TIP! Many people only direct their attention to the offensive part of the game without realizing that defense is the key to winning. Defense is what stands between you and a win.

The love that many people have for this game cannot be overstated. You need to know all about it, though, if you want to play the sport or just watch it. The following article will assist readers with exactly that.

TIP! Make sure you are dribbling the right way. Proper dribbling technique involves use of the fingertips, not the palm of the hand.

It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Many times, defense actually wins the game. While offense seems to get the praise, defense must be stellar in order to win.

TIP! Perfect your layup technique. Layup shots make up nearly 80% of a game’s shots.

Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. Looking directly at the ball means you aren’t good at the game yet. Bring the ball no matter where you go. Dribble the ball when you’re walking to the shops. If you are staring at the ball, there is no way you can know what else is happening on the court.

TIP! Free throws are mental as well as physical. It’s easy to physically train for a free throw, yet mental preparation is also needed.

You should often work on your layups. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game. During practice you want to get up enough speed to quickly get to the rim then easily lay the ball towards the hoop. If you can do this right, you can master this shot.

Bounce Pass

TIP! You can learn how to better pass the ball if you run drills without the dribble. It is tough to play when not dribbling, but your accuracy is sure to inprove.

Teach yourself to throw bounce passes correctly. The bounce pass needs to reach the player at waist level. Aim for a firm bounce pass that hits the ground around 3/4 of the distance between you and the intended player. Of course, there are factors that should be taken into consideration when passing using the bouncing technique.

TIP! If you have a kid that wants to play basketball in high school, ensure they’re training core muscles in the right way. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles.

Connecting on your free throws is as much mental as it is physical. You can practice for hours on how to make the shot, but if you over think things or get distracted you will miss every time. Stay focused and vigilant to improve your ability to make free throws.

TIP! Unseen passes can be avoided when proper hand signals are used by teammates. Often in basketball, a player makes a pass at the exact same time the receiving player heads to another part of the court.

Practice catching passes often. Try to catch all of the passes that are thrown to you. When the game is being played, passes may not be as perfect as we’d like. So do your teammates a favor by learning how to consistently haul in their less than perfect passes.

TIP! Ask your fellow teammates if they have an opinion of your skills in the game. Are you great at any one thing? You might be quick, or you might always be around to support them.

Don’t just practice your game against the zone defense. While a good chunk of the game will most likely be played in zone, your opponent might flip the switch to man-to-man coverage just to change things up and surprise you. This can cause your team to lose momentum to the other side if this isn’t something you’ve practiced.

TIP! Concentrate on your shoulders if you have gotten into a shooting slump. If you have bad shoulder position it doesn’t matter how great you are the shot isn’t going to go in.

Hand signals can help stop you from turning the ball over. It is very frustrating when a teammate isn’t open for the perfect pass. You can get around that when you use hand signals, if a player can receive a pass. If you don’t receive a signal then realize your teammate is not able to get the pass.

TIP! When moving in for a layup, push off from your weaker foot and lead with your shooting hand. If you use your right hand to shoot, use your left foot to take off.

A great way to stay prepared at all times is to always face the ball. This will make you more aware of the court and you won’t be surprised when turnover potentials come up or quick passes. Be vigilant to detect openings or weaknesses that make it easier to take the shot.

TIP! Strength and flexibility training can help your skills in basketball. In addition to strength, stamina is key in basketball.

Always be aware of the locations of your feet and what they’re doing. Stepping even a toe on the baseline with the ball in your hands means you are out of bounds. Not dribbling when you take more than a few steps will result in a walking call as well as a forfeit of the ball. If you move either foot while trying to pick, take a charge or set a screen, it will result in a called foul.

TIP! Work on dribbling the ball while switching the momentum of the body from side to side. Real game dribbling has a lot of variety.

Ask a friend to record your games so that you can see how yourself in action. While reviewing the tape, look for opportunities you may have missed during the game. Don’t be too critical, but do be honest. Analyze your skills honestly so you can become the player you want to be.

TIP! Use your non-dribbling hand as a barrier between your opponent and 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.

To increase the efficiency of your layups, begin your takeoff on the foot opposite from the hand you’re shooting with. Thus, if you tend to shoot with the right hand, make sure to jump off with the left. Your body will develop good coordination and you keep your defender at a distance.

TIP! In order to be a more effective player, one thing you have to do is talk to teammates about strategies. Basketball is not an individual sport.

A good way to stay defensive is to have a defensive stance. Keep your feet moving to each side or push your opposing foot off so you can keep yourself in position. If you never allow your feet to cross one another you will invariably be a very hard player to get passed.

TIP! When you shoot, do what you can to temper your nerves. Keep your view on the basket.

When dribbling, bend your knees. The basketball is much harder to control if you stand tall and the opposing team can snatch it more easily. Bending your knees slightly will enable you to control the ball more efficiently.

TIP! Position yourself between the ball carrier and your opponent if they are bigger than you. That closes the lane for a pass as you won’t be able to block their shots.

Dribble with a rhythm, that is until you need to outsmart your opponents. A consistent pace for your dribble will lull your opponent, and help you move more quickly than they do when the time comes. In addition to the tempo change, the louder sound of your dribbling can catch them off guard as well.

TIP! Practice dribbling the ball with a lot of force. A harder bouncing ball means a faster moving ball; this leads to less steals.

Positioning is key in picking up an essential rebound. Use both feet to jump for the ball, then hold on with both of your hands. After the ball rebounds, keep your feed wider apart than your shoulders to improve your balance, and hold the ball closely to your chest.

TIP! For an effective workout, put your goals down on paper. A lot of players go to practice with no plan.

Basketball has an inherent energy that makes it one of the most exciting sports to watch. To people who don’t watch or play the game much, though, it can seem difficult to grasp. After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of the great sport of basketball.