TIP! Make it a point to concentrate on both your defensive and offensive skills. Focusing only on offense does not make you a well-rounded player.

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. From watching the NBA to playing, it’s so much fun to participate in. Of course, anyone who plays wants to be a star player and win the game. Read these ideas to help move your game up a notch. A sport played well is more fun than one you struggle with.

TIP! Perfect your free throw. The execution of a free throw is not as simple as it may appear.

Make it a point to concentrate on both your defensive and offensive skills. Focusing only on offense does not make you a well-rounded player. Basketball games are won because of good defense. Offense may score points but defense keeps the other team from scoring points that your team will have to match.

TIP! Keep practicing your layups. Four out of every five shots taken in a given game will be layups.

If you typically handle the ball a lot, it pays to learn the crossover. This is when the ball is moved from hand to hand. It has to be done fast to be effective. A good crossover dribble can give you the opportunity to switch directions and progress on the court much faster.

TIP! Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. 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.

Any good basketball player needs to know how to make a layup. 80% of all shots in a game are usually layups. When practicing this technique, run toward the goal and shoot. Practicing this technique helps you learn to make layups during a game.

TIP! Work on pass catches. Make sure you get used to catching less than perfect passes smoothly.

Quality footwork will help you get better 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. Solid footwork can make both of these things happen.

Serious Injury

TIP! When you want consistently good free throws, repeat your routine. It could be that you dribble several times, bend at the knees, brush your hair out of your eyes or do something else.

Don’t play when you are injured! Basketball is very challenging physically, and this can cause further serious injury. Pushing through the pain often results in a more serious injury. If an injury is serious, go to see a physician.

TIP! To generate consistency with layups, leap from the opposite foot from the hand you use to shoot. What this practically means is that if your right hand is your shooting hand, you need to take off with your left foot.

To increase the efficiency of your layups, begin your takeoff on the foot opposite from the hand you’re shooting with. Jump off your left foot when you shoot using your right hand. This helps to maintain balance throughout your body and allows you to use yourself as a barrier between the defender and yourself.

TIP! If you want to better your dribble, start practicing with your weaker hand. It will be much easier to blow past your opponent if you can dribble with both hands.

To improve your dribbling skills, practice dribbling with your weaker hand. Utilizing both hands to dribble the basketball and switching effortlessly is key to advantage over an opponent. You can focus on the strength of your weak hand by tying your dominant hand behind your back. You will quickly strengthen your non-dominant hand for dribbling.

TIP! Perform exercises to strengthen the muscles in your forearms and hands in order to maximize your ability to handle the ball. For example, you can improve dribbling skills by adding wrist curls to your routine.

You need good vision if you are going to play basketball. This isn’t just so you can read the scoreboard and be able to make shots and catch passes. You want to be sure that your peripheral vision is at its best. If you scan the entire court, not just the location of the ball, it is possible to anticipate defense moves in advance and see which teammates are open.

TIP! Try some drills that require you to move the basketball from one end of the court to the other in no more than five dribbles. This initially seems undoable, but it helps build speed and stride.

Whenever possible, take advantage of an attack. Taking a charge allows you a chance to earn a defensive stop, take the ball for your team, and sets up one more foul against the opponent. This is a great way to take control of the court and intimidate the other team.

TIP! Keep low as you defend. You will be able to react more quickly and jump higher because of this.

To build up your skills with your weaker hand, use it for everything from opening jars to brushing your teeth. If you’re able to become more ambidextrous, you are going to be able to better control it on the court. Soon enough you will see great improvements on the court.

Stop Dribbling

TIP! When you dribble while playing basketball, focus on bending your knees. Standing straight makes it hard to control the ball.

Only stop dribbling when you are prepared to shoot or pass. When you stop dribbling, then you limit your options. If you choose against passing or shooting, you are stuck pivoting in place. The chances of the ball being stolen is high, and you might be double teamed as well.

TIP! You need to follow a rhythm when you dribble so you can break the rhythm and throw off an opponent. A consistent dribbling broken up by a fast paced dribble can surprise your opponent and give you a major edge for a shot.

If someone shoots from the corner of the basketball court and misses, it will bounce over the net onto the opposite side. In this situation, you must anticipate the path of the ball to gain possession of the rebound.

TIP! Make strong team environments off and on the court. A good basketball team usually comes from having a team that is gelling and in sync with one another.

Build your team up at all times. When a basketball team is totally in sync, the game is taken to a higher level. If you’re able to figure out who your teammates are and you can trust them as well, then you’ll be able to take your game up a notch.

TIP! If you know that the person with the ball is weak with one hand, force them to use it. For example, take a step to your right to force a right-handed player to step out of his or her comfort zone.

You need to be able to alter your opponents path. Whether you are playing defense or offense, you must be capable of controlling the directions of opposing players. If you can master this skill then you determine where the ball is going, not your opponent.

Start Dribbling

TIP! When performing a workout, take notes of what you want to get done. Lots of players hit the gym without a concrete plan.

Be sure not to double dribble. This occurs when you have stopped dribbling, held the ball for a few seconds, and then start dribbling again. Your only options when you stop dribbling are passing the ball or shooting it. You can’t just start dribbling again. That is also referred to as a turnover, and the ref will call it for your opponent.

TIP! For basketball players with an advanced skill set, dribbling ends up being more mental than it does physical. You must gain control of the ball’s position, the force of the dribble and how it spins.

To help maintain your balance when catching a rebound, try to land with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your hands along any side and hold it up to your chest tightly. Watch where your elbows are because if you hit someone with them, that is a foul.

TIP! Don’t try to start a fight with the game’s officials. You do not have to agree with the call made, and asking questions of the officials is fine.

As you have learned, there are many ways to improve your game. Some are simple and just take practice. No matter what you are trying to learn, practice makes perfect. You just need a basketball and a hoop. Whether you practice with a team, with friends or with younger people, it’s all about loving the game and making your skills better.