Basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith back in 1891. Since that time, it’s exploded into a beloved sport by many. There have been many famous players of note. J to Magic Johnson, it has made celebrities out of its best players. For tips from the basketball experts, read the paragraphs below.

It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Victory requires the ability to play defense. Offensive skills are usually the most impressive ones but defense is something every team should work on.

TIP! If you want to improve your game, play up your strengths. Your best talent may not make you the star of every game, but learning to play your best angle will help you contribute more to the team.

Practice shooting free throws. This is one of those shots that seem easy but in real life are difficult. When practicing your free throw, concentrate on where you want the ball to go when it leaves your hands. Hold the ball level to your face. Keep looking towards the goal and think about the ball getting into that goal. Bend your knees to control the arc of the ball.

If you hold the ball a lot, you have to learn crossovers. Being able to dribble the ball with both hands and crossover between the two will make you a better player. This action most be quick to work out. Learn how to perform a crossover dribble will help you get down court quickly.

Your mind plays as big a part in making a free throw as your actual body does. You can practice for hours on how to make the shot, but if you over think things or get distracted you will miss every time. Relax yourself and concentrate on your shot.

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

Do not restrict your practices to zone defenses alone. While a great portion of a game will be concentrated in the zone, your rivals could opt to go to man-to-man covering to keep you guessing. If your practice hasn’t included this type of scenario, you might lose control rapidly.

The key for controlling the ball well is to spread your fingers. This will help you to be sure that it won’t escape your grasp when trying to hold it. You should avoid having your palm touching the ball. Only use your fingers to dribble, pass or shoot.

All you need to have a basketball game is a basketball goal and a few friends. Strong knowledge is necessary for better playing. This article is just a starting point; keep on reading and practicing your skills.