TIP! Many people forget that defense is as important as offense during practice. Defense is what wins basketball games.

If you enjoy basketball but don’t really understand it, read this article for an overview of the basics. You’re not the first person that has felt this way! A lot of people watch others play the game and wish to know how to play just like them. The article that follows will give you some expert tips.

TIP! To improve your game, concentrate on your strong points. The best talent you have isn’t going to have you starring in every highlight reel, but having a good skill set can benefit your team.

You need to learn the correct way to dribble the ball. Proper dribbling technique involves use of the fingertips, not the palm of the hand. This will give you better control of the basketball. Dribble on the sides of your body instead of directly before you, and bounce it waist level. Never look at the ball; instead, look forward.

TIP! Do not restrict your practices to zone defenses alone. The majority of the game is in that area, but be careful about a team who changes things up.

Learn to crossover if you get the ball often. Crossovers involve moving the ball from hand to hand. That action has to be done fast to be successful. By having the ability to move either way quickly, you will become a better all-around player.

TIP! Practice basketball in season and out of season. Sometimes you cannot find a team of people to play basketball with.

Know your strengths and they’ll help you become a better player. While you may have a particular skill that isn’t going to make you stand out as the star player, honing it can help you become an integral part of your team’s success. Knowing what you excel at and then practicing that can help you become perfect at it!

Bounce Pass

TIP! A great way you can prepare for what happens on the basketball court is to avoid having your back to the ball. It’s all about court awareness, and always facing the ball will make it so you are less surprised by passes.

It is important to know the right way to throw a bounce pass. Executed properly, a bounce pass will connect with the receiving player at the waist. If it helps to measure it out, consider aiming for a mark on the floor about three-fourths of the way between you and your teammate. This all depends on many factors.

TIP! Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. You will have better luck holding onto the ball as well.

Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. 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. Stay calm and collected to increase your free throw percentage.

TIP! Always be aware of your feet. Placing even a single toe atop the baseline while holding the ball will result in you being ruled out of bounds.

Do not only practice zone defense plays. 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. If you haven’t prepared yourself for that, you might lose your game very quickly.

TIP! Passing between the legs is great when you are being closely guarded. You can practice this technique by stepping forward or backward and bouncing the ball with force between your legs.

Lifting weights too much can actually take away from your jump shot. Strong muscles are certainly useful for basketball, but you can overdo it if you plan to play on the perimeter. Some shooting guards worked on their arms so much that they started lowering their percentage of field goals.

TIP! Develop and use a consistent routine for shooting free throws. If you stay inconsistent, you miss a shot.

Quick and solid footwork is what it takes to make the shot when your posting up. While physical positioning is important, it is even more essential to move quicker than an opponent. Once you have a location, it is important that your feet are firmly planted there. Good footwork is key to a good basketball game.

TIP! If you wish to succeed in a defensive role, you must be able to break your opponents’ concentration. Get them outside their comfort zone.

When playing basketball, it is important to always keep your eye on the ball. It’s all about court awareness, and always facing the ball will make it so you are less surprised by passes. That means less turnovers. When your eyes are constantly assessing the game, you will be better able to make easy shots.

TIP! If you don’t want someone to steal the ball, dribble hard. The harder you dribble, the faster the ball will return to the cup of you hand.

One of the most vital attributes one needs to play basketball is quickness. If you want the advantage, you need to be quicker than your opponents. Fast play is a result of heavy drilling. However, don’t try and push past your limits. By playing beyond your speed capabilities, you will quickly lose control of the ball, which will lead to bad passes, bad shots, and turnovers.

TIP! Never break your defensive stance when playing ball. Keep your feet moving to each side or push your opposing foot off so you can keep yourself in position.

The bottom line is that while you may like basketball a whole lot, it may be that you lacked some key information about it before today. However, with the tips above, you can now step out on the court with more confidence. Follow this helpful advice to get started playing basketball.