TIP! It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Defense is essential to winning these games.

Basketball isn’t a game that’s only played in after school games or gym class. It can be played anywhere there is open space. If you love to shoot hoops, then you should focus on learning all you can about how to play better by reading the content below.

Paying Attention

TIP! A bounce pass is an important technique to learn. It is best when the ball hits the receiving player near the waist.

Dribble while your head is up and your eyes are forward. If you have to ever look at the ball while dribbling, then you haven’t practiced that enough. The ball can go with you when you go anywhere. If you are heading down to the market, dribble as you go. Paying attention to the ball means you’re not paying attention to the rest of the game.

TIP! Passing quickly without dribbling is a great way to practice. This helps to develop passing skills with your teammates, making it much more difficult if you’re standing in one spot and not dribbling.

Connecting on your free throws is as much mental as it is physical. You’re able to train your whole body to do full free throw motions, but if you’re not mentally prepared, you will fail. Relax yourself and focus on the hoop.

TIP! You can learn to trick the opposing team. Back passes can give your team the opportunity to score while the other team is still wondering what happened.

Build hand signals so passes are more successful. It’s frustrating to pass to your teammate at the very moment they’re heading toward the basket. Players should use hand signals often when available for a pass. If you don’t see a signal, try to find someone else to pass to.

TIP! Ask fellow team members what they like about your skills on the court. What do you need to focus in on and practice more? Perhaps you are great backup or fast on your feet.

In order to get a good shot, good footwork is essential when posting up. You do, of course, need to be near the basket, but finding the right spot without getting blocked is essential. Having found a good spot, you must secure it. Good solid footwork will help you develop the skills you need for success.

TIP! Make it your goal to never turn away from the ball on the court. It’s all about court awareness, and always facing the ball will make it so you are less surprised by passes.

Never try to push through pain after an injury. Basketball is challenging physical sport and you can get injured. You may injure yourself more if you continue to play with an injury. If you have a very serious injury, talk to a doctor.

Defensive Game

TIP! As you exercise to improve your game, it is important to work on your footwork and strength. When you have strong core muscles, your body will be better balanced and will move faster.

One of the best ways to play a strong defensive game is to know your opponent. Review tapes and keep up with scouting reports. Learn which of the opposing players are left-dominant and which are right-dominant. Your defensive game will be a lot more effective after you get to know your opponent. A defender with an education will be good at what they do.

TIP! One of the most vital attributes one needs to play basketball is quickness. Try playing faster than the opponents for a better advantage.

During your workouts, concentrate on improving your footwork as well as your core strength. Your body will maintain balance and move more quickly when your core muscles are strong. Concentrate your efforts on the back, abdomen, buttocks and hips. Jump rope can be used to speed up your feet.

TIP! If you need some help seeing where you need work, try to get a friend or relative to record your games. You may see things differently as you observe the game and notice things you missed in the game.

If you’re shooting isn’t what you’d like it to be, make sure that your shoulders are in the correct position. When the shoulders are wrongly positioned, your shot is unlikely to succeed. Keep your shoulders square in line with the basket. The dominant shoulder needs to be aligned correctly with the rim.

TIP! Do your free throw shooting the same way every time. For example, you might tug your ear, dribble three times, or flex your wrists.

To be a good dribbler, and a more versatile player, you have to develop not only your dominant hand but your weaker side as well. It will be much easier to blow past your opponent if you can dribble with both hands. Force yourself to not use your stronger hand. Before you know it, your weak hand will become strong.

TIP! Get into a consistent routine to improve your free throw shots. Your shot could be off if you are inconsistent.

Make it your goal to dribble the ball across the entire court in under 5 dribbles. Although this might seem tricky in the beginning, this can really help your game if you can master this skill. This is a vital skill to give you points on fast break opportunities.

TIP! Dribble very hard to prevent the opposing team players from stealing the ball. This speeds up the dribbling cycle, which means the person covering you has less of a chance to steal the ball each cycle.

Switch the weight of your body while you are dribbling. Real game dribbling has a lot of variety. It would be great if you are always able to go full speed ahead, but more times than not you will need to move and flow with the defense in front of you. Learning to dribble effectively will help you in many different situations. This allows you to get yourself out of a tough spot.

TIP! Your defenders need to wait for the point guard to make it 10′ ahead of the time line. Once he passes mid court the guards should rush up on him.

Remember that your diet has a great affect on your basketball performance. Basketball uses a lot of energy; therefore, it is important to fuel your body with lean protein and whole grains. Great ideas to bring into your diet are wheat breads, peanut butter, chicken and nuts. Limit your consumption of salt and sugar.

TIP! For your weaker hand, to build skills, use it off-court for as much as you can, from brushing teeth to opening jars. If you can train yourself to be ambidextrous, you will gain complete control of that hand.

No matter if you’re playing competitive basketball or just a friendly game of horse, improving your basketball skill-set can make the game much more enjoyable. Now that you’ve read this information, take it to the next level by putting what you’ve learned into practice. If you can better your game, why not do so?