TIP! It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Basketball games are won with a good defense.

The sport of basketball is extremely popular. You can see kids and adults playing at playgrounds, the gym or in their very own driveway. Most players are in it to win it. While you can’t win them all, you sure can bring your game to the next level.

TIP! Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. If you have to look at the ball while dribbling, that means you need to practice more.

When dribbling, make sure you hold your head high and look straight ahead. Looking at your ball when you dribble indicates that you haven’t practiced enough. Bring the ball no matter where you go. If you are heading down to the market, dribble as you go. If you are looking at the ball, you cannot see what is happening down the court in front of you.

TIP! It is important to keep your balance when you shoot. While the all-time greats have shown time and time again how they can shoot while off-kilter, this is not the ideal way to score.

Learn how to throw a proper bounce pass. Executed properly, a bounce pass will connect with the receiving player at the waist. One good rule is for you to bounce the basketball most of the way toward the other player. Practicing your bounce pass is important so that you can use it skillfully during games.

TIP! Bounce passes are extremely efficient when done properly. It is best when the ball hits the receiving player near the waist.

Observing what the professionals do can be a great way to improve your game. Go to as many pro games as possible, watch them on TV, or watch videos of them playing. You’ll learn that every player is skilled at certain things and that can help you to know what you can do to get better.

TIP! Ask your teammates what they like about how you play. You may have a certain skill that you have perfected.

If you want to correctly handle the ball, you need to know where to place your fingers. This will help prevent the ball from getting away from you while dribbling. Keep your palm off the ball too. When you’re shooting or passing, the only place the ball should touch your hand is on your fingers.

TIP! As you exercise to improve your game, it is important to work on your footwork and strength. Your body will retain balance and move quicker when you have strong core muscles.

In order to be more reliable shooting free throws, practice your routine. For example, you might tug your ear, dribble three times, or flex your wrists. If you make your routine consistent, your body will eventually know how to make the shot every time.

TIP! Give your layouts the most by launching from the foot that opposes the hand you are shooting with. If you normally shoot using your right hand, jump with your left.

Using a weaker hand helps improve overall dribbling skills. When you are ambidextrous, you’ll be a better player. Exercise your non-dominant hand by securing your dominant hand at your side or behind your back. Before you know it, your weak hand will become strong.

TIP! If you wish to succeed in a defensive role, you must be able to break your opponents’ concentration. Force them to leave their comfort zone.

As soon as the ball leaves your teammate’s hands after a free throw, start moving into position. The defender may be coming toward you, so its important to slip away from him and get the ball. You’ll be able to grab the rebound without fouling your opponent.

TIP! Ensure that you have good court awareness. Not to just be able to see the scoreboard, but to actually make a shot and catch a pass.

Perform drills where you attempt to get the ball up full-court in 5 dribbles or less. This initially seems undoable, but it helps build speed and stride. You will find that it becomes easier to score and make layups.

TIP! Take charge when the opportunity presents itself. Taking charges gives you a chance for earning a defensive stop, gives your team the ball, and gives one more foul called in your favor.

When you are defending, keep your stance low. This allows you to jump faster and increases your reaction time should the person you’re covering do something. Remain in a good defensive stance always. If you need to leave your feet in order to prevent your opponent from shooting the ball, quickly get back into that good defensive position.

TIP! Always maintain a defensive stance when you are trying to properly defend the goal. Slide your feet to the sides or push off using the opposite foot to always be in position.

Use a 2-3 zone as a way to trap opponents. You can do this by having guards wait for the point guard to come at least 10 feet past midcourt. At this point, your guards must rush the point guard thus trapping him. Your forwards should then go cover the wing players. The point guard throws a pass that can be easily stolen by your forwards.

TIP! Strength and flexibility training can help your skills in basketball. Strength, flexibility and stamina are all important things to have in basketball.

If you wish to do better a shooting three pointers, you should do it from where NBA players shoot from. The International standard line, as well as college and high school lines are all closer. If you’re able to get the shot from where the NBA shoots, then you can start working from a range further than the defense expects.

TIP! For example, a misfired shot launched from the corner of a basketball court usually hits the net, bounces off the site, and lands on the opposite side. Place yourself in position after this shot is made.

As you can see, there are many things you can do to improve your skills. Many are simple, like learning a concept and practicing it over and over. No matter what you are trying to learn, practice makes perfect. You just need a basketball and a hoop. Regardless of whether or not you play on a team or a playground, these tips will make your game better.