Dedication is key to becoming a better basketball player. Even if you’re only playing for enjoyment, you wanna be the best, right? The following article can help you with your basketball aspirations, whatever they may be.

While focusing on offense is fun, you must also make sure you focus on defense. Basketball games are won because of good defense. While offense seems to get the praise, defense must be stellar in order to win.

TIP! If you want to excel, you have to play to your strengths. Your skills might not make you an all-start every time out, but playing up your strengths makes you a great contributor.

When dribbling the basketball you should keep your head up. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet. You can practice dribbling almost anywhere. If you walk to the store, dribble the ball. If you’re looking at the basketball, you won’t be able to see what is coming at you.

Knowing how to perform a crossover is a must when you handle the basketball frequently. When you do a crossover, you move the basketball very fast from one hand over to the other hand. You must do it fast for best success. Crossovers can help you get out of a tight spot.

Watch the pro’s play if you want to improve your game. Get tickets to some pro games, if possible, or catch some games on television. You will see that each great player has certain skills that make him great and you can practice what you see him doing.

TIP! You should learn the best way to throw a great bounce pass. Executed properly, a bounce pass will connect with the receiving player at the waist.

Practice your pass catching often. When you practice, be sure to do drills that improve catching wild throws and making great passes. Understand that during a game, you will receive very scattered passes. Some will be good; some won’t. So you should do the team a favor by knowing how to take in any kind of a pass that comes from someone.

You should practice against a variety of defense types, not just zone. 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. Be sure to practice for this eventuality so you will not become rattled and lose the game.

You may have better luck honing your passing skills if you forgo dribbling during practice. Passing drills with your team is important for accurate passes during game time, and you can try doing them without dribbling at all. Even though this is not an easy drill, you will be rewarded for your efforts during game time.

TIP! Interested in tricking your opponents? Try a back pass. Hold the ball using your dominant hand.

If you need some help seeing where you need work, try to get a friend or relative to record your games. You may see things differently as you observe the game and notice things you missed in the game. Be honest when assessing, but avoid being overly critical. It is prudent that you look at yourself as others do and not as how you would like to be.

Free Throw

To help perfect your free throw abilities you should perform a consistent routine. Whatever you do before each shot, from dribbles to body motions, should be the same each time. When you have a steady and consistent routine, your muscles will remember what to do to shoot those free throw shots.

TIP! If posting up is what you’re doing, you have to have good footwork to get open for a shot. While actually being beneath the basket is key, establishing a good position prior to the opposition is even more so.

Try practicing looking in the opposite direction when you pass. This is a great technique in order to help confuse the opponents. When done properly, this technique distracts the opposition and gives your pass recipient a chance to focus on the basket. It can be a really powerful move in the game.

You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. Wrist curls are great for working wrist muscles and improving your dribbling. Don’t stay stopped; always move around the court. You have to start moving the basketball around to get things to happen.

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. You are able to rebound the ball without fouling someone.

TIP! If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. It is possible to receive an injury when playing basketball because it is a sport that is physically challenging.

One of the best ways to always be in proper defensive position is to never break out of the defensive stance. Slide your feet to and fro or use your opposing foot to push off to maintain your position. Don’t let your feet get crossed and it will be hard to get around you.

To make your shooting skills better, shoot from all around the court. To improve even more, practice preparing for a shot quickly after dribbling the ball. Focus on the target when airborne, but never before. This simulates what actually happens in a game and improves your accuracy.

If you are a basketball player you should be eating a healthy diet. Basketball uses a lot of energy; therefore, it is important to fuel your body with lean protein and whole grains. Peanut butter and nuts are great choices. Sugars and salt should be used sparingly.

TIP! Your fingers should always be spread out when handling the ball. This gives you better control of the ball.

Foster a strong team camaraderie both on the court and off. A good basketball team usually comes from having a team that is gelling and in sync with one another. When you feel like your team is part of your family, you have mutual trust. This bond will bring your game to new levels.

You should be have ways to alter the path your opponent is planning on taking. This is an ability you need on both defense and offense, since you get to control where your opponent goes in either case. This opens up passing lanes and shooting chances when you’re on offense and can help create turnovers when you’re on defense.

When you shoot, do what you can to temper your nerves. Keep your view on the basket. In particular, you have to make your eyes trained to move towards the rim’s back when you shoot. But if you want to do a layup, just pay attention to where you need to bounce the ball on the back board.

TIP! As you perform your fitness routine, make it a point to target your core and your footwork. By developing strong core muscles, you will be able to recover quickly and keep your balance.

Now, you need to get going and use the advice and guidance found in this piece. You’ll see small improvements daily while remembering these tips and practicing them. This will lead you on your way to success!