TIP! It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Defense can make or break a basketball game.

Many people love basketball. However, it’s not that simple to be the greatest at the game when you first start. While athleticism and genetics might determine your rank somewhat, basketball can be fun for everyone. Continue reading to learn how to play the game to the best of your ability.

TIP! In order to be a great shooter, good balance is key. Many the professional player can be seen slipping out of bounds or making baskets from far away, but these are not proper techniques.

While focusing on offense is fun, you must also make sure you focus on defense. Defense is essential to winning these games. While everyone focuses on shots made, a good defense can kill the chances of even an amazing shot taker.

TIP! Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. 80% of all shots in a game are usually layups.

Find out how to make free throw shots. As easy as these shots may seem, they are rather hard. Put this technique into practice as often as you can. Begin by bringing the ball up to eye level. Keep looking at the goal while visualizing the basketball going through the hoop. Then, shoot the ball using the trajectory you pictured.

TIP! You should practice against a variety of defense types, not just zone. While a great portion of a game will be concentrated in the zone, your rivals could opt to go to man-to-man covering to keep you guessing.

Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. If you start staring at the ball while you dribble, you know you need to practice more. If you are just getting started, bring your ball with you everywhere. Practice in your home and wherever you walk. If you’re looking at the basketball, you won’t be able to see what is coming at you.

Free Throw

TIP! If you’re going to be a jump shooter, don’t lift too many weights. While muscle strength is good to have in any basketball position, it is possible to have too much for perimeter play.

Learn how to block out movement, noise and other distractions when taking a free throw. You must train both your body and your mind. Stay calm and collected to increase your free throw percentage.

TIP! Your child should work on their core muscles if they want to become a basketball player in high school. Core muscles include hips, abs and the lower back.

Playing basketball does not require excessive muscle development. You do need muscle conditioning and strength, but you can have too much when it comes to shooting field goals. You might see a decrease in your goal percentages if your biceps become too large.

TIP! If you get injured while playing basketball, do not try to play through the pain. Basketball is very challenging physically, and this can cause further serious injury.

Do not wait for any special season to play some basketball. These skills all help with muscle memory so you know just what to do when you’re playing in a game. That’s fine. Solo games also help. Practice pivoting or doing free throws. You can always practice something.

TIP! Make it your goal to never turn away from the ball on the court. This will make you more aware of the court and you won’t be surprised when turnover potentials come up or quick passes.

If you have a child that is strength training for basketball, their core muscles should be properly developed. The core is the following areas: abdominal muscles, lower back muscles and hip muscles. These muscles form a bridge across the lower and upper parts of your body. When the core is weak, it is difficult to coordinate the movements of both halves. A solid and strong core lets force that comes from the legs get used for beneficial movements when playing, like faster running and higher jumping.

TIP! Boost your defensive abilities by studying the opposing team and its players. Watch tapes and be sure you’re paying attention to scouting reports.

If you get injured while playing basketball, do not try to play through the pain. It’s a challenging sport that’s very physical, and you have the ability to get injured. If you try to keep playing, you can hurt yourself worse. Be sure to talk to a doctor if you feel that the injury isn’t going away.

TIP! Quickness is a blessing in basketball. Make an effort to do all things on the court more speedily than the opposing team.

Study you opponent well to give yourself an edge. Make sure that you’ve watched tapes that show the other player. You can also check out scouting reports. You should know if a player is right or left handed. When you know your opponent, you will be better able to play an effective defensive game. A smart defender is someone who is good at his position.

TIP! Practice your footwork and control the position of your feet at all times. This can help you avoid going out of bounds or making a bad pass.

Quickness is something that’s desired in basketball. Try to outplay your opponents by being fast to win the game. It takes steady drilling to play fast. However, don’t try and push past your limits. When you play too fast, you can lose control and that means turnovers.

TIP! To improve your dribbling skills, practice dribbling with your weaker hand. Dribbling with both hands helps you gain the upper one.

For more consistency in making those free throws, stick with the same sequence of motions before you take each shot. This might mean that you dribble the ball twice, bend your knees, touch your forehead, or any other movement. Don’t dilly dally, but do complete your ritual.

TIP! Dribble hard if you don’t want the ball taken from you. The ball will get back to the hand faster, giving the other team less of an opportunity to grab it away.

It can help you when you pass through your legs. This will make it very hard for your defender to get it. If you can master this move, it will give you quite the advantage when you are on the court.

TIP! Drills should be done where you attempt to get your basketball up the court within five dribbles or even less than that. This may not seem feasible, but once you master it, your speed and stride will be truly impressive.

Work on making your forearms and hands stronger in order to improve ball handling. Do some wrist curls as much as possible and your dribbling should get better. Don’t believe you will be able to simply plant yourself someplace, receive the ball and sink a shot. You have to be ready to move fast and change directions on a dime.

TIP! In order to improve your game, make sure you do plenty of strength training. Strength and stamina are both needed to excel at basketball.

You must be able to box out other players when attempting to rebound free throws. Your defender will move towards you, so figure out how to slither past him and grab the ball. This will allow you to score a rebound without getting penalized for a foul.

TIP! Avoid dribbling above your knees. The other team’s players will have a difficult time stealing the basketball from you.

To increase the strength of your weaker hand, utilize it for doing everything, including brushing your teeth and opening jars. You will have more control as you use it to do daily activities that require dexterity. This will make you a force to be reckoned with on the court.

TIP! The hand not used to dribble the ball should serve as a wall separating the ball from the opposing players. You can’t push the person guarding you, but you can hold your arm out gently.

Is it time to let others know how good you are? You might want to spend some time practicing first! Get pumped and get out into the game! Soon, you’ll notice you are doing better with your game because of the information here.