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 is incredibly popular. Regardless of if you are a spectator, a coach or a player, you know how exciting basketball can be. Those who play would prefer to become better players and win games. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you make some great strides towards winning.

TIP! Don’t bulk up if you want to be good as a jump shooter. It’s important to be strong, but not too strong.

You need good balance when you shoot. While some NBA players are able to launch a ball to the net mid-fall, this is not appropriate for most people. They’re just improvising at this point. If you are able to improve your sense of balance, then you will find that your percentage of successful shots improves.

TIP! If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. Basketball is physically demanding, and it is easy to get hurt.

Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. This is the most popular shot in basketball. During practice you want to get up enough speed to quickly get to the rim then easily lay the ball towards the hoop. Like everything, practicing at game speed will only improve your skill and have you ready to play at the fastest pace.

TIP! When you work out, try focusing on building core strength and bettering your footwork. Your body is going to be more balanced and be able to move faster when you have strong core muscles.

Free throws are mental as well as physical. It is possible to practice the physical movements needed to make such a shot, but when your mental focus is lacking, you are likely to miss. Be relaxed and concentrate on the basket and you will help you make more free throws.

TIP! If you’re shooting isn’t what you’d like it to be, make sure that your shoulders are in the correct position. If your shoulders aren’t properly positioned, your shot is not going to go in.

One way to get a good understanding of your game is to ask your fellow players about your ability. Find out what they perceive as your best skill. Maybe you are nimble or you are reliably there to support them. Learn what other’s see as your natural skills and make sure to keep and develop those skills more fully.

TIP! Practice passing while not looking in the direction of the pass. This is a great way to fake out your opponents.

Avoid turning away from the ball so that you can always be prepared for what occurs on the court. This helps you become aware of the court and lowers chances for surprises from turnovers and quick passes. Also, you need to stay aware of areas which might open up and give you an easy basket.

TIP! In basketball, strength is important, so do strength training. In addition, stamina is important to the game, too.

When playing a game of basketball, have a friend tape the game. This way, you can take a look at your game. On tape, you can see all the opportunities you passed and how things could have gone better. Evaluate what you see honestly, but don’t be too hard on yourself. The reality of your play is often very different from your perception.

TIP! 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. Once your opponent is trapped, he will have no option but to make a pass.

Passing the ball through your legs is a useful maneuver if the opposing team is right on top of you. Refine this skill by bouncing a ball with force between the legs while stepping backwards or forwards. Mastering this movement gives you a big advantage on the court.

TIP! Bend your knees when dribbling the basketball. Standing straight makes it hard to control the ball.

When doing a layup, start running using the weaker of your two feet. Practice shooting using your right hand, then jump off your left foot. Doing this lets you maintain balance and movement towards the goal, while keeping your body in between your defender and your shot.

TIP! Use the hand you aren’t dribbling with to keep the opponent away from the ball. Don’t push your opponent because that is a foul; however, you can use your arm as separator between your opponent and the ball.

In your drills, you should attempt to move the basketball the length of the court in fewer than half a dozen dribbles. You may find this very challenging, but once accomplished it will give you a real edge. This translates to simple layups, fast breaks or just a general increase in your team’s numbers.

TIP! Dribble in a rhythmic way until you desire to catch the opposing player off guard. Your opponent is looking for the best opportunity to steal the ball, and switching it up can break their concentration.

There are lots of ways to become a better basketball player. Most of them are just basically learning a particular technique, then practicing that technique until you can do it in your sleep. Anytime you practice it makes you a better player, and whenever you have the opportunity to do so, do it. Practice alone, with friends or with your team, just so you can better your game.