TIP! While focusing on offense is fun, you must also make sure you focus on defense. Defense is essential to winning these games.

There is always more to learn about basketball. There have been lots of changes to the game over the years, and being up to date on everything is key. Are you looking for a jump on your opponents? If you really want that edge, take a good look at the article below.

Paying Attention

TIP! When dribbling the basketball you should keep your head up. If you have to look at the ball while dribbling, that means you need to practice more.

The way to properly dribble is to keep your head up while looking ahead of you. Looking directly at the ball means you aren’t good at the game yet. One of the best ways to improve your dribbling is to bring your ball along anytime you need to walk somewhere. Dribble on your way to school. Paying attention to the ball means you’re not paying attention to the rest of the game.

TIP! Connecting on your free throws is as much mental as it is physical. Of course, you can show your body how to make free throws.

If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. Crossovers involve sending the basketball from one of your hands over to the other one. This action most be quick to work out. When done correctly, a good crossover dribble assists you in being efficient and helping you change direction when you need to.

TIP! Watch professionals play to learn from their techniques. You can do this by watching games in person and on television.

You must have good balance to shoot well. You have seen how pros shoot a basket from thirty feet away and fall out of bounds, which is not the right technique. These are not practiced skills, they are just flukes. Balance needs to be maintained to consistently make successful shots.

Free Throw

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.

Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. You’re able to train your whole body to do full free throw motions, but if you’re not mentally prepared, you will fail. Stay calm and collected to increase your free throw percentage.

TIP! Speed is everything in the sport of basketball. You will have the advantage over your opponents if you can really play fast.

Learn good passing by drilling often without dribbling. It’s tough to play basketball minus the dribbling, and it causes you to pass accurately. Frustration can be an issue at first, but passing will improve as time goes by.

TIP! Where are your feet? If you slide onto the baseline, you will lose the ball for being out of bounds. Going too many steps with no dribbling is a waking call and turnover situation.

Build hand signals so passes are more successful. One thing that can frustrate you when playing basketball is to try and pass while a player is trying to run to the basket. You can get around that when you use hand signals, if a player can receive a pass. If your teammate misses your signal, then they may miss the ball as well and the other team could gain possession.

TIP! Videotape your games to see what you do right and wrong. Can you see where you can improve your form? Are there things you might have done differently? Assess yourself honestly, but don’t be a harsh critic.

It is best to take a break if you sustain an injury while playing. It’s easy to be hurt when playing basketball. If you continue playing, you could make the injury even worse. See a doctor if the injury is serious enough.

TIP! If the other team has a good defense, passing the ball between your legs is a good option. Take a step back or forward and bounce the ball hard through your legs.

Practice your footwork and control the position of your feet at all times. Out of bounds will happen with even one toe over the baseline of the lined play area on the court. If you take too many steps and don’t dribble, then you are walking. Also, moving a foot when setting up a screen can result in a foul.

TIP! When moving in for a layup, push off from your weaker foot and lead with your shooting hand. What this practically means is that if your right hand is your shooting hand, you need to take off with your left foot.

Try practicing how to pass while looking in another direction. You can really confuse your opponents this way. 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. When executed properly, this is a powerful play.

TIP! Practice dribbling with your weak hand as much as possible. Opponents are a lot easier to blow by when you can dribble with ease using both hands.

To avoid turning the ball over to the other team, make sure that you’re dribbling hard. This causes the ball to return to your hand more quickly, so the offense has less time to try to get it away from you. If you have an opponent who is guarding you relentlessly, it is time to pass the ball.

TIP! The trick to grabbing a rebound on a teammate’s missed free-throw is to plan your footwork in advance. Try to anticipate the move of the defender between yourself and the basket so that you can maneuver around him and to the hoop.

If you see a chance to gain control of the ball, take it. By taking charge you can create a defensive stop so you can get the ball, and allows you to create setups so that the opponent will foul you. That can be psychologically disturbing, and is a power play.

Defensive Stance

TIP! Whenever possible, take advantage of an attack. Taking charges gives you an opportunity to get defensive stops, get the ball and lay the groundwork for fouls.

Once you are in your defensive stance, remember to hold your ground. Slide sideways and use your back foot to push off in order to maintain the defensive stance in stride. Keep in mind that your feet shouldn’t cross and this should make you good at defense.

TIP! When playing defense, always try to stay low. This helps you jump fast and react quickly.

Strength training can improve your game. Strength, flexibility and stamina are all important things to have in basketball. Even young kids can improve if they exercise the right way and strengthen their core. As they grow and gain skills, they will be even better players. As an adult, a player must continue strength training for optimum performance.

TIP! When you dribble, bend your knees. The basketball is much harder to control if you stand tall and the opposing team can snatch it more easily.

Maintain a lower position as you play defense. Staying low gives you a better chance to play the ball and helps you move more quickly. Always stay in the proper stance on defense. If you must break your stance to block someone’s shot, return to formation as quickly as you can.

TIP! Use whatever hand you aren’t dribbling with as a shield between the ball and your opponent. It’s a foul to push your opponents, but using your arm as a barrier is allowed and will help you to secure the ball.

Practice your dribbling skills while shifting your momentum to alternate sides. This will have you ready for a game, when you will need to move any direction on a moment’s notice. You may see an open court but there are opponents ready to swarm you. Going through the court will be easier if you can quickly adjust your direction without interrupting your dribbling. This allows you to get yourself out of a tough spot.

TIP! Positioning is key in picking up an essential rebound. Jumping with both feet creates a more balanced, powerful motion.

You can place your off-hand out in front of you to serve as protection against the defense. Don’t push your opponent because that is a foul; however, you can use your arm as separator between your opponent and the ball. This move helps to keep the ball protected and you in control of it.

TIP! Focus on the path of the basketball as it leaves a players hand. Watch whether it is an opponent or teammate.

These tips should give you some food for thought at your next game or practice. Applying these tips will help you improve. Just keep learning and practicing to stay at the top of your game. Bring your game up a notch or two and keep this advice close at hand.

Available for Amazon Prime