TIP! 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.

Basketball has really taken off in popularity. There is nothing like the thrill of rooting for your favorite team in the championship, scoring your own goal, or discussing basketball. Naturally, most players strive to be excellent and help their team win. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you make some great strides towards winning.

TIP! Make sure you learn how to shoot free throws. This looks easy, but it is actually very hard to do.

It’s natural to focus on offensive abilities when practicing the sport of basketball, but your practice time needs to focus on defense. Basketball games are won because of good defense. Offense gets more attention, but the team is going to lose without a strong defense.

Free Throw

TIP! You should practice pass catching regularly. When you practice, drill yourself to pay attention to errant throws and passes that are picture perfect.

There is a lot of pressure when shooting free throws. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss. Stay relaxed and just focus on the goal and you will increase your free throw rate.

TIP! Avoid errant passes by using hand signals. It can be frustrating to attempt to pass the ball to a team mate as that person is heading toward the basket.

Would you like to fool the opposing team? You should try a back pass. Hold the ball in your strong hand to start the pass. With that same hand, bring the ball around your back. After determining which direction you want the ball to go, use a quick flick of your wrist to send it that way. It can be a dangerous maneuver that catches the other team off guard.

TIP! Good footwork remains a vital part of basketball. Although a strong presence in the key is important, beating your opponent to good spots on the floor is more important.

Don’t play when you are injured! Basketball is physically challenging, and injuries are not uncommon. Trying to continue playing even if you’ve got discomfort can make the injury worse. If it is a serious injury, see a doctor.

TIP! If you want to correctly handle the ball, you need to know where to place your fingers. This can help you avoid losing it when you hold it.

Never turn away from the ball, so that you can always stay ready for anything. You must always be prepared to receive a pass and you need to know where players are on the court. Make sure you also have the court in your line of vision as well, so you know when and where you can drive in for the score.

TIP! Video tape your games, and then review your technique later. Did you spot something that could be improved? It is important that your assessment is an honest one, but isn’t overly critical.

In order to handle the ball correctly, spread your fingers out. You will have better luck holding onto the ball as well. Your palm should not be touching the ball. Only your fingers should touch it during a pass or when dribbling.

TIP! Try practicing how to pass while looking in another direction. Doing this is a great way to confuse your opponents.

Play a good defense by knowing your opponent. You can read scouting reports and watch tapes to evaluate your opponents game. Pay attention to dominant hands. Knowing an opponent’s dribbling, passing and shooting styles gives you a definite edge on defense. A defender with an education will be good at what they do.

TIP! Try to strengthen your forearms and hands to better handle the ball. Do some wrist curls as much as possible and your dribbling should get better.

When playing a game of basketball, have a friend tape the game. This way, you can take a look at your game. While reviewing the tape, look for opportunities you may have missed during the game. Honestly and openly assess your own performance. You can learn a lot by watching your plays instead of just trying to remember what you did.

TIP! Good footwork will help you get rebounds off your teammates’ foul shots. Guards will be attempting to stop you, so get around them.

If you want to better your dribble, start practicing with your weaker hand. If both hands are useful for dribbling, your opponents will not stand much of a chance. You can focus on the strength of your weak hand by tying your dominant hand behind your back. Your dribbling skills will improve with your weaker hand.

TIP! Building strength improves your basketball game. In order to be the best you can at basketball, you need to be strong and hardy.

Improve both forearms and hands to improve ball control. Try doing some wrist curls as they are particularly effective in honing your dribble skills. Do not make the mistake of thinking you can stay stationary, catch all the ball, and shoot them from that same location. You have to get the ball around, too.

TIP! One way to increase your three-point skill is to practice at the NBA range. The line in every other league is closer.

Take charges whenever possible. This strategy can result in your opponent taking a foul and your team getting a defensive stop and taking possession of the ball. This can make for good psychological warfare.

TIP! You can improve your shooting skills by practicing with shots from different spots on the court. You can get even better if you practice dribbling and pulling up quickly for a shot.

When you are defending, keep your stance low. Staying low will help you to be a more swift opponent when you mirror the man standing in your path. Stay in your defensive stance. If you break the stance to shot-block, then recover the proper form immediately after the pass or shot.

TIP! Only stop dribbling when you are prepared to shoot or pass the ball. Once you stop dribbling, you are extremely limited in your options.

Create a barrier between the ball and your opponent with the hand you are not using for dribbling. Never push your opponent away because that ends up in a foul, but lightly use your other hand to keep separation between the ball and your opponent. Keep it slightly up when you dribble with your opposite hand.

TIP! You should keep the ball below the knees if you’re able to. Your opponents will find it tougher to steal the ball from you.

Practice shooting the ball from many different areas in order to improve your ability. First, practice your balance and grip. It’s possible to shoot off balance but it isn’t as accurate. Perfect your grip by using the basketball valve. Put the middle of your shooting hand over the basketball’s valve.

TIP! Be sure you do the sort of off-court exercises that help you during games. You could, for instance, work on your sprint so you can perform plays faster, while running on a longer distance will help you build your stamina.

As you can see, your game can be improved in many ways. Many require nothing more than a commitment to practicing them often. Practice is important to anything worth doing – just do it! Practice alone, with friends or with your team, just so you can better your game.

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