TIP! It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Defense is what keep the other team from scoring.

Basketball is a fast-paced sport that is exciting to watch and challenging to play well. In order to be the best that you can be at basketball, there are some tips that you should know. The following tips will help you take your game up a notch.

TIP! Dribble properly. Don’t use your palm, use your fingers.

Learn to crossover if you get the ball often. In a crossover, you transfer the basketball from hand to hand. It should be done quickly. A good crossover dribble can give you the opportunity to switch directions and progress on the court much faster.

TIP! You must become knowledgeable about hitting a free-throw shot. These shots look easy on television, but are actually hard when you are doing the shooting.

Balance is essential to shooting. You have seen some crazy shots made by professionals, but these shots aren’t going to be based on fundamentals. Professional basketball players tend to improvise when need be. You need to maintain good balance while shooting, which is sure to produce greater consistency.

TIP! If you typically handle the ball a lot, it pays to learn the crossover. Crossover dribble is switching hands while you’re dribbling.

To improve your game, concentrate on your strong points. If you can rely on your strengths, you will become a better player. Perfect what you can do well by practicing and developing the strengths you already have.

TIP! Connecting on your free throws is as much mental as it is physical. It is possible to practice the physical movements needed to make such a shot, but when your mental focus is lacking, you are likely to miss.

Practice your pass catching often. You want to practice catching perfect passes and bad passes. During a game, not all of your passes will hit the mark. Cover for your teammates’ errant passes by developing the hands to cover their mistakes.

TIP! Better your basketball skills by watching the pros play. You can do this by watching games in person and on television.

If you want to take jump shots, don’t spend time pumping iron. Muscle strength is great for any position in basketball, you can have too much when it comes to perimeter play. There have been instances where great shooters bulk up so much that it adversely affects their shooting percentage.

TIP! Building core muscle is key to playing great basketball. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles.

Want to trick the other team? Try a back pass. Use the dominant hand whenever trying a behind the back pass. Then, move the ball so it is behind your back. Then you will use your wrist and flip it in the direction you want the ball to be going. This helps trick your opponents.

TIP! When avoiding errant passes, use hand signals. Players can get easily frustrated if they make a pass to players that aren’t available to catch the ball.

You can play a great defensive game if you know the opposition well. Review tapes and keep up with scouting reports. One simple thing to know before the game is if your opponent shoots with their right or left hand. This knowledge will help you play the best game possible. A defender that has knowledge will be a strong one.

TIP! Avoid turning away from the ball so that you can always be prepared for what occurs on the court. You will enjoy greater court awareness and avoid feeling surprised by rapid changes in game play.

If you find yourself unable to shoot well, consider your shoulders. If you have bad shoulder position it doesn’t matter how great you are the shot isn’t going to go in. Keep your shoulders squared with the basket at all times. Also, allow your dominant shoulder to line up with the rim.

TIP! Quickness is something that’s desired in basketball. Try playing faster than the opponents for a better advantage.

You need to be quick to be good at basketball. Make an effort to do all things on the court more speedily than the opposing team. Steady drilling will help speed up your play. However, you should not attempt to play any faster than your abilities permit. This can cause you to get out of control and make careless mistakes.

TIP! High percentage free throw shooters typically have the same free throw routine prior to each and every shot. That could include a set number of dribbles, knee-bends or some other type of movement.

Practice passing while looking in the opposite direction. This will easily confuse your opponents. If you can do this correctly, you’ll be able to free up time for the person that you’ve passed to. When completed correctly, it creates an awesome play.

Free Throw

TIP! A great way to stay in a correct defensive stance is to always stay in position no matter what. You need to learn how to slide your feet instead of crossing one foot in front of the other.

In order to become a better free throw shooter you need to have a good practice routine. When you stay consistent, you get better success. You should work on your free throw techniques as much as possible until they become a second nature. If you alter your routine then chances are the shot will not be good.

TIP! Make sure that the pace changes when you are on defense. When you’re moving towards the net, act like you’re going to straighten up.

Practice dribbling with both hands, dribble on both sides of your body and learn to dribble in front of you while taking large strides. If you use both your hands to dribble, it is easier to control. You can focus on the strength of your weak hand by tying your dominant hand behind your back. You will get new dribbling skills with your weak hand.

TIP! You have to know how to change the course of your opponent. Whether you are playing defense or offense, controlling the movements of your opponents is vital.

You need to work on your forearms and your hands to handle the ball more efficiently. Wrist curls can be great for honing ball handling skills. One thing that is important to remember is that it is difficult to be static and be a scorer. You have to learn to move the ball if you want something to happen.

TIP! If you’ve studied the opposing team and found one player isn’t as good with one hand as with the other, try to make that player use his off hand. If it is their left hand, come at them and stand on your left foot.

If an opponent charges at you, let him run into you. This strategy can result in your opponent taking a foul and your team getting a defensive stop and taking possession of the ball. This is play that’s powerful.

TIP! Have a game plan you want to accomplish when beginning a workout routine. A lot of players have no plan for working out.

Changing up your pace is something you have to do to make sure the offense is paying attention. While you run at the net, plant the front foot and start straightening your body. The guard may think you’ve slowed down and may try to straighten themselves. As hes does, plow forward and run by him.

TIP! Arguing with referees is never a good idea. You might not agree with every call the referees make, and questioning them is fine.

To increase your three-point shooting skill, shoot from where the NBA players range. All the other lines are closer. Being able to shoot successfully from the NBA range will give you a great advantage.

TIP! Practice bettering your footwork. Always know the best ways to move depending on where you are on the court.

As you can see, people around the world love basketball. This article has helped to show that continual learning is a part of really excelling at the sport. The information in the above article is your starting point for becoming a great basketball player.