The sport of basketball is a world within itself. There were so many different things to learn about the game. You find that you’re probably an expert on the game right about now. The following advice will prove there are things you did not know.

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. You can win a game, thanks to good defense. While offense seems to get the praise, defense must be stellar in order to win.

TIP! Many people only direct their attention to the offensive part of the game without realizing that defense is the key to winning. Basketball games are often won by the defense.

Put the emphasis on your strengths can help you to be a better basketball player. Your talent might not make you a star; however, learning your strengths will help you become a better team player. Understand your strengths and use it to your advantage to help your team win!

Play by yourself to practice. Many times you are unable to find people to play with. There’s nothing wrong with that. There is much that can be accomplished when playing on your own. Practice free throws and work on pivot moves. You can always work on something.

When avoiding errant passes, use hand signals. Basketball passes can be really frustrating when shot wrong. A simple hand gesture can let your teammate know you’re ready for the pass. If there is no signal, the player should not make the pass to them.

TIP! Practice shooting free throws. That’s a shot that appears simple but is actually difficult in reality.

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. Knowing where the other players are on the court helps you open passing lanes and gives you more opportunities to take a shot.

Spreading the fingers is something you have to do to handle the ball right. You are more likely to hold onto the ball this way. Do not allow your palm to come in contact with the ball either. You should only let the fingers touch the ball during passing or shooting.

Understand your opponent. One great way to get a better understanding of your opponent is to take the time to watch film and get information from other players or scouts. One simple thing to know before the game is if your opponent shoots with their right or left hand. When you know your opponent, you will be better able to play an effective defensive game. A person that knows about defending makes a strong defender.

TIP! It is vital that you learn to crossover the basketball while dribbling. When you do a crossover, you move the basketball very fast from one hand over to the other hand.

You now have the knowledge you need to master the game. Set and follow through on goals to become more skilled. When adding these tips, use them within the strategy you made to start seeing the improvements you’ve wanted.