TIP! It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. You can win a game, thanks to good defense.

Whether you are going to try out for the team or you are just going to ride the bleachers, there’s stuff you need to know about basketball. What’s the score? Don’t worry. It’s easy to learn basketball. Read on for advice you can use for either viewing or playing basketball.

TIP! Free throw practice is vitally important. The execution of a free throw is not as simple as it may appear.

Make it a point to concentrate on both your defensive and offensive skills. Focusing only on offense does not make you a well-rounded player. Defense is what wins basketball games. Offense receives all the glory, but it is nothing without the best defense.

TIP! Perfect your layup technique. Layups sometimes wind up being 4 out of every 5 shots in basketball.

Knowing how to perform a crossover is a must when you handle the basketball frequently. This is when you switch hands while dribbling. The action needs to be performed quickly in order to be successful. When executed properly, a crossover dribble lets you alternate directions suddenly so that you can move down the entire court quickly.

TIP! You can improve your skills by paying attention to how the pros play. Watch as many games on TV as you can.

Pay attention to what you are good at. You might not become a big basketball star based on your strengths, but you will be an asset to your team. Knowing what you excel at and then practicing that can help you become perfect at it!

TIP! There are passes that can confuse the other team momentarily. Try a back pass.

Want to trick the other team? Trick them using a back pass. Hold the ball in your strong hand to start the pass. Then, move the ball so it is behind your back. The last step is to flick your wrist in the direction you want the ball to land. This should be helpful in tricking them team.

TIP! Turning away from the ball can be a costly mistake in basketball. You have to be aware of what is going on with the ball at all times.

Avoid errant passes by the use of hand signals. Passing is tough, especially if you and your teammate are not in sync with one another. Hand signals can be a great way to find out if a teammate will be able to receive your pass. If you don’t see a signal, you shouldn’t pass the ball.

TIP! The key for controlling the ball well is to spread your fingers. This keeps it under control.

If you get injured while playing basketball, do not try to play through the pain. Basketball is physically demanding, and injuries are relatively common. Being tough is one thing, but playing through injury can only harm you even further and make the problem much worse. Anytime you have a serious injury, you should seek medical attention.

TIP! Work on core strength when you work out. Your body will be more stable and easier to move when you have strength in your core muscles.

Remember to spread your fingers when handling the ball. This gives you better control of the ball. Don’t let your palm touch the ball either. Only your fingers should touch it during a pass or when dribbling.

TIP! A routine can enable your free throw percentage to rise. If you stay inconsistent, you miss a shot.

Speed is everything in the sport of basketball. Make an effort to do all things on the court more speedily than the opposing team. Playing fast requires steady drilling. Never try though to get too fast that you can’t make any plays. Playing beyond your speed can result in bad passes and excessive turnovers.

TIP! Playing basketball well means developing good court “eyesight.” Vision is an integral part of making shots and catching passes.

Work on passing through your legs to add another skill to your arsenal. This can be practiced by dribbling the ball as hard as you can between the legs while you step in either direction. Mastering this skill will provide you with a major advantage on the court.

TIP! Don’t leave your defensive stance. Use a shuffling side to side motion to ensure you are in position.

Being a good defensive player involves disrupting your opponent’s concentration. Force opposing players into an unfamiliar or unexpected position. An aggressive approach is an effective one for this purpose. You don’t want the defense choosing your plays so to speak. Otherwise, the opponents will win all the shots and dominate you. Force them to act and their rhythm will get disrupted.

TIP! Always attempt to remain low when you are playing defense. This will aid you as you jump and make it easier to react to the front man.

Try to strengthen your forearms and hands to better handle the ball. Try doing some wrist curls as they are particularly effective in honing your dribble skills. Good playing is not only instinctive, it takes hard work and discipline. You must move the ball to have things happen.

TIP! Take any opportunity to strengthen your weaker hand and build your skill by using it to brush your teeth or open jars. Being able to dribble and shoot the ball with both hands will make it much more difficult for opponents to defend you.

Dribble hard to avoid ball stealing. This speeds up the dribbling cycle, which means the person covering you has less of a chance to steal the ball each cycle. When someone is right on top of you, pass the ball instead of dribbling.

TIP! When dibbling the ball, bend your knees. When you stand straight up, you’ll find that the ball is harder to control and the ball will be a lot easier for an opponent to steal.

If you wish to shoot on the outside better you should work on shooting hundreds of times every day from a lot of places on the court. To improve even more, practice dribbling the basketball and then pull up fast for a quick shot. Hone in on your target while you are jumping, but not before you leave the ground. This can help you simulate the conditions of the game and also helps you improve accuracy.

TIP! Until the moment you are prepared to shoot or pass, you must dribble constantly. You are limited once you cease dribbling.

Be sure your exercise off the court is going to help you on the court. Sprints help you gain skill in individual plays, while running longer distances will increase your stamina. Weightlifting or resistance training improves your muscle tone. The confidence this gives you will help you with your shooting.

TIP! Create a barrier between the ball and your opponent with the hand you are not using for dribbling. However, you’re not actually going to push with this hand; instead, you’re going to separate yourself using this hand.

If someone is attempting a shot from one of the court’s corners, that shot (if missed) will probably bounce over to the opposite side of the net. Anticipate where the ball lands and grab the rebound.

TIP! Practice all kinds of shots from every court location. Start by practicing grip and balance.

Be sure not to double dribble. This occurs if you restart dribbling seconds after you have stopped your original dribble. You only have two options once you stop dribbling, to shoot or pass. You cannot simply dribble again. This creates a turnover, which will cause you to lose the ball to your opponent quickly.

TIP! Forge a strong bond between teammates, whether you are playing the game or off the court. When your team is of one accord, your game will be the best possible.

When you return to the floor from a rebound, make sure your legs hit the floor at wider than shoulder-width apart so that you maintain your balance. Your hands must be positioned on both sides of the ball, and the ball must be held tightly against your chest. Watch where your elbows are because if you hit someone with them, that is a foul.

TIP! When you come back down to earth from a rebound, try to land so that your legs are spread out wider than your shoulders to give your balance a boost. Make sure that your hands are on both sides of the basketball, and that you hold it close to your chest.

Was that as difficult as you thought it would be? With all that you’ve now read about basketball, you really can see that it’s an amazing sport. Put the tips above to use in order to better your skills.

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