TIP! When learning the game of basketball, it’s easy to get caught up in offensive play. But you should also give plenty of attention to defense.

Basketball is popular all over the world. You can see kids and adults playing at playgrounds, the gym or in their very own driveway. If you enjoy playing the game, you can enjoy it even more if you improve your skills. These tips will help you become a better player.

TIP! Concentrate on your strong points if you want to improve your game. Your talent might not make you a star; however, learning your strengths will help you become a better team player.

Learn how to hit a free throw shot. It seems easy to do but surely isn’t. Put this technique into practice as often as you can. Start by holding your basketball right in the front of your own face. Use visualization to imagine the goal occurring. Then throw the ball just as you had visualized.

TIP! Free throws have a huge mental element to them. You can train your body to complete the motions of making a free throw, but if you are mentally prepared to fail, you will.

Crossing over is a vital skill to have for handling the basketball. Crossovers involve sending the basketball from one of your hands over to the other one. You have to do this quickly to be good at it. When done properly, crossover dribbling is a great way to quickly switch direction or move around the court in an efficient manner.

TIP! Observing what the professionals do can be a great way to improve your game. Try to go to games, watch televised games, or check out videos of the pros playing.

Balance is essential to shooting. You have seen some crazy shots made by professionals, but these shots aren’t going to be based on fundamentals. These players are using creative improvisation. Having a good foundation under you while shooting will always yield better results over time as you keep on practicing and honing your skills.

TIP! Don’t limit your practice to just playing against the zone defense. You can count on quite a bit of the game being played in zone; however, you should not be surprised if it becomes one-on-one coverage just for the sake of confusion.

Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. Layup shots make up nearly 80% of a game’s shots. Run full tilt to the basket, then smoothly jump and shoot. This running and jumping technique will help you learn how to jump and shoot better during the game.

TIP! If you are good at shooting the ball then the last thing you want to do is lift weights. Strong muscles are certainly useful for basketball, but you can overdo it if you plan to play on the perimeter.

There are passes that can confuse the other team momentarily. Try a back pass. To accomplish this, grab the ball with the dominant hand. With that same hand, bring the ball around your back. Finally your wrist should be flicked towards where you want the ball to go. This should make it easy to trick the other team.

TIP! If you have a kid wanting to play basketball in high school, be certain that they are properly training their core muscles. Core muscles include the hips, abs, and lower back.

To be a good post-up player in the pain, you need to have really good footwork. There are two important points you must remember. You must create a physical presence below the basket, and you must secure a good spot in advance of your opponent. After grabbing the position, you need to hold the area. Both skills rely on some solid footwork.

TIP! Figuring out the opponent is a great way to do well against a tight defense. Watch tapes of their games and see how others move on the court.

Ask teammates what they admire about your playing skills? Find out what they perceive as your best skill. Perhaps you have good dribbling skills or maybe your footwork is enviable. Determine what others like about your game and fine tune those skills.

TIP! When you’re trying to work out, you should build up your core strength while getting your footwork perfected. Your balance will improve if you strengthen your core.

Quickness is a blessing in basketball. If you want the advantage, you’ve got more quickly. Fast play is a result of heavy drilling. However, don’t try and push past your limits. Playing beyond your speed can result in bad passes and excessive turnovers.

TIP! Practice passing while looking another way. This may confuse your opponents, greatly.

Clearly, there are quite a few ways to help yourself play a better game. Continue to learn new techniques and perfect your skills. Practice makes perfect, and basketball is no exception. It helps to be near a basketball net as often as possible. Practice alone, with friends or with your team, just so you can better your game.