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Basketball is unlike any other sport. You explored passing, shooting, and dribbling. Today, it may feel like you’re someone who knows everything about the game. But these tips here may show you a few new tricks!

It’s natural to be drawn towards offense as a novice, but the pros know defense is where the game is won or lost. Many times, defense actually wins the game. Even though everyone loves to watch offense, defense is what wins you most games.

TIP! It’s natural to be drawn towards offense as a novice, but the pros know defense is where the game is won or lost. Basketball games are often won by great defensive play.

Correct dribbling is key. When you dribble, only use your fingertips instead of your palms. When you do this you will have more control over the ball. You should be dribbling the ball at your side instead of in front of your body. The ball should always be dribbled at waist level. Keep your head up and do not look at the ground.

Know your strengths and they’ll help you become a better player. 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. Learn what your strengths are, then practice to perfection!

Work on catching passes frequently. When practicing make sure you drill yourself to catch errant throws as well as picture perfect passes. When playing in the game, it’s rare that every pass will hit a bulls-eye. You and your team mates will be happier if you (and they) are more versatile.

TIP! Learn the mechanics of a free throw. These shots look easy on television, but are actually hard when you are doing the shooting.

You need to practice more than defeating a zone defense. You can count on quite a bit of the game being played in zone; however, you should not be surprised if it becomes one-on-one coverage just for the sake of confusion. You might lose your control of the court if the other team use this technique, unless you are ready for this possibility.

Never have your back to the ball so that you’re ready for anything in a basketball game. This can help you to avoid surprises by fast passes, help you keep an eye on the rest of the court, and allow you to spot potential turnovers. You will want to keep extra attention on areas that could improve your position as well.

In order to be your best on defense, take the time to completely understand the player you are guarding. Watch games if you can and look at their tendencies. Find out who are the right-handed or left-handed players. When you know some of the other player’s moves, you’ll have a leg up during a game as you’ll be able to predict what he is going to do. Smart defenders are good defenders.

TIP! When dribbling, focus on what’s in front of you by keeping your head up. If you have to keep your eye on the ball when you’re dribbling, practice can remedy that.

Whenever you work out, practice footwork and work on your core strength. Your body is going to be more balanced and be able to move faster when you have strong core muscles. Give your hips, buttocks, back and stomach a workout. Similar to boxers, jumping rope can better your speed and footwork.

A good player on defense will annoy the heck out of the opponent and cause the other team to get flustered. Take them out of their own comfort zone. Execute aggressive moves. This will keep them from being able to choose which plays they will make. The more aggressively smart team is usually the one who wins. Force them to act and their rhythm will get disrupted.

Stay on top of your footwork when attempting a rebound. 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! Know your strengths and they’ll help you become a better player. You might not have star ability, but you can be an outstanding team player.

Be sure that your site is good. This isn’t just so you can read the scoreboard and be able to make shots and catch passes. Your peripheral vision should be the best it can be. If you’re looking around the whole court and not only at the ball, you’ll be able to look to the defense to see if pressure is coming and you can see who’s open.

Use the hand you are not dribbling with to keep your defender away from the ball. You don’t need to push any opponents since that’s a foul, but try using your non-dribbling arm like a separator for keeping the ball safe. When dribbling, use it as a shield.

Be sure you’re doing the right kinds of exercises off the court to help you on it. Sprints help you gain skill in individual plays, while running longer distances will increase your stamina. To play more physically, lift weights to make yourself a more dominating presence. The resulting confidence helps you have more reliable shooting.

TIP! Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. 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.

If someone is attempting a shot from one of the court’s corners, that shot (if missed) will probably bounce over to the opposite side of the net. This knowledge will help you get more rebounds.

These tips will make it easy for you to become a stellar basketball player. Set goals for yourself, and be sure you practice, practice, practice! Using these tips will allow you to become an amazing player.