Basketball is unlike any other sport. Dribbling and passing and shooting were the skills you were trying to master. Perhaps you think you have learned all you need to know about basketball. But these tips here may show you a few new tricks!

Knowing how to perform a crossover is a must when you handle the basketball frequently. Switch from one side to the other while dribbling. This must be done quickly to be successful. When done properly, crossover dribbling is a great way to quickly switch direction or move around the court in an efficient manner.

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 won more often by defense than offense.

Practice your layups a lot. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game. Practice running while dribbling, jumping and shooting as smoothly as you can. Knowing how to run and jump quickly and smoothly will assist you in knowing how to leap and shoot more effectively while playing.

Every great player understands how to properly perform a bounce pass. It is best when the ball hits the receiving player near the waist. One good rule of thumb is to bounce the ball around three quarters of the way to the other player. Although, there will be other circumstances that are involved too.

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. Relax yourself and focus on the hoop.

TIP! Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. In a typical game, up to four-fifths of all shots are layups.

You should practice against a variety of defense types, not just zone. While you might see a zone defense mostly, a team can switch defenses to man-to-man quickly in order to confuse you. This can cause your team to lose momentum to the other side if this isn’t something you’ve practiced.

A great way to learn how to pass is by doing drills often with no dribbling. It is hard to play a game when you don’t dribble, but it will help you to be sure that everyone is passing accurately. Don’t get frustrated if it’s hard at first because it will get better over time.

Need to dupe the opposition? Trick them using a back pass. If you wish to try this pass, get the ball in your dominant hand. Then, put the ball around your back. Lastly, flick your wrist in the direction that you want the ball to land. This is a good way to trick your opponents.

TIP! You have to know how to bounce pass properly. A good bounce pass should hit the player on the receiving end at waist level.

Have your team mates critique your playing skills. Do they feel you are really good at something? 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.

Always be sure of where you’re placing your feet so you’re aware of what they’re doing. If you fall on a baseline, you will be out of bounds. Holding the ball for too many steps and not dribbling will result in a walking call which will cause you to you will lose possession of the ball. You may need to keep your feet planted to avoid getting called for charging.

If you want to better your dribble, start practicing with your weaker hand. If you use both your hands to dribble, it is easier to control. Hold the dominant hand behind the back and make certain you use just the weak hand. Before you know it, your weak hand will become strong.

TIP! Free throws have a huge mental element to them. You must train both your body and your mind.

You need to constantly disrupt your opponents in order to be a great defensive player. Force them away from their comfort zone. Always move aggressively as they try to maneuver around you. Do not let them call the shots. This will give your opponent the advantage. You should make the initial move and throw them off.

Your forearms and hands should be strengthened in order for you to handle the ball better. An exercise to help develop your basketball skills is to perform wrist curls. Making a goal isn’t just standing there as the ball miraculously comes to you and then shooting it at the basket. Good dribbling skills will help you always stay in movement.

Practice moving the ball from one courtside to the other in just 5 dribbles of the ball. This might seem impossible at first, but if you achieve it, you will have remarkable stride length and speed. This will help you accomplish great layups on those fast breaks.

TIP! Use hand signals to avoid errant passes. Oftentimes frustration occurs when trying you aren’t on the same page with a teammate who cuts to the basketball when you try to pass him the ball.

With all of these awesome basketball tips, you’ve got a lot of opportunity to grow. Set your goals and practice all you can to better your skills. Using these tips, you will see you game skills improve with each game.