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 a very easy game that’s played all over the world. Basketball players have a particular set of skills needed to win. The following article will share some useful advice to help you improve your game.

TIP! Crossovers are key for ball handlers. This term refers to switching the hand you use.

When dribbling the basketball you should keep your head up. If you are looking at the ball for any reason while dribbling, you have not put in enough practice. One of the best ways to improve your dribbling is to bring your ball along anytime you need to walk somewhere. Dribble as you walk down the street. You will not be able to see what’s happening before you on the court while beholding the ball.

TIP! Having a good foundation is key when shooting the ball. While the all-time greats have shown time and time again how they can shoot while off-kilter, this is not the ideal way to score.

You need good balance when you shoot. Sometimes you’ll see professional players fall out of bounds while making a shot from afar, but this doesn’t work at all times. They are not doing it right. By focusing on balance in your shot, you will develop the consistency needed to be a great scorer.

Free Throws

TIP! Practice using different types of defenses. Usually, a big part of the game is probably going to be in zone; however, the opposing team can suddenly switch to man-to-man to catch you off guard.

Hitting free throws is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Your body can be trained to make free throws, but your mind has to be focused on success if you want to make the basket. Take a deep breathe, relax and block out all outside distractions before taking the shot.

TIP! Make use of hand signals so that wild passes can be avoided. Oftentimes frustration occurs when trying you aren’t on the same page with a teammate who cuts to the basketball when you try to pass him the ball.

A great way to bolster your basketball ability is to observe those who are considered to be the best in the sport. 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. Every player has skills that make them good, and you can work on the skills they use.

TIP! In order to get a good shot, good footwork is essential when posting up. You do, of course, need to be near the basket, but finding the right spot without getting blocked is essential.

Never practice only against the zone. While a great portion of a game will be concentrated in the zone, your rivals could opt to go to man-to-man covering to keep you guessing. You may lose control of the game if you aren’t prepared.

TIP! If your shooting is in a slump, take a look at your shoulders. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot.

The key for controlling the ball well is to spread your fingers. That will ensure that it doesn’t get away from you as you hold it. Also, keep your palm off the ball. The only things that should touch the ball are your fingers, as you shoot or pass.

TIP! To increase the efficiency of your layups, begin your takeoff on the foot opposite from the hand you’re shooting with. This means that when you’re shooting from your right hand you have to use your left foot to take off.

If your shooting is suffering, take a close look at your shoulders. Regardless of your skill level, if you don’t have your shoulders positioned correctly, you will miss. To help improve your shot, focus on squaring up on each of your shots. Your dominant shoulder must be lined up with the rim.

TIP! Your routines must be consistent for free throws. Inconsistency does not make a better shot.

If you wish to succeed in a defensive role, you must be able to break your opponents’ concentration. Take them out of their own comfort zone. Make assertive moves, keeping your opponent unsure of your next move. Keep them from deciding what moves to make. If you do, your opponent will run all over you. Instead, make the first move and interrupt their rhythm.

TIP! Work on making your forearms and hands stronger in order to improve ball handling. Strong hands make it easier for you to keep control of the basketball.

Prevent the opposing team from stealing the ball by dribbling hard. The ball will get back to the hand faster, giving the other team less of an opportunity to grab it away. If an opposing player is guarding you to the point where you can’t dribble well, it’s time to pass to an open teammate.

TIP! Stay on top of your footwork when attempting a rebound. Guards will be attempting to stop you, so get around them.

Try practicing three pointers from the NBA range in order to be a more effective three point shooter. The line in every other league is closer. If you’re able to get the shot from where the NBA shoots, then you can start working from a range further than the defense expects.

TIP! Hard dribbling helps avoid stolen balls. This makes the ball come back to you faster so the people on defense aren’t able to steal it as easily.

You need to practice many types of shots on the basketball court. Start out by practicing grip and balance. Shooting when off-balance isn’t impossible, but it isn’t effective either. The basketball’s valve can improve 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! Mix things up offensively to keep the other team’s defense off-balance. As you are heading towards the net, straighten up and plant down your foot.

If you’re serious about basketball, seriously consider your diet. If you want to have plenty of energy to play, you should take in plenty of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean sources of protein. The best additions are whole wheats, grains, poultry and nuts. Avoid using excessive sugar and salt.

TIP! Strength training can be a major help in basketball. Strength and stamina are both needed to excel at basketball.

A corner shot often bounces to the opposite end of the court. If this is the case, you need to guess where it will end up and catch the rebound as a result.

TIP! To enhance your skills at shooting the ball from the outside, run drills every day from different locations on the court. If you wish to get even better at this, try dribbling and then stopping to make a quick shot.

Part of playing basketball is working on improving your skills. After reading the tips located above, you should know what areas you should be working on. Read the article again if you have to, but never stop practicing these tips in order to get better.