TIP! It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Defense can make or break a basketball game.

Whether you’d rather cheer from bleachers or shoot the ball like a professional, you have to really understand the game if you want to truly enjoy it. Just starting out? Don’t give up! Basketball is a very simple game that is very enjoyable. Read on for some basketball tips that will have you calling all the shots and making the slam-dunks for your team.

TIP! Practice shooting free throws. This is one of those shots that seem easy but in real life are difficult.

Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet. Take the basketball to all the places that you go. Dribble while walking to the store. If you are looking at the ball, you cannot see what is happening down the court in front of you.

TIP! Crossing over is a vital skill to have for handling the basketball. This move entails transferring the basketball from your left hand to your right hand and back again.

If you hold the ball a lot, you have to learn crossovers. Switch from one side to the other while dribbling. It has to be done fast to be effective. If done correctly, a good crossover helps you get past your opponent and to the rim.

Perfect Passes

TIP! In order to help you improve your basketball acumen you should watch how the pros play. 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.

Passing the ball is an important part of playing basketball so practice making and receiving passes. While you are practicing, you should be sure to drill yourself on catching errant throws, as well as catching those perfect passes. During a real game, many of the passes that come your way will be off-target and tougher to handle. You’ll be helping out your team a great deal if you can catch their not so perfect passes.

TIP! Play basketball games with yourself during the season and before it. Many times you are unable to find people to play with.

Jump shooters should not also be iron pumpers. Perimeter players don’t need the muscle strength that is necessary for other team members. Some guards increase their upper body to the point of harming their field goals.

TIP! If you have a kid that wants to play basketball in high school, be sure they’re working on their core muscles. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles.

Want to trick the other team? The back pass is perfect for this. To work it, place the ball in your most dominant hand. Next, place the ball behind you. After determining which direction you want the ball to go, use a quick flick of your wrist to send it that way. This will confuse the opposition.

TIP! Footwork is the best way to find an opening shot. Securing a good location is critical when playing basketball.

If you’re on the offense, you footwork needs to be excellent to stay open for passes and shots. You do, of course, need to be near the basket, but finding the right spot without getting blocked is essential. Once you get into your position, you need to secure it. Both skills rely on some solid footwork.

TIP! Ask your fellow team members which of your skills that they admire. Can you get better at something? You may be quick with your footwork or are always there for backing them up.

Never turn away from the ball so that you can always be prepared for what’s coming. This will help you stay on top of quick changes in possession or plays attempted by your opponent. Be vigilant to detect openings or weaknesses that make it easier to take the shot.

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. You develop a good feel for the game around you, making it much easier to quickly react to your opponent.

Quickness is a virtue in basketball. Try to outplay your opponents by being fast to win the game. In order to play fast, you must practice drills. Though, you should never attempt to a play faster game than your abilities permit. You will end up in a turnover if you play too fast.

TIP! Being able to anticipate your opponent is a key skill. Watch games if you can and look at their tendencies.

Dribble with force to prevent the ball from being stolen. This is because the ball returns to you hand faster, so the opposing team has less of a chance to get it. If you have an opponent who is guarding you relentlessly, it is time to pass the ball.

TIP! When you’re working out, concentrate on core strength building and your footwork. Your body will naturally balance well if you have strong core muscles.

Practice drills that force you to get the basketball to the other end of the court in less than 5 dribbles. It isn’t impossible, it just takes practice. This is a vital skill to give you points on fast break opportunities.

TIP! Strengthen your hands and forearms for better ball handling. Wrist curls can be effective at helping you to control the ball as if you’ll be dribbling in your sleep.

If you wish to get your weaker hand built up, you need to use it to brush your teeth and to do other simple tasks. If you can become more dexterous with it in all aspects of your life, you will be bettering your control of it. Soon enough you will see great improvements on the court.

TIP! Sly feet will help you get the rebound of your team mates free throw. The defender may be coming toward you, so its important to slip away from him and get the ball.

Improve your shooting skills by taking hundreds of different shots from all angles and distances. To help you get even better, practice dribbling the ball and quickly pulling up for a shot. Avoid looking at your target until you are in the air. You will increase your level of accuracy and create an experience closer to real game play.

TIP! Stay low when playing defense. You will be able to react more quickly and jump higher because of this.

You should keep the ball below the knees if you’re able to. This will lower the chances of your opponent being able to steal the ball. This will help you move the ball down the court easier.

TIP! Keep the activity below the knees if possible. Opponents will have a hard time stealing the ball from you if you keep it low.

Be sure to practice shooting from a variety of spots on the court. Begin with practicing your grip and balance. Shooting when off-balance isn’t impossible, but it isn’t effective either. Use your basketball’s valve for perfecting your grip. Using your dominant hand, grip the ball with wide-spread fingers. Be sure that the center portion of your hand is covering the air valve located at the basketball’s center.

TIP! A great way to improve your game involves communicating with teammates so that you can anticipate their moves. Basketball is played by a team.

When guarding a person that is stronger or taller, be sure you stay in between that person and the player with the ball. This prevents any easy passes that can go over your head.

TIP! Forge a strong bond between teammates, whether you are playing the game or off the court. Basketball teams that work together well can take the game to a new level.

Always pay attention to where the ball goes once your teammate or your opponent sends it out of their hands. Rebounds and recoveries are important parts of a basketball game. It doesn’t matter if you defend an opponent greatly when they shoot and miss if you can’t get the ball once again.

TIP! You have to know how to change the path of your opponent. Whether you are playing offense or defense, gaining control over the path of your opponent is a critical skill.

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Your fun level will only increase since you know more information about the sport of basketball. Take what you have learned in this article and apply it to your game today and you’ll be a better player in no time.