TIP! Proper balance is essential when shooting. Your knees should be bent with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders.

The key to mastering the game of basketball is practice. Make sure you perform drills correctly and keep working on an exercise until you get it right every time. Keep reading to discover some great basketball tips to help you improve your game.

TIP! If you want to improve your game, play up your strengths. 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.

It is easy to be focused on offense when you are learning how to play basketball, but you really should focus your practice on defense. Basketball games are won with a good defense. While everyone focuses on shots made, a good defense can kill the chances of even an amazing shot taker.

TIP! Successful free throwing requires as much mental skill as it does physical skill. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter.

Watch your form while you dribble the ball. Don’t use your palm, use your fingers. When you do this you will have more control over the ball. Dribble to the side of your body rather than directly in front of you, bouncing at waist level. Keep your eyes up, not on the ground.

TIP! Perform skills, practice your ball handling and shoot free throws when you are practicing alone. While basketball is a team sport, sometimes you just can’t find others to play with.

Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. Crossovers involve moving the ball from hand to hand. The move must be done quickly if it is going to work. When done properly, crossover dribbling is a great way to quickly switch direction or move around the court in an efficient manner.

TIP! One of the best ways to play a strong defensive game is to know your opponent. Watch tapes and stay up on scouting reports.

One thing to consider if your shooting percentage drops is that your shoulders may be inconsistent when you are shooting. When they are out of alignment, all shots will fail. You’ll want to ensure that your shoulders are squared up towards the hoops. You want your strong-side shoulder in perfect alignment with the rim.

TIP! Pay attention closely to the shoulders if you’re starting to slump when you shoot. If your shoulders are in a bad position, no matter how good you are, you won’t make the shot.

Quickness is a key skill in basketball. Try playing faster than the opponents for a better advantage. In order to play fast, you must practice drills. Though, you should never attempt to a play faster game than your abilities permit. You will end up in a turnover if you play too fast.

TIP! A good basketball player is really quick on his feet. Try playing faster than the opponents for a better advantage.

Practice your footwork and control the position of your feet at all times. Stepping ever so slightly out of bounds while you have the ball can cause an overturn. Taking excessive steps while not dribbling results in a call of walking as well as a turnover. Also, when you’re moving your feet when a screen is being set, you can take a charge or pick to try and get a foul.

TIP! If the opposing team is breathing down your neck, it’s a good idea to pass the ball between your legs. Go forwards and backwards with the ball to practice bouncing it.

Get someone to analyze how you play on tape. Are you able to see what you’ve missed or things that you could improve on? Honestly and openly assess your own performance. This gives you an unfettered view of how you actually performed on the court, rather than relying solely on your memory of the game.

TIP! Practice looking in a different direction when you pass. This will make your actions very confusing to the other team.

Practice dribbling with your weaker hand. Opponents are a lot easier to blow by when you can dribble with ease using both hands. Practice with your weak hand by tying your dominant hand behind your back. Your weak hand won’t be that for long!

TIP! Improve your ball-handling by strengthening your hands and your forearms. Exercises that involve strengthening the wrist are especially helpful for dribbling.

Try to keep the ball in your line of sight at all times. This will help you to secure the ball during the game. Your peripheral vision should be the best it can be. This will help you to find open teammates and keep an eye out for the defensive players.

TIP! Good footwork will help you get rebounds off your teammates’ foul shots. The defender below you will be moving toward you, so find a way to slip around him and get to the ball.

Trip up the offense by constantly changing your pace. When you’re moving towards the net, act like you’re going to straighten up. The guard will assume you are reducing speed and will do the same. When that happens, rush forward and power past them.

TIP! In your drills, you should attempt to move the basketball the length of the court in fewer than half a dozen dribbles. You will need to learn how to push the basketball in front of you while making long strides.

Whether you only play on the weekends or you’re a hardcore enthusiast, these tips will still help improve your skills on the court. Every skill can be improved on. You can improve your game in every way, just like professional.