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 how you win a basketball game.

It is no wonder why so many people enjoy basketball so much; it’s a fast-paced, exciting sport. However, to play the best you can, you must learn some things. You can find the following information to be quite helpful.

TIP! Make sure that you practice your layups frequently. During any game, layups make up about 75 percent of the game.

Start out with proper balance before attempting to take a shot. Even though a professional can hit all sorts of crazy off-balance shots, it is not the ideal method of shooting that you want to learn. They improvise to do that. Consider proper balance when you shoot, and eventually you’ll consistently make baskets.

TIP! Watching the pros can help you pick up on certain skills for improving your game. Go to games, watch them on TV and you can also watch videos.

Every great player understands how to properly perform a bounce pass. Executed properly, a bounce pass will connect with the receiving player at the waist. Remember you should bounce the ball approximately three-quarters of the distance between yourself and the receiving player. There are other factors you have to think about too, however.

TIP! Don’t just practice your game against the zone defense. You can count on quite a bit of the game being played in zone; however, you should not be surprised if it becomes one-on-one coverage just for the sake of confusion.

Successful free throws require you to be mentally and physically strong. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter. Take a deep breathe, relax and block out all outside distractions before taking the shot.

TIP! If you want to be a jump shooter, avoid pumping iron excessively. Muscle strength can be great for basketball players, but it is actually possible to have excessive amounts for playing on the perimeter.

Practice playing a man-to-man defense and zone defense. Zone play will be important, but man-to-man will pop up from time to time, too. This can cause your team to lose momentum to the other side if this isn’t something you’ve practiced.

TIP! Have your team mates critique your playing skills. Are you great at any one thing? You may be quick with your footwork or are always there for backing them up.

Good footwork remains a vital part of basketball. Focus on positioning yourself more quickly than the opposing player is just as important as having someone beneath the hoop. Once you’re in the proper position, you’ll have to then secure your spot. Good solid footwork will help you develop the skills you need for success.

TIP! Have a friend or family member tape your games so you can view how you appear on the court. Are you able to see missed opportunities or ways in which you could have improved? Be honest with yourself but don’t be too harsh.

Basketball players must be fast. Make an effort to do all things on the court more speedily than the opposing team. Consistent, repetitive drilling is the key to speed. Do not play beyond you capabilities, however. If you push too hard, your performance may be haphazard, and the game may get out of control.

TIP! To help perfect your free throw abilities you should perform a consistent routine. This could mean two dribbles before taking your free throw, bending your knees, or some other thing you do to get into a rhythm before shooting.

To get better at shooting free throws, make sure to keep a consistent pre-shot routine. For example, many people touch their foreheads or tap their chest before making a free throw shot. This consistency will get your body in tune to do the same thing every time, increasing your chance to make shot after shot.

TIP! Using a weaker hand helps improve overall dribbling skills. If both hands are useful for dribbling, your opponents will not stand much of a chance.

If the other team has a good defense, passing the ball between your legs is a good option. This will make it very hard for your defender to get it. Mastering this technique can give you a significant advantage.

TIP! To get a rebound of a free throw that one of your teammates is taking, you need to be sly with your feet. The more quickly you get under the basket, the better you chance of grabbing the rebound.

Practice dribbling with both hands, dribble on both sides of your body and learn to dribble in front of you while taking large strides. By being able to easily dribble with two hands rather than one, you have a huge advantage over your defenders. Force yourself to not use your stronger hand. You will improve dribbling with your weak hand soon enough.

TIP! Practice drills that force you to get the basketball to the other end of the court in less than 5 dribbles. This seems an impossible feat when you start.

To improve ball handling, consider focusing workouts on your forearms and hands. Exercises that involve strengthening the wrist are especially helpful for dribbling. Don’t stay stopped; always move around the court. You have to be ready to move fast and change directions on a dime.

Strength Training

TIP! You need to take a charge anytime you can. The charge lets you build a defensive stop and get control of the ball.

You can really up your performance on the court by doing strength training. In order to play well, you will need to work on both your strength and stamina. Even young children can benefit from strength training. As they grow and become teenagers, weight-lifting can be beneficial. Continue training throughout the adult years to maintain a constant performance.

TIP! Never break your defensive stance as this will assure you are in your proper position for defense. Stay in the right position by pushing off of your opposite foot.

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. They should then trap the point guard. Your forwards can sprint to block the player on both sides. Your point guard must then launch a pass in a way that is easy for your forwards to steal.

TIP! Altering your own pace is a good way to disrupt the opposition. Try to block the net by planting your foot hard.

Bend your knees when dribbling the basketball. Opposing players can steal the ball more easily if you stand up straight because you can’t control the ball as well. Bending your knees will make a big difference in the way you can control the ball.

Cease Dribbling

TIP! Always attempt to remain low when you are playing defense. This allows you to jump faster and increases your reaction time should the person you’re covering do something.

Only cease dribbling when you are prepared to shoot or pass. You are limited once you cease dribbling. Aside from using your back foot to pivot, you have very little freedom. The opposition will cling onto you like a magnet.

TIP! Switch your body’s weight from side to side while practicing your dribbling. Remember that you must dribble in a variety of situations during a basketball game.

Use the hand you aren’t dribbling with to keep the opponent away from the ball. This keeps your opponent from being able to steal the ball. When dribbling, use it as a shield.

TIP! Practice a variety of shots from different locations on the court. Work on your grip and balance first.

If you’re determined to do good at basketball, then you have to watch your diet. If you’re playing regularly, you need energy-loaded carbs as well as some fat and protein. You want to make sure that your body has enough energy to keep going; think about eating chicken, nuts and whole grain bread. Stay away from salt and sugar as much as possible.

TIP! If you’re serious about basketball, seriously consider your diet. If you’re playing regularly, you need energy-loaded carbs as well as some fat and protein.

Create a strong team environment on and off the court. Basketball games gain a new intensity when players can work as one effortlessly. If you feel like you know your teammates like the back of your hand, and you trust them too, then you’ll see your game lifted to new heights!

TIP! Create teamwork both off and on the basketball court. Basketball is one of those games that goes to another level when a team gels completely.

When coming down from a rebound catch, try to land and spread your legs wider than your shoulder span to better your balance. Have your hands on both sides of the ball. Also, be sure to hold it against your chest tightly. Take care with the movement of your elbows, since hitting the opponent will produce a foul.

TIP! When catching a rebound, be sure to land with legs that are spread wider than your shoulder span, to help keep your balance. Keep your elbows out to protect the ball and keep it close to your chest.

Part of being a great basketball player is knowing when it is time to give the ball to someone else. It’s preferable to assist the winning goal, rather than be the sole reason a basket was missed,

TIP! Arguing with referees is never a good idea. You can ask a question, and you might not agree with all the calls they make.

Clearly, basketball has the potential to be incredibly enjoyable. This article has give you the knowledge you need to play better. Use what you’ve learned here to become the basketball player you want to be.