TIP! It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Basketball games are won because of good defense.

When it comes to the game of basketball, no one knows everything, not even the greatest player. Things change all the time and you have to know that you have to learn more about the sport all the time. Are you interested in having a step-up on your opponents? Continue reading to find out more.

TIP! If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. Being able to dribble the ball with both hands and crossover between the two will make you a better player.

Pay attention to what you are good at. The best talent you have isn’t going to have you starring in every highlight reel, but having a good skill set can benefit your team. You can also focus on your weaknesses if you know what they are.

TIP! Practice your layups a lot. During any game, layups make up about 75 percent of the game.

Always work on your layups. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game. Run as fast as possible, while jumping and performing a smooth shot. Practicing the running and jumping method will help you shoot better this way in a game.

TIP! Work on pass catches. Be sure to be able to catch off-target throws on top of good ones.

You need to practice more than defeating a zone defense. Zone play will be important, but man-to-man will pop up from time to time, too. If you have not practiced against this, you may lose your grip of the game for the remainder of it.

Learn good passing by drilling often without dribbling. Playing without any dribbling is very hard, but builds your passing skills. Don’t let it frustrate you, just be patient.

TIP! If you are posting up, strategic footwork is important to becoming open and making a good shot. While physical positioning is important, it is even more essential to move quicker than an opponent.

Have other players give you information about what they think are your strengths and weaknesses. Can they tell you what you’re really good at? It could be your speed, or it could be your back-up abilities. Find out what others think your natural abilities are, and be certain to keep developing those skills.

TIP! If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. Basketball is physically demanding, and it is easy to get hurt.

Turning away from the ball can be a costly mistake in basketball. This helps you become aware of the court and lowers chances for surprises from turnovers and quick passes. Also, you need to stay aware of areas which might open up and give you an easy basket.

TIP! Always be sure of where you’re placing your feet so you’re aware of what they’re doing. An errant toe to the baseline while holding the ball will result in an “out of bounds” call.

When your shooting isn’t accurate, check out your shoulder position. Regardless of your skill level, if you don’t have your shoulders positioned correctly, you will miss. Make sure your shoulders are always square towards the hoop. You want your strong-side shoulder in perfect alignment with the rim.

TIP! Being a good defensive player means disrupting the game of your opponent. Force them into an uncomfortable zone.

Try practicing how to pass while looking in another direction. This will make your actions very confusing to the other team. This will give the person that you passed the ball to a chance to make their move before your opponent can correct from their mix up. If you can master this move, it can really work in your favor.

TIP! To improve ball handling, consider focusing workouts on your forearms and hands. Wrist curls are great for bettering your ball handling in basketball to the point where you could practically do it sleepwalking.

If you see a chance to gain control of the ball, take it. By taking a charge, your team will get the ball. That can be psychologically disturbing, and is a power play.

TIP! Accept a charge when you can. A charge leads to a turnover by the opposing team and gives you the ball back.

To turn a normal 2-3 zone into a trapping machine, have your top two defenders (your guards) wait until the point guard has come about ten feet past the time line (midcourt). Then, they ought to trap the point guard. While that is happening, your forwards should race out to the opposing wing players. The point guard will then probably throw an easily interceptable pass.

TIP! In order to confuse the offense, try changing your pace. When running towards the net, step on your front foot, and start to straighten up your body.

Use wrist curls to increase the strength in your weaker arm. Try becoming ambidextrous outside of the court, and you will soon find that you do not have a weaker hand when playing basketball. Keeping your opponents on their toes is an important part of basketball.

TIP! Keep dribbling in a particular rhythm until you think it’s time to trick the opponent. A consistent dribbling broken up by a fast paced dribble can surprise your opponent and give you a major edge for a shot.

To get better at three-point shots, work on shooting from the NBA three-point line. The international line is much closer. By learning to shoot from NBA distances, you improve your range tremendously.

TIP! You need to practice many types of shots on the basketball court. Work on your grip and balance first.

Practice shooting hundreds of shots during each training, and you quickly improve shooting skills. Try dribbling a little and pull up for your shot. Avoid looking at your target until you are in the air. This will mimic game conditions and help improve your accuracy.

TIP! If a shooter is located at a corner, their missed attempt is likely to waft to the opposite side. It may bounce back right into the opponent’s hands.

Work together with the other players on the team. Basketball is one of those games that goes to another level when a team gels completely. Trusting your teammates is key to becoming a good team and also bettering your own skills, and that leads to your team winning lots of games!

TIP! As you come down from catching a rebound, land with your legs spread wider than the span of your shoulders to increase your balance. Keep your hands on either side of the ball and hold it tight to your chest.

You have to change the path of your opponent. It is irrelevant whether you are playing defense or offense; in both cases, your ability to control the direction of your opponent is critical. If you can master this skill then you determine where the ball is going, not your opponent.

Double Dribbling

TIP! Practice dribbling the ball with a lot of force. 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.

Double dribbling is a huge no-no. You get called for double dribbling if you stop your dribble and then begin again. When you’ve ceased dribbling, you can just shoot or pass the ball. You can’t just start dribbling again. A turnover means you will have to give up the ball to the other team.

TIP! Even more than other popular team sports, good communication is vital in basketball. Communication starts in practice.

Learning to pivot is important when playing basketball. You must practice footwork so that you are comfortable on your feet. You should first practice your pivoting stance, followed by practicing your reaction rate once you’ve gotten the ball.

Practice dribbling the ball hard while still keeping it under control. A harder bouncing ball means a faster moving ball; this leads to less steals. Use force when dribbling.

TIP! The pump fake is a great shot to use. There are few shooting tactics as powerful as the pump fake.

When performing a workout, take notes of what you want to get done. A lot of players have no plan for working out. They socialize and flop about with no direction in mind. If your workout routing is documented, you’ll be able to concentrate on conditioning without being distracted.

TIP! By concentrating, you will learn more quickly. You should look at practices the same way that you look at games.

These tips should give you some food for thought at your next game or practice. They are intended to make you a better overall player. Just keep learning and practicing to stay at the top of your game. Use the information from above to take your skills to a new level.