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 loved by many. But, excelling at the game is not simple. You can be born with talent, but the game can be enjoyed by everyone. Read this article to learn more about the great sport of basketball.

TIP! A good way to practice sound passing is to drill without dribbling. It is hard to play a game when you don’t dribble, but it will help you to be sure that everyone is passing accurately.

Look forward when dribbling. If you have to ever look at the ball while dribbling, then you haven’t practiced that enough. Take the ball with you wherever you go. 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! If you want to take jump shots, don’t build your arms up too large. Muscle strength can be great for basketball players, but it is actually possible to have excessive amounts for playing on the perimeter.

If you handle the ball often, you need to learn how to do a crossover. This is when the ball is moved from hand to hand. Your crossovers should be fast, which is why it is important to practice them. If done correctly, a good crossover helps you get past your opponent and to the rim.

TIP! Avoid errant passes by the use of hand signals. It is very frustrating when a teammate isn’t open for the perfect pass.

Successful free throwing requires as much mental skill as it does physical skill. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game. Stay relaxed and just focus on the goal and you will increase your free throw rate.

TIP! Keeping your fingers spread wide is important for holding onto the ball. This can help you avoid losing it when you hold it.

Watch professionals play to learn from their techniques. Go to games, watch them on TV and you can also watch videos. You will quickly notice all the different skills that they have which makes them a great player, then take what you learned and use it to help improve your own game.

TIP! When you work out, try focusing on building core strength and bettering your footwork. When you have strong core muscles, your body will be better balanced and will move faster.

One good way to learn good passing is drill often without dribbling. Playing the game without the use of dribbling is a challenge, but it can help you and your team learn to make more precise passes. The accuracy of passes will greatly improve over time and the drill will become a lot easier.

TIP! Speed is a key attribute in the game of basketball. Always stay ahead of the opposition.

If you’re a jump shooter, don’t lift weights too often. It’s possible to have excessive muscles when you play the perimeter. Some professional shooting guards made their arms so big that it started decreasing their field goal percentage.

TIP! In order to be successful with layups, the foot that is opposite from shooting hand is the one you should take off from. What this practically means is that if your right hand is your shooting hand, you need to take off with your left foot.

Ask your fellow team members which of your skills that they admire. Are you really good at any one thing? You may be quick with your footwork or are always there for backing them up. Honest feedback can really help you to narrow in on areas where you might need a little extra help practicing.

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

Keep your eye on the ball. This will help you stay on top of quick changes in possession or plays attempted by your opponent. Always be on the lookout for open areas where you can seize easy scoring opportunities.

TIP! Dribble hard if you don’t want the ball taken from you. A hard dribble returns the ball back to you faster, leaving less chance of it being snatched by the other team.

Your fingers should always be spread out when handling the ball. This way, you won’t lose the ball when holding it. Do not allow the palm of your hand to make contact with the ball. You should try your best to only hold onto the ball with your fingertips when passing and shooting.

TIP! Take charges whenever possible. Turnovers are an important part of the game that can end up giving your team the upper hand.

During your workouts, concentrate on improving your footwork as well as your core strength. If the core muscles are in good shape, you will feel lighter on your feet. The most important muscle groups include your back, stomach, and pelvic region. Jump rope like the boxers do to increase your footwork speed.

TIP! When you are on the defense, the key is to stay as low as you can. Doing this allows you to have quick reactions, especially to your opponent.

Concentrate on your shoulders if you have gotten into a shooting slump. If your shoulders are in a bad position, no matter how good you are, you won’t make the shot. Shoulders should be towards the hoop. Line up your shooting shoulder with the rim as well.

TIP! Keep your knees bent while dribbling. When you are rigid, the ball is not only hard to control, it is also an easier target for a rival to steal.

Stay conscious of your foot motion and placement. If you slide onto the baseline, you will lose the ball for being out of bounds. If you take too many steps and don’t dribble, then you are walking. Do not move your feet when attempting to set up a screen, a foul can be called.

TIP! You have to practice hard every day if you desire to step up your outside shooting game. Try dribbling a little and pull up for your shot.

Practice looking in a different direction when you pass. This may confuse your opponents, greatly. When you do it right, the opponents are going to think you’re moving in one direction. That way, the person you’ve given the ball to has a bit of time to look at the net to taking a shot. When done smoothly it can be a game changer.

TIP! Use the hand that doesn’t have the ball as a block. You don’t want to be pushing any of your opponents (that’s a foul), but you can use that non-dribbling arm as a separator to keep the ball safe.

Do you feel as though it’s time to show off your new skills? Perhaps a little practice of what you read should come first. Get excited, get energized, get motivated, and get out there on the court! By practicing these pointers, you are sure to see improvement much sooner than later.