Basketball is an old sport, originating with Dr. James Naismith back in 1891. Since that time, it has grown into a sport beloved by many people. Celebrities such as Doctor J and Magic Johnson have made the game fun for everyone. Shaquille O’Neill is another celebrity forged by the sport. Read on to learn from the successes of some of the greats.

Make it a point to concentrate on both your defensive and offensive skills. Focusing only on offense does not make you a well-rounded player. Victory requires the ability to play defense. Offense gets all the praise and attention, but without a good defense, any basketball team is destined to lose.

TIP! Know how to dribble the ball in the correct way. Instead of using your palm to dribble focus on using your fingertips.

If you have the ball a lot, learn to execute a crossover. A crossover happens when you switch hands the ball is in. Your crossovers should be fast, which is why it is important to practice them. After doing so correctly, a crossover gives you greater control over the court’s flow.

To be a great basketball player you need to work on your balance. Even though a professional can hit all sorts of crazy off-balance shots, it is not the ideal method of shooting that you want to learn. They are going with the flow when this occurs. Having a good foundation under you while shooting will always yield better results over time as you keep on practicing and honing your skills.

Free Throw

TIP! Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. Moving the ball from hand to hand is a crossover.

Learn how to block out movement, noise and other distractions when taking a free throw. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss. Stay calm and collected to increase your free throw percentage.

A great way to hone your own basketball abilities is to watch the pros. Watch as many games on TV as you can. You will notice great skills from different players that you can practice.

Boost your defensive abilities by studying the opposing team and its players. Review tapes and keep up with scouting reports. Keep track of which players are right hand dominant and which are left hand dominant. When you know your opponent, you will be better able to play an effective defensive game. One of the most important keys to being a solid defender is an understanding of your opponent.

TIP! Practice using different types of defenses. Most of the game is played in zone, but your opponent may try to switch things up to do man-to-man coverage.

If your shooting is suffering, take a close look at your shoulders. You won’t be able to make a shot if your shoulders aren’t in the right position. To help improve your shot, focus on squaring up on each of your shots. The dominant shoulder needs to be lined up with the rim.

Speed is everything in basketball. Always stay ahead of the opposition. To increase your quickness, you must practice playing fast while running drills. Make sure you never play past the speed you are comfortable. This can cause you to get out of control and make careless mistakes.

It’s important to know where you have your feet and also what they’re doing. Stepping your toe in a baseline with a ball in your grip will mean that you’re out of bounds. Also, you can cause a turnover if you walk without dribbling the ball. In addition, moving one foot while working on setting a screen or pick will produce a foul.

TIP! Want to trick the other team? Make use of the back pass. If you wish to try this pass, get the ball in your dominant hand.

Ask someone to take a video of you playing and watch it. Did you spot something that could be improved? Be honest when assessing, but avoid being overly critical. This gives you an unfettered view of how you actually performed on the court, rather than relying solely on your memory of the game.

A regulation basketball game consists of just ten players. You must have a powerful knowledge base if you wish to play ball well. The tips here will help, but continue reading to find out as much as you can.