TIP! To get better in your basketball game, focus on your strengths. You can contribute to the team by consolidating your best skills, even if these skills do not make you one of the star players.

No matter if you’re male or female, basketball can be played by anyone. Anyone can play. You can really impress your friends with the techniques you’ll learn here. What moves do you want to learn? Keep reading to find out.

TIP! A good way to get your basketball game up to speed is to start trying to see how the pros are playing. Whether seeing an all-pro on YouTube, attending a game in person, or sitting on the couch with buddies to watch your local professional team, there are many chances to observe the best.

You can easily focus on offense when learning to play basketball, however, you must really focus how playing defense. Basketball games are won with a good defense. Offense is flashier, so it draws the attention of fans and journalists, but a team that can’t defend well won’t win any games.

TIP! You want to be prepared for any type of defense the other team plays. Zone play will be important, but man-to-man will pop up from time to time, too.

Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling. You can practice dribbling almost anywhere. Walking to your mailbox? Dribble the ball. Don’t look while dribbling, because you won’t be able to see what’s going on.

TIP! There are passes that can confuse the other team momentarily. Try doing a back pass! Use the dominant hand to hold onto the basketball when trying this pass.

Perfect your bounce pass. It needs to get to the player at their waist. Remember you should bounce the ball approximately three-quarters of the distance between yourself and the receiving player. There can be other factors in play to keep in mind, as well.

TIP! Don’t let the ball go behind your back. You develop a good feel for the game around you, making it much easier to quickly react to your opponent.

Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. You are able to train your hands and legs to free throw well, but if you think you will fail, you will. Take a deep breath, relax and imagine you are at practice to help yourself make the shot.

TIP! In order to be your best on defense, take the time to completely understand the player you are guarding. You should be look at scouting reports, practicing techniques and watch tapes.

You can play basketball solo before and during the season. Even though basketball is usually played with teams, it is sometimes the case that there just isn’t anyone around to play with. For concentration purposes, it can be good to practice on your own. You can accomplish a lot by practicing alone. Practice pivoting or doing free throws. You can always hone your skills when practicing alone.

TIP! Speed is one of the best virtues when playing basketball. Developing speed and vision is vital to playing the game well.

Have other players give you information about what they think are your strengths and weaknesses. Is there something that you excel at? They may say you’re fast or that you share well. It’s great to get an idea of how your teammates think of your skills, this way you know what areas of the game to focus on.

TIP! Always be aware of the locations of your feet and what they’re doing. An errant toe to the baseline while holding the ball will result in an “out of bounds” call.

Understand your opponent. Follow the scouting reports and watch tapes of their games. One simple thing to know before the game is if your opponent shoots with their right or left hand. When you know some of the other player’s moves, you’ll have a leg up during a game as you’ll be able to predict what he is going to do. A person that knows about defending makes a strong defender.

TIP! Make layups count by taking off with the foot that is opposite to your shooting hand. This will allow you to shoot with your comfortable hand.

It’s great to be quick in basketball. You need to be faster than the opposing team if you want the advantage. Playing fast requires steady drilling. Make sure you never play past the speed you are comfortable. Playing beyond your speed can result in bad passes and excessive turnovers.

TIP! You need to put a damper in your opponent’s plan if you want to be successful with defending. Take them out of their own comfort zone.

Practice looking the other way when passing. This can go a long way toward confusing the opposition. If you can pull it off, it’s effective to draw your opponents away from the shooter. That way the shooter gets a great look before shooting. It can be quite powerful.

TIP! Can you see well? You don’t need great vision just to keep score. Develop your peripheral vision on the court.

Improve both forearms and hands to improve ball control. Exercises that involve strengthening the wrist are especially helpful for dribbling. Do not remain in one place. It’s not likely that you will be able to successfully catch and shoot without moving. You must move the ball to have things happen.

TIP! Only stop dribbling when you are prepared to shoot or pass the ball. Once you stop dribbling, you are extremely limited in your options.

Try some drills that require you to move the basketball from one end of the court to the other in no more than five dribbles. This may be difficult in the beginning, but if you manage it, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Being able to do this lets you lead your team on a fast break and gets you to the rim that much quicker.

TIP! If you are a basketball player you should be eating a healthy diet. You need to eat carbs, fats and protein on game days.

You want to keep your vision completely clear at all times. This isn’t just so you can read the scoreboard and be able to make shots and catch passes. Try making your peripheral vision the best it can be. Watching the whole court allows you to foresee future attacks from the opponent.

TIP! Your position immediately before and after a rebound can help determine whether or not you will keep possession. Jump using both feet for increased power and stability and grab the ball using both hands.

When you have the chance, take charge. This strategy can result in your opponent taking a foul and your team getting a defensive stop and taking possession of the ball. This can make for good psychological warfare.

TIP! Try to calm your nerves in order to become a top-notch scorer. Keep focused on the goal.

A great way to stay in a correct defensive stance is to always stay in position no matter what. To do this, avoid lurching or stepping across the floor; instead use smaller, shuffling steps to move with your opponent. Never cross your feet and your opponents will find you a difficult player.

TIP! Watch where the ball goes whenever someone releases it. Rebounds are essential to the game.

Keep changing up your pace to help keep your opponents on their toes. As you approach the goal, plant your foot and then straighten up. Your opponent will see you as stopping, then will also stop themselves. When that happens, push ahead and run past.

TIP! Passing is the most important part of the game: not shooting. Good passing skills will help you baffle your opponent.

Shoot hundreds of shots every day from every position on the court to improve your shooting skills. Become better and better by practicing your fast dribble then stopping abruptly to make a shot. When you are off the ground, keep your eye on the basket, but not earlier. Doing so allows you to move more precisely and with greater accuracy.

TIP! When you dribble, you want to practice bouncing the ball as hard as possible. When you do this, the ball will move quickly and give a defender little time to try and snatch it from you.

Do not stop dribbling unless you’re going to shoot or pass. After dribbling is stopped, your choices are very limited. Your only option, besides shooting or passing, is to use your back foot to pivot. You leave the ball vulnerable to possible steal attempts and yourself open to being double teamed.

TIP! Any time an opposing player attempts a shot, you must be there to challenge it. This means shifting over off of your man if you see a player nearby stop to shoot.

Now you should be prepared to play with heightened confidence. You may now even know a few secrets that your friends are unaware exist. The point of playing basketball is not only to win, but to have fun playing the game. No matter what, though, winning is always a great feeling.