TIP! It’s natural to focus on offensive abilities when practicing the sport of basketball, but your practice time needs to focus on defense. Basketball games are often won by the defense.

Basketball is incredibly popular. From watching the NBA to playing, it’s so much fun to participate in. Everyone who plays basketball for competition wants to win. The tips below can better your game dramatically and help you score many winning points.

TIP! Dribble while your head is up and your eyes are forward. If you need to look at the ball while dribbling, you’ll need to practice more.

Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. Crossovers involve moving the ball from hand to hand. The move must be done quickly if it is going to work. When done properly, crossover dribbling is a great way to quickly switch direction or move around the court in an efficient manner.

TIP! If you handle the ball often, you need to learn how to do a crossover. This is when you switch hands while dribbling.

If you want to improve your basketball game, you must identify and intensify your strengths. Your best talent may not make you the star of every game, but learning to play your best angle will help you contribute more to the team. Understand where you excel, and work on those talents until they are perfected.

TIP! A good tip is to practice your layups on a daily basis. Layups sometimes wind up being 4 out of every 5 shots in basketball.

Free throws are as much mental as they are physical. You can practice for hours on how to make the shot, but if you over think things or get distracted you will miss every time. Relax yourself and focus on the hoop.

TIP! Practice your pass catching often. Make sure you get used to catching less than perfect passes smoothly.

Watch professionals play to learn from their techniques. 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. Watch great players to learn the specific skills that make them exceptional.

TIP! Do not wait for any special season to play some basketball. It is possible to enjoy this team sport even in the absence of your team.

Don’t bulk up if you want to be good as a jump shooter. Being weighed down by too much bulky muscle can have a negative impact on your jump shot. As a shooting guard, having bulky arm muscles can actually reduce the number of successful shots.

TIP! Good footwork is important when you’re posting up in the paint. You must be certain to get the good spot ahead of your opponent.

Do you want to fool the other team? Try the back pass. To do this pass, hold on to the ball with your dominant hand. The next step is pull the basketball behind the back. Finally, flick your wrist towards the direction in which you wish that ball to travel. This is a very useful trick to confuse the opposing team.

TIP! Spread your fingers out to handle the ball properly. This will help you keep a better grip on the ball.

Unseen passes can be avoided when proper hand signals are used by teammates. One thing that can frustrate you when playing basketball is to try and pass while a player is trying to run to the basket. All of this confusion can be remedied through the use of hand signals when a player is opened. Without a signal, you should not attempt to pass the ball to a player.

TIP! To become a great free thrower, practice and develop a routine you will use during each shot. Whatever you do, from bending your knees to dribbling three times, do every time.

If you post up, you need to use good footwork to get open and make sure you get a good shot. While actually being beneath the basket is key, establishing a good position prior to the opposition is even more so. If you are just stepping into position, you now have to secure the spot. Expert footwork is the key to these skills.

TIP! To rebound a free throw, you have to be quick. Try to anticipate the move of the defender between yourself and the basket so that you can maneuver around him and to the hoop.

When exercising, concentrate on building up core strength and improving your footwork. When you have strong core muscles, your body will be better balanced and will move faster. The most important muscle groups include your back, stomach, and pelvic region. Similar to boxers, jumping rope can better your speed and footwork.

TIP! You can prevent other players from stealing the ball from you by dribbling hard. A good hard dribble brings the ball back to you much faster, leaving less time for the opponent to steal it from you.

Launch your layup jumps from the foot that is opposite the hand you shoot with. When shooting right-handed, take off using the left foot. Also, this will improve your balance as you approach the basket.

TIP! Try to get the basketball from one side of the court to the other in about five dribbles. This may seem like an impossible challenge, but it will increase your stride length and your speed.

A consistent pre-shot routine when at the line will increase your chance at success. A consistent routine enables the shooter to have a perfect motion every time. A great way to get better at free throws is to practice, practice and then practice the same routine some more. If your routine is off, then you will miss the shot.

TIP! Take every charge you can. The charge lets you build a defensive stop and get control of the ball.

There are several ways you can improve your basketball skills. You can improve your game by learning new techniques and practicing them often. Practice is important to anything worth doing – just do it! Take what you have learned here to make the most out of your next basketball game.