TIP! While focusing on offense is fun, you must also make sure you focus on defense. Basketball games are won more often by defense than offense.

Basketball is a game which is enjoyed by many people in many countries. Each player who plays it has certain skills that they perform in order to help their team win. If you want to learn how you can boost your own skill level, keep on reading.

TIP! Learn to correctly dribble the ball. Proper dribbling technique involves use of the fingertips, not the palm of the hand.

It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Defense ultimately determines the winner of a game of basketball. Offense may be splashier, but lacking a solid defense, any team is sure to lose.

TIP! Balance is essential to shooting. While some NBA players are able to launch a ball to the net mid-fall, this is not appropriate for most people.

Crossing over is a vital skill to have for handling the basketball. This technique passes the ball back and forth from the right hand to the left hand. This must be done quickly to be successful. When done correctly, a good crossover dribble assists you in being efficient and helping you change direction when you need to.

TIP! Perfect your layup technique. Eighty percent of the shots taken in a game are layups.

Practice using different types of defenses. Most of the basketball game will probably be played in this zone, but the other team might decide to surprise you and do some man-to-man coverage. If you have not practiced enough on this scenario, you could run afoul of the scoreboard very fast.

TIP! Practice your bounce pass. Bounce passes need to be at waist level when received.

If you want to be a master of the jump shot, do not make weight lifting a priority. Muscle strength is great for any position in basketball, you can have too much when it comes to perimeter play. Certain pro guards ended up increasing their arm size so much that their shooting started to suffer.

TIP! Successful free throws require you to be mentally and physically strong. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss.

Play basketball games with yourself during the season and before it. Sometimes during off season, or when practicing, you can’t play as a team or find even a single opponent. There’s nothing wrong with that. You can still get a lot accomplished with solo games. You can practice free throws or pivot moves. You don’t need other players to work on your skills.

TIP! Play by yourself to practice. It is possible to enjoy this team sport even in the absence of your team.

Avoid errant passes by using hand signals. It is very frustrating when a teammate isn’t open for the perfect pass. Players should use hand signals often when available for a pass. If they don’t signal, don’t pass to them.

TIP! Build hand signals so passes are more successful. One of basketball’s most frustrating elements is the concept of sending a quick pass onto a teammate who has just moved in a different direction.

Ask your fellow team members which of your skills that they admire. Can they tell you what you’re really good at? You might be quick, or you might always be around to support them. Determine what others like about your game and fine tune those skills.

TIP! Keeping your fingers spread will facilitate better ball handling. This gives you better control of the ball.

When you’re trying to work out, you should build up your core strength while getting your footwork perfected. Your body is going to be more balanced and be able to move faster when you have strong core muscles. Give your hips, buttocks, back and stomach a workout. Jump rope like a boxer to improve your fancy footwork.

TIP! To dribble the ball better, it is important that you practice dribbling with the hand that’s weaker. When you are ambidextrous, you’ll be a better player.

Watch your own recorded games, and look for weak areas. This way, you have the opportunity to go through your play at a later time and see your mistakes. Be honest with yourself but don’t be too harsh. Sometimes, it helps a lot to see yourself as you really are and not as just you imagine yourself to be.

TIP! In basketball, strength is important, so do strength training. It is impossible to succeed if you lack endurance and strength.

If you wish to do free throw shots reliably, always do the exact same thing before making each shot. Perhaps you will dribble twice, follow up by bending your knees, pulling your earlobe or performing some other ritualistic action for good luck. Having a consistent routine is ideal, and that helps train your body to know how to be in the proper position every time you shoot the free throw.

TIP! Be sure you’re doing the right kinds of exercises off the court to help you on it. Running for long distances will increase your stamina, while running sprints will help you with fast-paced moves.

Learn to pass the ball without looking at your intended target. This will easily confuse your opponents. Not only will they not see the pass coming, they may think a pass is going in the opposite direction. It can be quite powerful.

TIP! Become a better basketball team by becoming a stronger team when playing and in practice. When a basketball team is totally in sync, the game is taken to a higher level.

To help improve your ball handling skills, start incorporating your weak hand into your dribbling. It will be much easier to blow past your opponent if you can dribble with both hands. Don’t allow yourself to use your dominant hand when practicing. Your weak hand won’t be that for long!

TIP! Learn to control where your opponent can and can’t move. Whether you’re playing offense or defense, controlling what the other player does is essential.

You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. Exercises that involve strengthening the wrist are especially helpful for dribbling. Don’t assume that you are able to just stand anywhere, catch the ball and shoot it. Motion is key to being successful on the court.

TIP! Don’t dribble twice in a row with a stop in between. That happens when you stop one time, and start again in a few seconds.

Be slick with your feet so you can get a rebound from a teammate. The person defending the position down-court from you will be coming at you, so you need to find any way you can to slide around him that gets you to the ball. This will get you a rebound without having to commit a foul.

TIP! The position you take just before and just after getting a rebound will play a large role in whether you can retain possession. Jump using both of your feet to gain greater balance and control and grab the ball with two hands.

Everybody that plays basketball tries to master certain skills to help them improve their game. After you’ve read the article above, you should know more on how to better your own game. Read this article as many times as you need to in order to absorb its advice.