TIP! It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Basketball games are often won by the defense.

The sport of basketball is extremely popular. From watching the NBA to playing, it’s so much fun to participate in. Players want to become better, of course. While you can’t win them all, you sure can bring your game to the next level.

TIP! 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.

Always work on your layups. Since layups account for the majority of scoring in a game. Whenever you practice, approach the goal full speed, jump and take a smooth shot. This method will teach you to improve your jumps and shots throughout the game.

TIP! Passing quickly without dribbling is a great way to practice. It is a challenge not to dribble while playing, but it will ensure the accuracy of your team’s passes.

Watch how the pros play basketball. Try to go to games, watch televised games, or check out videos of the pros 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! Play solo basketball in the months leading up to the season, as well as during the season itself. These skills all help with muscle memory so you know just what to do when you’re playing in a game.

Don’t dribble during your drills. It is difficult playing without dribbling; however, it helps the team make better passes. Don’t get too frustrated if you’re having a hard time when you start because after a while passes are going to be more accurate.

TIP! Don’t play when you are injured! This sport is physically demanding and you can become injured. If you keep on playing after sustaining an injury, you may make the injury even more serious.

If you want to be a master of the jump shot, do not make weight lifting a priority. Though muscle strength is great to have with any sport, it is very possible to be too buff for serious game play. Many guards in the pros have developed their arm muscles too big, which has really harmed their shooting percentage.

TIP! If your shooting is in a slump, take a look at your shoulders. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot.

Would you like to fool the opposing team? Try doing a back pass! You want to grip the basketball with your strongest hand. Then, move the ball so it is behind your back. Flick your wrists in the direction that it must travel. This should make it easy to trick the other team.

TIP! If the opposition is hot on your tail, pass between your legs. This can be practiced by dribbling the ball as hard as you can between the legs while you step in either direction.

Ask your fellow team members which of your skills that they admire. Are you really good at any one thing? It could be your speed, or it could be your back-up abilities. Determine what others like about your game and fine tune those skills.

TIP! When moving in for a layup, push off from your weaker foot and lead with your shooting hand. That means, if you shoot right-handed, use your left foot for taking off.

When playing basketball, it is important to always keep your eye on the ball. It’s all about court awareness, and always facing the ball will make it so you are less surprised by passes. That means less turnovers. Also, keep your eyes on areas that open up on the court for an easy basket.

TIP! Create a routine to improve your free throw success. Inconsistency will ruin your shots.

In order to handle the ball correctly, spread your fingers out. This way, you won’t lose the ball when holding it. Try to keep your palm off of the ball as well. The only things that should touch the ball are your fingers, as you shoot or pass.

TIP! 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. Using both hands to dribble makes you a more effective player, especially when you’re trying to get past your opponent.

In order to be more reliable shooting free throws, practice your routine. You could dribble twice, touch your forehead, bend your knees, or some other kinds of movements. As long as it’s quick, using a consistent routine can help your body retain the memory to make those shots after your “ritual.”

TIP! You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. Wrist curls can be effective at helping you to control the ball as if you’ll be dribbling in your sleep.

In order to perfect your layup shooting technique practice, take off with your left foot if you shoot with your right hand and vice versa. If you play to use your right hand to shoot, you’ll want to use your left foot to take off. This way you keep your body away from defenders, your momentum going in the direction of the basket and your body stays balanced.

TIP! Perform drills where you attempt to get the ball up full-court in 5 dribbles or less. This may seem like an impossible challenge, but it will increase your stride length and your speed.

Clearly, there are quite a few ways to help yourself play a better game. Many of them are as simple as learning a technique and then practicing repeatedly. Anytime you practice it makes you a better player, and whenever you have the opportunity to do so, do it. Take what you have learned here to make the most out of your next basketball game.