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 isn’t a game that’s only played in after school games or gym class. It is possible to play the game anywhere, including on your lawn or at a court at the park. If you love to shoot hoops, then you should focus on learning all you can about how to play better by reading the content below.

TIP! Balance is essential to shooting. Everyone has watched a pro player drift out of bounds while still making their shot, but this isn’t something to emulate.

If you handle the ball often, you need to learn how to do a crossover. In a crossover, you transfer the basketball from hand to hand. This should be something you do quickly. If done correctly, a good crossover helps you get past your opponent and to the rim.

TIP! How would you like to trick the opposing team? Make use of the back pass. To accomplish this pass, grasp the ball using your dominant hand.

You need to keep your balance if you’re shooting. Everyone has seen professional basketball players make a shot from 20 feet away as they are falling. Professional basketball players tend to improvise when need be. Having a good foundation under you while shooting will always yield better results over time as you keep on practicing and honing your skills.

TIP! Before, during and after the season, play out games by yourself. While basketball is a team sport, sometimes you just can’t find others to play with.

One way to help improve your overall basketball skills is to spend some time watching what the pros do. Attend as many professional games as you can, watch the pros on TV, or watch video of professionals. You’ll notice that each player has a skill that they are great at. Choose a move that you like and start practicing it.

TIP! Footwork is the best way to find an opening shot. Focus on positioning yourself more quickly than the opposing player is just as important as having someone beneath the hoop.

Don’t dribble during your drills. It is difficult playing without dribbling; however, it helps the team make better passes. Don’t get frustrated if it’s hard at first because it will get better over time.

TIP! If you get hurt during a basketball game, don’t try to play while in pain. This sport is physically demanding and you can become injured.

Playing basketball does not require excessive muscle development. You do need muscle conditioning and strength, but you can have too much when it comes to shooting field goals. Some professional shooting guards made their arms so big that it started decreasing their field goal percentage.

TIP! What do your teammates admire about your skills? Are you great at any one thing? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to develop your skills to become an all around better player. Find out what others think your natural abilities are, and be certain to keep developing those skills.

You can play basketball solo before and during the season. Sometimes you cannot find a team of people to play basketball with. It’s okay! In solo games, you can accomplish quite a bit. Go to the free throw line and work on your shots. You can always find things to work on.

TIP! The best free throws come as a result of routine. This may mean you want to dribble three times, touch your forehead, bend at the knees, or do anything else.

If you have student that wants to play basketball for their high school team, they will need to spend some time training their core muscles. Show them how to exercise their hips, lower back and abs. A good core leads to a solid foundation and that is required to be very good at basketball. A strong core provides a center of force that can be tapped through the legs while running and jumping during games.

TIP! Work on passing in a direction you are not looking. This will easily confuse your opponents.

Good footwork is important when you’re posting up in the paint. Although physical presence under the basket is important, getting to a good spot before your opponent does is even more important. You need to be sure your spot is secure. The key to mastering these skills is good footwork.

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. Although this might seem tricky in the beginning, this can really help your game if you can master this skill.

If the opposing team is guarding you to much, you can try a pass between your legs. Bounce the ball very hard through your legs while stepping to the front or the back. Mastering this movement gives you a big advantage on the court.

TIP! Basketball players need to engage in strength training. In order to be the best you can at basketball, you need to be strong and hardy.

Practice with your weak hand when it comes to dribbling. Being able to effortlessly dribble with both hands gives you the ability to run both sides on an opponent and keep them off guard. Make an effort to dribble with your weak hand by keeping your dominant hand away from the front. Your weak hand will soon develop better dribbling skills.

TIP! To enhance your skills at shooting the ball from the outside, run drills every day from different locations on the court. Also practice transitioning from dribbling to a quick shot.

Improve your ball-handling by strengthening your hands and your forearms. Consider wrist curls and and exercise machine that focuses on strengthening each finger individually. You can’t just stand and shoot for the whole game. You must move the ball to have things happen.

TIP! Keep dribbling when you’re going to switch the body’s momentum from side to side. This will help you learn to dribble during all different kinds of situations.

Practice drills where you strive to make it across the full court within 5 dribbles. Although this might seem tricky in the beginning, this can really help your game if you can master this skill. This translates to simple layups, fast breaks or just a general increase in your team’s numbers.

TIP! To become a much better basketball player, try speaking with teammates and learning what they do. The sport of basketball is truly a team game.

If you want to do well in basketball, you need to build your strength. In order to be the best you can at basketball, you need to be strong and hardy. Even the youngest players need to have strong arms and legs. As they start to get older, get them some weights to help them exercise harder. When they become adults, strength training is critical to maintaining solid court performance.

TIP! When you come back down to earth from a rebound, try to land so that your legs are spread out wider than your shoulders to give your balance a boost. Place your hands on both sides of the basketball while holding it close against your chest.

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. Keeping your opponents on their toes is an important part of basketball.

TIP! Position yourself between the ball carrier and your opponent if they are bigger than you. This will stop them from being open for a pass, ensuring that they don’t get the ball as they would likely be able to shoot it right over you.

Make sure you practice shooting all over the court. The first thing to do is to practice on your balance and your grip. Even though it is less accurate, it is possible to score with off-balanced shooting. The valve, which is located at the center of the ball, should help you perfect your grip. Center your dominant hand over the valve, and spread your fingers out from there.

TIP! Recognize the bad aspects of your game. Be very honest when thinking about your game.

Make sure your team really meshes together off and on the court. You will be amazed at the difference in the level of your team’s play when everyone is on the same page. The ability to intuit and appreciate the actions of your teammates can significantly improve your performance as a whole.

TIP! Once you start gaining some skill, you will start having greater control over your dribble. It is not only about bouncing the ball but the position, spin and speed of the ball in combination with your foot placement.

Whether you’re playing for fun or looking to become a professional, your game will be much more enjoyable once you’ve bettered your game. Use the information you have learned here. The more knowledge you acquire, the better basketball you will play.