For years, fans of all ages have loved the game of basketball. However, just because people love the sport doesn’t mean they play well. This article can help you no matter what skill level you are at with basketball.

Learn to crossover if you get the ball often. Switch from one side to the other while dribbling. Your crossovers should be fast, which is why it is important to practice them. Once you have learned how to do a crossover, you can travel down the court quickly.

TIP! 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. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games.

Concentrate on your strong points if you want to improve your game. Even though your best abilities might not make you stand out each game, it is sure to help you contribute to the overall success of the team. Know the things you’re great at and keep practicing until there is no one better than you.

One way to help improve your overall basketball skills is to spend some time watching what the pros do. Whether seeing an all-pro on YouTube, attending a game in person, or sitting on the couch with buddies to watch your local professional team, there are many chances to observe the best. You will see that each great player has certain skills that make him great and you can practice what you see him doing.

One great way to pass good is to drill when you can without dribbling. Playing without any dribbling is very hard, but builds your passing skills. Do not get frustrated if it it seems difficult at first, over time your team’s passes will become more accurate.

TIP! You need to learn the correct way to dribble the ball. Use fingertips to dribble.

When injuries occur on the court, it is unwise to keep on playing. It’s easy to be hurt when playing basketball. You can quickly turn a strain into a debilitating medical issue if you do not take a break from the action. See a doctor if the injury is serious enough.

Make sure your fingers are apart from one another when dribbling. This will help prevent the ball from getting away from you while dribbling. Your palm should not be touching the ball. Whether you are passing or shooting the ball, your fingers are the only part of your hand that should be touching the ball.

Always be aware of the locations of your feet and what they’re doing. Stepping even over a baseline when you’re in possession of the ball will have you called out of bounds. You will get called for walking if you take extra steps and are not dribbling. Also, moving either foot when trying to set a screen, pick or take a charge results in a foul call.

TIP! Keep your head up when you dribble. You need more practice if you feel that you cannot dribble without focusing on the ball.

A solid routine is necessary for improvement in free throw shooting. Your shot could be off if you are inconsistent. The simplest way to get better at shooting free throws is through constant repetitive motions when shooting the ball. If your routine is off, then you will miss the shot.

You need to constantly disrupt your opponents in order to be a great defensive player. Force opposing players into an unfamiliar or unexpected position. When you are guarding, do so aggressively. This will keep them from being able to choose which plays they will make. This will give your opponent the chance to run over you. Instead, disrupt their rhythm by making the first move.

To nab a rebound from a free throw attempt of a teammate, footwork is key. You’ll have a defender coming at you and this means you have to figure out what can be done to get around them. This allows you to secure the rebound without finding yourself penalized.

TIP! It is important to practice catching the ball from others as much as passing. When you’re practicing, you should drill in being able to catch random throws in addition to passes that are perfect.

Take charge when the opportunity presents itself. This play gets your team possession of the ball and a foul against your opponent. That can be psychologically disturbing, and is a power play.

Practice dribbling while you switch your body’s momentum from one side to the other. This will help you learn to dribble during all different kinds of situations. You might be working with a court that’s open, but you may get swarmed by quite a few people. You must dribble while you make your body lean in various directions. This allows you to extricate yourself from high-pressure situations.

Keep the activity below the knees if possible. The other team’s players will have a difficult time stealing the basketball from you. You need to bend your body somewhat to accomplish this. It will, however, increase your overall effectiveness, as you are making the ball much harder to steal.

TIP! You may have better luck honing your passing skills if you forgo dribbling during practice. It is quite challenging to play the game without dribbling, but it does make sure you and your teammates make accurate passes.

Be sure you do the sort of off-court exercises that help you during games. You can run longer distances to build up stamina. To build speed, try doing wind sprints. Both are necessary for playing good ball. In addition, lifting weights will improve your strength, and hopefully, your shot. You will be able to shoot well with this confidence and aggression.

If you’re training to become a very good basketball player then start changing your diet. If you’re playing regularly, you need energy-loaded carbs as well as some fat and protein. Good things to add to your diet are nuts and nut butters, chicken, and wheat bread. You should use salt and sugar sparingly.

Be careful not to double-dribble. That happens when you stop one time, and start again in a few seconds. Once dribbling is done, you must either shoot or pass the ball. You are not allowed to recommence dribbling. That’s called a turnover, which will result in you having to hand over the ball to your opponent.

TIP! Knowing your opponent is the best way to play a tough defensive game. You can read scouting reports and watch tapes to evaluate your opponents game.

Landing with a wide stance after catching a rebound will make it easier for you to retain you balance. Keep the ball to your chest and hold it with two hands. Do not swing your elbows around or you may be hit with a foul.

People from all backgrounds love basketball. The secret to both enjoying a good game and playing a good game is personal knowledge. Utilize the techniques discussed in this article to help you better understand the game.