TIP! Many people only direct their attention to the offensive part of the game without realizing that defense is the key to winning. Defense is what keep the other team from scoring.

Basketball has been watched and played for many years. If you wish to learn how to play your best basketball, you should practice often. Don’t stop reading just yet because the following article is going to provide you with a few important pieces of basketball advice.

TIP! Practice shooting free throws. As easy as these shots may seem, they are rather hard.

It’s natural to be drawn towards offense as a novice, but the pros know defense is where the game is won or lost. Defense is what keep the other team from scoring. Offense gets attention and praise, but when you lack good defense, any team can lose.

TIP! If you want to improve your basketball game, you must identify and intensify your strengths. Your skills might not make you an all-start every time out, but playing up your strengths makes you a great contributor.

Make sure to dribble properly. Don’t use your palm to dribble, but use your fingertips instead. This allows you to control the ball better. You should be dribbling the ball at your side instead of in front of your body. The ball should always be dribbled at waist level. Don’t look at the ground, always keep your eyes focused forward.

TIP! Practice your layups a lot. This will make up about eighty percent of shots during any basketball game.

Work on improving your strengths to become an even better player. Your team will benefit more if you stop trying to be the star of the game and work your best. Figure out what you do well at and then you can practice that until you perfect it.

TIP! If you want to be a jump shooter, avoid pumping iron excessively. Being weighed down by too much bulky muscle can have a negative impact on your jump shot.

Any good basketball player needs to know how to make a layup. This is the most popular shot in basketball. When you practice, run toward the net, and then get a high jump in so you can smoothly shoot. Knowing how to run and jump quickly and smoothly will assist you in knowing how to leap and shoot more effectively while playing.

TIP! Would you like to completely fool the opposing team, making them look silly? The back pass is perfect for this. Hold the ball in your strong hand to start the pass.

Avoid errant passes by using hand signals. Oftentimes frustration occurs when trying you aren’t on the same page with a teammate who cuts to the basketball when you try to pass him the ball. Hand signals can help you communicate with your teammate on the court. If no signal is displayed, a pass ought not be made.

TIP! If you’re injured in a basketball game, don’t attempt to play while in pain. This sport is physically demanding and you can become injured.

In order to handle the ball correctly, spread your fingers out. This way, you won’t lose the ball when holding it. In addition, keep your palm off of the ball. When you’re shooting or passing, the only place the ball should touch your hand is on your fingers.

TIP! When exercise, concentrate on perfecting footwork and strengthening your core muscles. Your body will maintain balance and move more quickly when your core muscles are strong.

Quickness is a blessing in basketball. If you want the advantage, you’ve got more quickly. In order to be fast, you must constantly do drills. Don’t play too fast and risk your chances. If you play too quickly, you lose control over the ball and the match.

TIP! If you need some help seeing where you need work, try to get a friend or relative to record your games. You should be able to see what you missed or can do better.

If your opponent is pressing hard, you can give yourself some room to work by dribbling the ball between your legs. Practice this maneuver by bouncing the basketball between your legs while taking steps. Mastering this move can help give you an advantage on the court.

TIP! When you’re practicing passing, try to look the other way. You can really confuse your opponents this way.

Dribbling the ball fast and hard will help you to keep better control of it. The ball bounces faster, giving the guard less time to steal. When someone is right on top of you, pass the ball instead of dribbling.

Take charge when the opportunity presents itself. This allows you to get the ball back for your team, setting up a foul. This is play that’s powerful.

TIP! Build up your forearms to become a better ball handler. An exercise to help develop your basketball skills is to perform wrist curls.

Never break your defensive stance as this will assure you are in your proper position for defense. Slide your feet to the sides or push off using the opposite foot to always be in position. Don’t allow your feet to cross and opposing players will have difficulty getting around you.

TIP! When the opportunity arises you always want to take a charge. A charge leads to a turnover by the opposing team and gives you the ball back.

Trip up the offense by constantly changing your pace. When you’re moving towards the net, act like you’re going to straighten up. This will cause the guard to believe you are slowing, and it will also cause them to straighten up. You should push and get past them as they straighten themselves.

TIP! Increase your weak hand’s capabilities by using it for everything you normally would not. If you’re able to do more with your other hand daily, you can start controlling it better.

A powerful play called the trapping machine, is to have your guards wait for the point guard to come just past midcourt. They can then run toward the point guard to trap him. While this is happening, your forwards must sprint toward players in the wings. The point guard should throw up a pass that your forwards can easily steal.

TIP! If you wish to do better a shooting three pointers, you should do it from where NBA players shoot from. High school lines, international standard lines, and college lines are much closer.

Continuously dribble the ball until you have an opening to pass it to one of your teammates, or you are prepared to shoot. After you have stopped dribbling, your options are quite limited. If you don’t shoot or pass, you are going to be pivoting with your back foot. The chances of the ball being stolen is high, and you might be double teamed as well.

TIP! If you wish to shoot on the outside better you should work on shooting hundreds of times every day from a lot of places on the court. You should also practice starting with a dribble and then taking a shot.

Practice shots from all regions of the court. You need to practice your grip and balance. It is possible to make an off-balance shot, but it has less accuracy. The valve, which is located at the center of the ball, should help you perfect your grip. Your fingers of the dominant hand can be placed on the ball with your palm centered on the valve.

TIP! Do not stop dribbling unless you’re going to shoot or pass. When you cease dribbling, you’re really limiting your options.

If you are a basketball player you should be eating a healthy diet. You need to eat carbs, fats and protein on game days. Some good things to add to a diet would be peanut butter, nuts, chicken, and wheat breads. Sugars and salt should be used sparingly.

TIP! Use the hand you aren’t dribbling with to keep the opponent away from the ball. Be careful not to push your opponent or you may get a foul.

Basketball will be easier for you and more fun when you have the best advice. Take time to read this and visit basketball references online to learn more. Absorb every lesson you learn here and on the court. Don’t forget anything.