ball control is to spread your fingers out. That makes sure that you don’t lose the ball when you hold it.

If you’re going to be a jump shooter, don’t lift too many weights. Strong muscles are certainly useful for basketball, but you can overdo it if you plan to play on the perimeter. Certain pro guards ended up increasing their arm size so much that their shooting started to suffer.

TIP! Understanding your opponent is a good way to shut him down on defense. Follow the scouting reports and watch tapes of their games.

Should you receive an injury during the course of the game, never try to continue playing despite the pain. This is an aggressive sport, and injuries happen often. You may injure yourself more if you continue to play with an injury. Be sure to seek medical care if you have a serious injury.

TIP! Work on core strength when you work out. Your body will maintain balance and move more quickly when your core muscles are strong.

Pay attention closely to the shoulders if you’re starting to slump when you shoot. Shoulders are the key to a consistently successful shot. Make sure your shoulders are always square towards the hoop. The dominant shoulder needs to be aligned correctly with the rim.

TIP! If the opposing team is breathing down your neck, it’s a good idea to pass the ball between your legs. You can practice this technique by stepping forward or backward and bouncing the ball with force between your legs.

Be certain that your vision is the best it can be. This will prepare you for unexpected passes and help you evade defenders. Your peripheral vision needs to be as strong as possible. If you scan the entire court, not just the location of the ball, it is possible to anticipate defense moves in advance and see which teammates are open.

TIP! Dribbling hard helps you protect the ball. This means you get the ball back from your opponent faster.

When you are on defense, make sure to keep yourself low. This helps your reaction time against your opponent. You always want to have a strong defensive stance on the court. You may have to break your stance if you must block a shot, but return as fast as you can.

TIP! Perform drills in which you move the ball up the court in just five dribbles. This can seem impossible, but if you do it, you’ll get incredible speed and length.

Shoot hundreds of shots every day from every position on the court to improve your shooting skills. For even better results, practice the run-up to your shot in addition to the actual shot. Only lift your head up to check out the target once you are in the air. Doing so allows you to move more precisely and with greater accuracy.

TIP! One of the best ways to always be in proper defensive position is to never break out of the defensive stance. Shuffle your feet in a side to side motion, then use your opposite foot to push off and give you good leverage.

It matters not how regularly you get to play basketball, because this advice will help each and every time you get the chance to hit the court. Begin using the tips above to help improve your overall game. You can play much better basketball by using the tips provided.

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