We all know it takes a lot of practice and dedication to become a basketball star. Even if it is just recreational, wouldn’t you prefer to be good at it? Reading the information here should help you make some improvements in your future basketball games.

It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. You can win a game, thanks to good defense. Offense gets more attention, but the team is going to lose without a strong defense.

TIP! You should practice your crossovers a lot. Being able to dribble the ball with both hands and crossover between the two will make you a better player.

You must learn how to dribble, how a crossover is done and other important ball handling skills. This term refers to switching the hand you use. This must be done quickly to be successful. Once you’ve learned how to use it, the crossover dribble makes it easy to navigate the court in a more effective way.

Watch professionals play to learn from their techniques. Go to professional games in person and/or watch them online or on TV. Each player has their strengths and you can learn a lot from each one.

Practice catching passes often. Try to catch all of the passes that are thrown to you. When a game is underway, not every throw will be perfect. So do your teammates a favor by learning how to consistently haul in their less than perfect passes.

TIP! To be a great basketball player you need to work on your balance. While some NBA players are able to launch a ball to the net mid-fall, this is not appropriate for most people.

Remember to practice a lot of different possibilities so that you will not limit your game. While a great portion of a game will be concentrated in the zone, your rivals could opt to go to man-to-man covering to keep you guessing. Be sure to practice for this eventuality so you will not become rattled and lose the game.

When posting up, solid footwork is essential to getting yourself into position to shoot. Although physical presence under the basket is important, getting to a good spot before your opponent does is even more important. Once you get into your position, you need to secure it. Practicing your footwork is important to master these skills.

Ask your teammates what they like about how you play. What areas are your strong points? You might be quick, or you might always be around to support them. Find out what others perceive as your natural gifts and build upon those more completely.

TIP! Frequently practice passing and catching the passes of others. When practicing make sure you drill yourself to catch errant throws as well as picture perfect passes.

Keeping your fingers spread will facilitate better ball handling. This will help you keep a better grip on the ball. Don’t allow yourself to have your palm touching the ball either. Only use your fingers to dribble, pass or shoot.

Being a good defensive player means disrupting the game of your opponent. Don’t let them get comfortable. Execute your moves with aggression. Do not allow them to decide which plays to make. If you let them, they’ll totally take the control from you. Try making the initial move and interrupt their rhythm.

When you have the chance, take charge. When you do that, you can earn defensive stops, get the ball back, and set up foul shots against the other team. That can be psychologically disturbing, and is a power play.

TIP! Never practice only against the zone. Always try to anticipate when your opponent is going to switch up their game to catch you off guard.

To trap with a 2-3 zone, have your guards cover the point guard once he gets a few feet past midcourt. At this point, your guards must rush the point guard thus trapping him. While that is happening, your forwards should race out to the opposing wing players. This will likely cause the point guard to make a high, short pass, which your forwards will steal quite easily.

Keep your knees loose when you dribble the ball. It makes it much easier to control the ball while dribbling as opposed to standing straight up, which makes controlling the ball much harder. To help out your ball control, try bending the knees.

The only way to gain skill in outside shooting is to make over 100 practice shots every day from various spots on the court. Practice dribbling and quick shots. Be sure you look at the target as you’re in mid air. This improves your accuracy.

TIP! You can learn to trick the opposing team. Try using a back pass! To start, grab the ball using your good hand.

Be certain to practice moves off the court that will truly help you on the court. Running sprints can make you faster on individual plays, while long-distance running helps you make it through a game with good stamina. Resistance training or weightlifting builds better muscles for shots. The confidence this gives you will help you with your shooting.

If you’re serious about your game, you should take your diet seriously. You need to eat carbs, fats and protein on game days. For example, you might incorporate whole grain products, lean means, nuts, and peanut butter into your meals. Try to reduce your salt and sugar intake, though.

Now, all you have to do is put these tips to use. You’re going to see improvement as you go on, so remember what you have learned, apply the tips, and keep practicing. The three step plan can help you succeed.