TIP! It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Defense is how you win a basketball game.

When basketball season rolls around, you’ll see many obsessed players and fans. If you play the game and want to get better, you need to put in the work and make a commitment. Start practicing now and improve your game. These tips help you be on a winning team.

TIP! Be sure to dribble correctly every time. Use the fingertips, not the palm, for the best dribbling.

To be a great basketball player you need to work on your balance. 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 are professionals, and they are able to improvise successfully. If you are able to improve your sense of balance, then you will find that your percentage of successful shots improves.

TIP! Improving your balance means improving your shots. Of course, pros may make baskets from a great distance while falling off the court, but this isn’t standard.

If you experience a basketball injury, don’t keep playing. It’s easy to be hurt when playing basketball. Pushing through the pain often results in a more serious injury. See a physician if you think your injury is serious.

TIP! You should learn the best way to throw a great bounce pass. Bounce passes need to be at waist level when received.

Talk to your teammates and find out what they like about your game. Are you really good at any one thing? Perhaps you are great backup or fast on your feet. Discover what other people feel are your strongest skills and then set about perfecting them.

TIP! Successful free throwing requires as much mental skill as it does physical skill. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game.

When trying to improve your strength to have better basketball footwork, work on building up your core. A strong core allows you to be more balanced during games. Focus on the back, buttocks, and hip muscle groups. Practicing with a jump rope is a great way to increase your foot speed.

TIP! If you want to take jump shots, don’t build your arms up too large. Muscle strength is great for any position in basketball, you can have too much when it comes to perimeter play.

If you aren’t shooting the ball well, you need to concentrate on your shoulders. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot. Be sure shoulders always remain squared towards your hoop. You want your strong-side shoulder in perfect alignment with the rim.

TIP! You can play a great defensive game if you know the opposition well. One great way to get a better understanding of your opponent is to take the time to watch film and get information from other players or scouts.

It is important to be aware of the location of your feet and just what they are up to. If you slide onto the baseline, you will lose the ball for being out of bounds. If you walk without dribbling, you will be called for walking and this will result in a turnover. Also, moving a foot when setting up a screen can result in a foul.

TIP! Watch your shoulders if you obtain a shooting slump. Shoulders are the key to a consistently successful shot.

In order to become better at dribbling the ball you should learn how to practice using your weak hand. If you’re using both hands to dribble the ball well then you can get by an opponent easily. Make an effort to dribble with your weak hand by keeping your dominant hand away from the front. In no time, the weak hand will also be useful for dribbling.

TIP! A good basketball player is really quick on his feet. Developing speed and vision is vital to playing the game well.

The key to great defense is being a nuisance to the player you are guarding. Getting them to do things they aren’t accustomed to doing is ideal. The more aggressive you are the better. Do not allow them to decide which plays to make. This will give your opponent the chance to run over you. Try to interrupt their game plan by taking charge and controlling the tempo.

Start Moving

TIP! If you have someone who can tape your game, you can view the recording to see how well you performed on the court. Can you see chances that you missed or ways that you could have done better? Look at how you did and judge yourself.

As soon as the ball leaves your teammate’s hands after a free throw, start moving into position. Be aware that the defender who is below you will start moving in your direction. Slip past him, and you can get the ball. This will allow you to score a rebound without getting penalized for a foul.

TIP! Develop a routine to use every time you shoot a free throw. This can be any combination of movements that makes you feel comfortable and prepare for the shot.

Drills should be done where you attempt to get your basketball up the court within five dribbles or even less than that. This seems an impossible feat when you start. By working on this drill regularly you develop speed and great, lengthy strides. 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 your opponent is pressing hard, you can give yourself some room to work by dribbling the ball between your legs. Practice this by bouncing the ball hard between your legs as you take a step forward or back.

Make sure your vision is good. This isn’t just so you can read the scoreboard and be able to make shots and catch passes. Your peripheral vision needs to be as strong as possible. This will help you see the whole game better and anticipate openings and defense players.

TIP! Use the NBA three point line when practicing your shots. High school lines, International standard lines, and college lines are closer.

Take charges whenever possible. 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! Practice shooting hundreds of shots during each training, and you quickly improve shooting skills. Also practice transitioning from dribbling to a quick shot.

Change up your pace so that you are not predictable to the offense. As you approach the goal, plant your foot and then straighten up. Your opponent will assume you are slowing up, and thus will also straighten up. Push forward and blast by them.

TIP! Control the ball at a level that is below your knees. This will lower the chances of your opponent being able to steal the ball.

If you want to do well in basketball, you need to build your strength. In order to be the best you can at basketball, you need to be strong and hardy. Proper exercise allows younger players and older players an improved physical presence on the court. As they reach their teen years, bring weights in to further enhance exercise. Playing as an adult, it is important that you focus on your stamina for optimal performance.

TIP! You can place your off-hand out in front of you to serve as protection against the defense. You can’t push the person guarding you, but you can hold your arm out gently.

Regardless of your skill level, there is always room for improvement. Better players create better teams, which means lots of happier and larger cheering sections and fan clubs. Every single participant plays a role, from those on the court to those sitting in the stands. If you are a player, you need to give everything you have. Use these tips to improve your skills and become a valuable teammate.