Many people love basketball. Many people enjoy watching the NBA on television, playing on their own teams, or just shooting some hoops at the park. Anyone who plays basketball wants to improve their game. Check out the advice below to discover ways to help shift your game to that next gear.

It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Defense ultimately determines the winner of a game of basketball. Offense gets attention and praise, but when you lack good defense, any team can lose.

Crossover Dribble

If you get possession of the ball a lot, you must learn the crossover technique. Crossover dribble is switching hands while you’re dribbling. You have to do this quickly to be good at it. A good crossover dribble can give you the opportunity to switch directions and progress on the court much faster.

Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. You can teach your body to make a free throw properly, but unless you are properly prepared mentally, you may not succeed. Relax and focus on the basket; this will help you succeed.

TIP! In order to get a good shot, you must use good footwork. Securing a good location is critical when playing basketball.

If you want to be a master of the jump shot, do not make weight lifting a priority. Although it’s true that strong muscles are beneficial, additional bulk can impede your ability to play effectively along the perimeter. Some professional shooting guards made their arms so big that it started decreasing their field goal percentage.

Tricking the other team is a good way to win a game. Make use of the back pass. To accomplish this pass, grasp the ball using your dominant hand. Next, place the ball behind you. And last, flick the wrist in the direction you want the ball to go. This is a very useful trick to confuse the opposing team.

Find out what your teammates like most about how you play? Find out what they perceive as your best skill. They may say you’re fast or that you share well. You can learn a lot about your skills by knowing how others see you on the court.

Fingers Spread

Keeping your fingers spread will facilitate better ball handling. The ball will not get away if you always keep your fingers spread when handling the ball. You should avoid having your palm touching the ball. Only use your fingers to dribble, pass or shoot.

Play a good defense by knowing your opponent. Review videotapes and monitor scouting reports. Figure out which people are right or left handed. Once you have a solid idea of your opponent, you can dial in on the best way to defend. Knowledge is power, even in basketball.

TIP! When you’re trying to work out, you should build up your core strength while getting your footwork perfected. Your body will be more stable and easier to move when you have strength in your core muscles.

Passing the ball through your legs is a useful maneuver if the opposing team is right on top of you. Practice dribbling the ball between your legs. If you can master this move, it will give you quite the advantage when you are on the court.

Make layups count by taking off with the foot that is opposite to your shooting hand. This will allow you to shoot with your comfortable hand. Your body will develop good coordination and you keep your defender at a distance.

Practice dribbling with your weaker hand. If you have two hands that can dribble the ball effortlessly then it becomes easier to get by your opponent. If you find it difficult to continue using your weak hand, make your strong hand unusable. In no time, the weak hand will also be useful for dribbling.

TIP! In order to be more reliable shooting free throws, practice your routine. This may mean you want to dribble three times, touch your forehead, bend at the knees, or do anything else.

Make sure that the pace changes when you are on defense. As you approach the goal, plant your foot and then straighten up. The guard will think you are slowing down and will also straighten themselves. As they do, push forward hard and run by them.

Strength Training

You can really up your performance on the court by doing strength training. You need both stamina and strength to be a good player. Small kids who play stand to reap real benefits from strengthening their legs and arms. As they grow and gain skills, they will be even better players. When they become adults, strength training is critical to maintaining solid court performance.

TIP! Between the leg passes are usually helpful when another team’s players are riding you hard. Practice dribbling the ball between your legs.

To make your three-point shot better, practice it from the minimum NBA approved distance. School and the international standard lines are nearer than that. By learning to shoot from NBA distances, you improve your range tremendously.

If possible, the action should remain below your knees. Your opponents will find it tougher to steal the ball from you. This will help you move the ball down the court easier.

Keep dribbling in the same rhythm, until finally you would like to throw the person guarding you off guard. Changing your pace can confuse them. The speed as well as the shift in sound combine to cause confusion.

TIP! You must disrupt and upset the play of your opponent if you want to be successful as a defensive player. You should work to make your opponent feel uncomfortable.

Make a strong team both off and on the basketball court. Basketball is something that can work in a team’s favor if they all work together well. If you think you know each of your teammates really well and trust them, then your game improve, and theirs too.

You can use all of some of these tips to become a better basketball player. It is important to understand the fundamentals of the game if you plan on being a great player. Anytime you practice it makes you a better player, and whenever you have the opportunity to do so, do it. You can practice alone, play with teammates or enjoy a pickup game in your neighborhood.