Basketball is exciting to watch but it is much more fun to play. However, many people don’t know all the ins and outs. This article can help you no matter what skill level you are at with basketball.

You must learn how to dribble, how a crossover is done and other important ball handling skills. A crossover happens when you switch hands the ball is in. You must do it fast for best success. When done correctly, a good crossover dribble assists you in being efficient and helping you change direction when you need to.

TIP! Practice hitting your free throws. This kind of shot seems easy, but it really is not.

Practice layups often. Up to eighty percent of the baskets attempted in a game are layups. When you practice, run toward the net, and then get a high jump in so you can smoothly shoot. That technique of running and jumping helps you get ready for an actual game.

Hitting free throws is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game. Relax as you focus on making the shot, and soon you’ll be making more free throws.

Would you like to learn how to fool your opponent? Give the back pass a try! Use the dominant hand to hold onto the basketball when trying this pass. Now hold the ball behind you. After determining which direction you want the ball to go, use a quick flick of your wrist to send it that way. This will confuse the opposition.

TIP! If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. Basketball is physically demanding, and injuries are relatively common.

Before, during and after the season, play out games by yourself. Basketball is a multiple player sport, but other people won’t always be around. That should not matter. There are many ways that you can improve your game alone. You can practice many different techniques, such as your free throw routine. You can always do something.

Hand signals will help you avoid those errant passes. One of basketball’s most frustrating elements is the concept of sending a quick pass onto a teammate who has just moved in a different direction. Players should use hand signals often when available for a pass. If you don’t see a signal, try to find someone else to pass to.

One of the best ways to play a strong defensive game is to know your opponent. Study video tape on your opponent and read over any scouting reports. For example, you should know which of the players are left-handed and which are right-handed. If you know their game, you can defend against it. A person that knows about defending makes a strong defender.

TIP! In order to handle the ball correctly, spread your fingers out. This will help you to be sure that it won’t escape your grasp when trying to hold it.

As you perform your fitness routine, make it a point to target your core and your footwork. You will stay balanced if your core is strong. Your muscles in your buttocks, hips, abdomen, and back should be worked. Just like with boxing, you can do a little speed and footwork training with a jump rope.

As soon as the ball leaves your teammate’s hands after a free throw, start moving into position. Guards will be attempting to stop you, so get around them. This technique will help you rebound the ball without getting a foul called on you.

A great drill to try is to see how many dribbles it takes for you to make it across the court. The ideal number of dribbles is five. This may seem to be too difficult at first, but once you’re able to do it you’ll have a lot of speed and stride length. You will have easy layups on fast breaks and you will be able to advance your team easily.

TIP! Understanding your opponent is a good way to shut him down on defense. Review videotapes and monitor scouting reports.

Playing basketball well means developing good court “eyesight.” This is so that you’re able to catch passes, get shots in, and look at the scoreboard. Your peripheral vision should be the best it can be. Having good court awareness to see everything around you lets you see plays develop before they happen, either by warding off the defenders or getting the ball to open teammates.

Use a 2-3 zone as a way to trap opponents. You can do this by having guards wait for the point guard to come at least 10 feet past midcourt. Then they should run to the point guard and trap him. Your forwards should then go cover the wing players. You will see the opposing point guard make a bad pass that anyone on your team can steal.

Use the hand you are not dribbling with to keep your defender away from the ball. Don’t push your opponent because that is a foul; however, you may use your free arm to create a barrier that keeps your opponent away from the ball. Keep it up and dribble with your other hand.

TIP! Stay conscious of your foot motion and placement. Out of bounds will happen with even one toe over the baseline of the lined play area on the court.

Exercise off the court. Sprinting exercises can help you to become faster, while running for long distances can assist you in making it through the whole game. You can acquire muscle through weightlifting that helps with hustling and shooting. If you can develop your confidence through off-court exercise, this can even help your shooting.

People from all backgrounds love basketball. Knowledge is what it takes to have fun with basketball and play it to the best of your ability. Utilize the techniques discussed in this article to help you better understand the game.