Basketball season is an exciting time of year for fans. Professional players must work to give their fans something to cheer for. It takes practice and a willingness to work on all aspects of the game. You can be a better basketball player. These tips will help you improve your game.

When learning the game of basketball, it’s easy to get caught up in offensive play. But you should also give plenty of attention to defense. Basketball games are won because of good defense. Offense may score points but defense keeps the other team from scoring points that your team will have to match.

TIP! Start out with proper balance before attempting to take a shot. You have seen some crazy shots made by professionals, but these shots aren’t going to be based on fundamentals.

You must learn how to dribble, how a crossover is done and other important ball handling skills. Switch from one side to the other while dribbling. You have to do this quickly to be good at it. When you do it right, the crossover dribble helps you alter directions and go down the court faster.

Free throws are as much mental as they are physical, like other parts of the game. 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 and concentrate on your basket to increase your free throws.

Prior to basketball season, and even during it, you can play solo games. Even if you can’t get a bunch of people together to play, you can still practice on your own. There’s nothing wrong with that. You can still practice when playing alone. You can practice free throws or pivot moves. There’s always some work to do.

Free Throws

To help you shoot better free throws you need to come up with a consistent routine. A consistent routine enables the shooter to have a perfect motion every time. You have to practice time and time again. Just keep repeating free throws, if you want to perfect that technique. Failing to stick with your routine can adversely affect your shooting accuracy.

Work on making your forearms and hands stronger in order to improve ball handling. For example, you can improve dribbling skills by adding wrist curls to your routine. Never assume you can just stand somewhere, catch and then shoot. Learning how to pass the ball ensures that you can get the ball safely to a teammate who has better position on the court.

TIP! Would you like to pull one over on your opponents? You should try a back pass. To work it, place the ball in your most dominant hand.

If you don’t want someone to steal the ball, dribble hard. This makes the ball go back to your hand quicker, so offense has reduced chances at taking it from you. When closely guarding another player, cease dribbling and pass it to another play on your team that’s open.

You want to strive in practice to bring the ball all the way up the court in no more than five dribbles. This seems an impossible feat when you start. By working on this drill regularly you develop speed and great, lengthy strides. It can mean easier lay-ups when dealing with fast breaks and it can help your teammates for just a moment.

To help make the offense flow better it is a good idea to alter the pace. When running towards the net, step on your front foot, and start to straighten up your body. Your opponent will see you as stopping, then will also stop themselves. Once they slow their momentum, you can shoot past them with a burst of speed.

TIP! Always be aware of your feet. An errant toe to the baseline while holding the ball will result in an “out of bounds” call.

Strength training can be a major help in basketball. It is impossible to succeed if you lack endurance and strength. Even youngsters can strengthen their arms and legs to improve game play. As they reach their teen years, bring weights in to further enhance exercise. When they become an adult, weight training becomes mandatory.

When on defense, try to keep yourself low whenever you can. Staying low will help you to be a more swift opponent when you mirror the man standing in your path. Keep yourself in proper defensive stance at all times. If you find you have to abandon your stance to do some blocking, get back into formation as fast as you can.

Exercise off the court. Sprints helps with individual plays, and long-distance running gives you stamina. Additionally, weightlifting and resistance training will help you develop the muscles needed for those long distance shots. The confidence this gives you will help you with your shooting.

TIP! Practice passing while looking another way. This will make your actions very confusing to the other team.

Practice various shots from various places on the court. The first thing you should do is practice your grip and balance. Even though it is less accurate, it is possible to score with off-balanced shooting. The valve, which is located at the center of the ball, should help you perfect your grip. Spread the fingers of your dominant hand and put the center of your hand over the valve located at the center of the basketball.

Take control of opposing players’ movements. Regardless of whether you play defense or offense, the ability to control the other team creates a significant advantage. That will ensure you control the game.

As you come down from catching a rebound, land with your legs spread wider than the span of your shoulders to increase your balance. Keep your elbows out to protect the ball and keep it close to your chest. Be careful with your elbows as hitting someone on the other team will be a foul.

TIP! To maximize your layups, take off with the foot that opposes your shooting hand. If you play to use your right hand to shoot, you’ll want to use your left foot to take off.

As you know, there are so many ways you can make yourself a better player. Better playing skills lead to a more skilled team which will bring even more fans. Every single participant plays a role, from those on the court to those sitting in the stands. You are obligated to put forth 100 percent effort during every game. Use these tips to be the kind of good, all-around player everyone wants on their team.