TIP! It is easy to be focused on offense when you are learning how to play basketball, but you really should focus your practice on defense. You can win a game, thanks to good defense.

The first time you played basketball was probably very exciting. You learned to get the ball around from player to basket. Now, you might feel as though you are a pro. There is still a lot more to learn, and the following tips will show you how.

TIP! The way to properly dribble is to keep your head up while looking ahead of you. If you have to keep your eye on the ball when you’re dribbling, practice can remedy that.

A lot of novice players mostly focus on their offensive skills, but developing good defensive skills will help you become a better player. Defense ultimately determines the winner of a game of basketball. Even though everyone loves to watch offense, defense is what wins you most games.

TIP! Make sure that you practice your layups frequently. Eighty percent of the shots taken in a game are layups.

Knowing how to perform a crossover is a must when you handle the basketball frequently. Being able to dribble the ball with both hands and crossover between the two will make you a better player. This should be something you do quickly. After doing so correctly, a crossover gives you greater control over the court’s flow.

TIP! In order to get a good shot, good footwork is essential when posting up. While physical positioning is important, it is even more essential to move quicker than an opponent.

Focus on your strong point to help you become a better ball player. 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. Know the things you’re great at and keep practicing until there is no one better than you.

TIP! Knowing your opponent is the best way to play a tough defensive game. Review videotapes and monitor scouting reports.

Interested in tricking your opponents? Back passes can give your team the opportunity to score while the other team is still wondering what happened. Use your dominant hand to palm the basketball. Next, pull the ball behind your back. Quickly flick with your wrist in the direction you want to pass the ball. Doing this will trick your opponent.

Core Muscles

TIP! Speed is everything in basketball. Try to outplay your opponents by being fast to win the game.

One of the keys to becoming a great basketball player is developing core muscles. Core muscles include the hips, abs, and lower back. The core connects the lower and upper extremities, and if a person has a weak core, they will fail to excel in athletic pursuits. A strong core helps the legs move better, like jumping higher and running faster.

TIP! Always know where your feet are and what they are doing. Stepping even over a baseline when you’re in possession of the ball will have you called out of bounds.

Quality footwork will help you get better shots. While physical presence under a basket is important, finding a decent spot before the opponent is even more so. Having found a good spot, you must secure it. Footwork, therefore, is crucial.

TIP! A good player on defense will annoy the heck out of the opponent and cause the other team to get flustered. Do not allow your opponent to become comfortable with their style, or yours.

It’s great to be quick in basketball. Developing speed and vision is vital to playing the game well. If you want to play the game fast, you need to drill continuously. However, don’t try and push past your limits. When you play too fast, you can lose control and that means turnovers.

TIP! Dribble hard to avoid ball stealing. This makes the ball come back to you faster so the people on defense aren’t able to steal it as easily.

If the opposition is hot on your tail, pass between your legs. Practice bouncing the basketball forcefully between your legs while stepping forwards and backwards. Mastering this move can help give you an advantage on the court.

TIP! Practice drills that force you to get the basketball to the other end of the court in less than 5 dribbles. This may seem to be too difficult at first, but once you’re able to do it you’ll have a lot of speed and stride length.

Perform drills where you attempt to get the ball up full-court in 5 dribbles or less. This may seem like an impossible challenge, but it will increase your stride length and your speed. If you master this, you will be able to quickly take layups.

TIP! In order to confuse the offense, try changing your pace. When you’re moving towards the net, act like you’re going to straighten up.

A great way to make sure you’re in a good position defensively is to keep yourself in the defensive stance. Slide your feet to and fro or use your opposing foot to push off to maintain your position. Keep your body constantly facing toward your opponent in order to ensure the best possible defense.

TIP! If you want to boost your weaker hand skills, use it whenever you can, be it opening jars or just brushing your teeth. If you gain more mastery of it in all walks of life, you improve overall control.

Strength and flexibility training can help your skills in basketball. Those who do very well at this sport have a combination of stamina and strength. Small kids who play stand to reap real benefits from strengthening their legs and arms. As they get older you can use weights to help enhance their performance. When you get to be an adult is when you want to concentrate on strength training to help improve durability on the court.

TIP! Improve your shooting skills by taking hundreds of different shots from all angles and distances. Practice dribbling and quick shots.

Now that you learned a great deal about basketball, you should take your game to another level. Put some goals into play and practice all that you can. Apply what you have learned in this article to help yourself become a better basketball player.