TIP! It’s natural to focus on offensive abilities when practicing the sport of basketball, but your practice time needs to focus on defense. You can win a game, thanks to good defense.

Do you enjoy basketball, but think that you don’t know much about it? You aren’t alone. A lot of people watch others play the game and wish to know how to play just like them. You’ll learn a lot through this article to help you become better at the game.

TIP! When you dribble, look forward, keeping your head up. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling.

You need to learn the correct way to dribble the ball. Use the fingertips, not the palm, for the best dribbling. This helps you to control the ball better. Be sure to dribble beside your body instead of in front of yourself. Bounce the ball at a level even with your waist. Don’t look down, always look up.

TIP! Successful free throws require you to be mentally and physically strong. You must train both your body and your mind.

Make sure you learn how to shoot free throws. This looks easy, but it is actually very hard to do. Practice constantly using this tip. Start with the ball positioned right before your face. Maintain focus on the basket and try to visualize your basketball falling through the hoop. Then repeat that when you take the shot.

TIP! Watch the pro’s play if you want to improve your game. Watch pro games on TV, or attend games in person.

Improving your balance means improving your shots. Of course, pros may make baskets from a great distance while falling off the court, but this isn’t standard. They’re just improvising at this point. You need the right balance to shoot; it is the only way to eventually make consistent baskets.

TIP! If you are good at shooting the ball then the last thing you want to do is lift weights. Perimeter players don’t need the muscle strength that is necessary for other team members.

In order to help you improve your basketball acumen you should watch how the pros play. Watch pro games on TV, or attend games in person. Every player has skills that make them good, and you can work on the skills they use.

TIP! Prior to basketball season, and even during it, you can play solo games. While basketball is a team sport, sometimes you just can’t find others to play with.

Passing quickly without dribbling is a great way to practice. Playing basketball without dribbling is very challenging, but your entire team will quickly improve their passing skills. Don’t get too frustrated if you’re having a hard time when you start because after a while passes are going to be more accurate.

TIP! You may get injured while practicing or playing. Don’t try to play if you are hurt.

Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. You will have better luck holding onto the ball as well. Don’t let your palm touch the ball either. When passing and shooting the ball toward its target, the sole contact point should be fingers.

TIP! Have a friend or family member tape your games so you can view how you appear on the court. You’ll likely see ways that you can improve.

Always be aware of the locations of your feet and what they’re doing. Just touching the baseline is going to get you called out of bounds. Going too many steps with no dribbling is a waking call and turnover situation. Also, when you’re moving your feet when a screen is being set, you can take a charge or pick to try and get a foul.

TIP! In your drills, you should attempt to move the basketball the length of the court in fewer than half a dozen dribbles. This may seem quite difficult at first, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll have great speed and stride length.

Practice passing while not looking in the direction of the pass. Doing this is a great way to confuse your opponents. You give your teammate a better chance to make the shot because the opposing player is moving the wrong direction when you pass the ball. If this is pulled off, then it usually has good results.

TIP! Ensure that you have good court awareness. This isn’t just for reading the score, but for catching passes and making shots.

You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. For example, you can improve dribbling skills by adding wrist curls to your routine. You will not be able to stand in one place and shoot. Your ability to handle the ball will affect your success on the court.

TIP! One of the best ways to always be in proper defensive position is to never break out of the defensive stance. You need to learn how to slide your feet instead of crossing one foot in front of the other.

Stay on top of your footwork when attempting a rebound. Guards will be attempting to stop you, so get around them. You won’t foul as you catch the rebound this way.

TIP! Altering your own pace is a good way to disrupt the opposition. You can try faking a jump shot by planting quickly, and straightening your body.

In order to confuse the offense, try changing your pace. While you run at the net, plant the front foot and start straightening your body. The guard will assume you are reducing speed and will do the same. Once they slow their momentum, you can shoot past them with a burst of speed.

TIP! Using your weak hand to brush your teeth can help you build skills with that hand. Being more dexterous means you will have better control.

If you want to make a 2-3 zone into something special, have the guards remain put until the opposing team’s guard makes their way about ten feet in from mid-court. They can then trap the point guard. Have forwards sprint to players on the wing. A pass should be thrown by the point guard for forwards to steal.

TIP! Understanding your teammates is a vital part of basketball. Basketball requires a team.

Work on dribbling the ball while switching the momentum of the body from side to side. This will help you learn to dribble during all different kinds of situations. You might be able to go through an open court or have to switch sides to avoid opponents. It helps to master control of your body as you dribble in a variety of positions. In this way, you can escape all kinds of difficult situations.

TIP! Be sure that you’re not double dribbling. A double dribble is when you stop dribbling, then start again.

To conclude, while you might like watching basketball, prior to reading this article you probably didn’t really understand it. This article can increase your enjoyment while watching the game and give you some guidelines if you decide to start playing. Get out there on the court so you can utilize these learned strategies.