TIP! Free throw practice is vitally important. There are usually a lot of distractions when you are shooting free throws so you need to concentrate.

Basketball is incredibly popular. You can see kids and adults playing at playgrounds, the gym or in their very own driveway. Naturally, if you play, you want to excel at the game. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you make some great strides towards winning.

TIP! Make sure you dribble properly by keeping your head held up, facing forward. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling.

It’s natural to be drawn towards offense as a novice, but the pros know defense is where the game is won or lost. Defense ultimately determines the winner of a game of basketball. Offense may be splashier, but lacking a solid defense, any team is sure to lose.

TIP! To be a great basketball player you need to work on your balance. Everyone has seen professional basketball players make a shot from 20 feet away as they are falling.

Make sure you are dribbling the right way. You want to dribble with the tips of your fingers, not your whole hand. Using your fingertips provides you with more control. Always dribble to your side, not your front. Never look at the ground. Always look up.

Free Throw

TIP! Basketball players of all ages benefit from exercises that strengthen their core. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles.

Free throw practice is vitally important. It looks simple to do, but it isn’t that easy. When practicing your free throw, concentrate on where you want the ball to go when it leaves your hands. Start by holding your ball before your face. Your eyes should be on the goal. You should be thinking about the ball going in the hoop. Bend your knees to control the arc of the ball.

TIP! To keep passes under control, make use of hand signals. Often in basketball, a player makes a pass at the exact same time the receiving player heads to another part of the court.

Your mind plays as big a part in making a free throw as your actual body does. You can teach your body to make a free throw properly, but unless you are properly prepared mentally, you may not succeed. Stay focused and vigilant to improve your ability to make free throws.

TIP! Knowing your opponent is the best way to play a tough defensive game. Watch tapes of their games and see how others move on the court.

If you have student that wants to play basketball for their high school team, they will need to spend some time training their core muscles. This will involve their lower back, hips, and abs. Stronger core muscles will help them be more resistant and allow them to develop many different athletic abilities. A strong core provides a center of force that can be tapped through the legs while running and jumping during games.

TIP! Being a successful defensive player means upsetting and disrupting your opponent’s play. Make them uncomfortable.

To keep passes under control, make use of hand signals. It can be frustrating passing to a teammate when you’re both heading to the basket. Avoid this with hand signals that let you know if the player is open to receiving the pass. If you don’t see a signal, try to find someone else to pass to.

TIP! A great drill to try is to see how many dribbles it takes for you to make it across the court. The ideal number of dribbles is five.

If you post up, you need to use good footwork to get open and make sure you get a good shot. Getting a great position under the goal is the most important. Once you get into your position, you need to secure it. Practicing your footwork is important to master these skills.

TIP! Be sure that your site is good. Vision is an integral part of making shots and catching passes.

Seek advice from your teammates about how you play the game. Do you have an area where you excel? Maybe you are quick like lightening or maybe you are a strong defender. Find out how your game appears to others and develop your skills accordingly.

TIP! Whenever possible, take advantage of an attack. A charge leads to a turnover by the opposing team and gives you the ball back.

If you’re shooting isn’t what you’d like it to be, make sure that your shoulders are in the correct position. If your shoulders aren’t correct, you may not be able to make the shots. Be sure shoulders always remain squared towards your hoop. Your dominant shoulder must be lined up with the rim.

TIP! When playing defense, always try to stay low. You will become faster and react faster.

Practice looking in the opposite direction when you make a pass. You can really confuse your opponents this way. When you do this right, looking this way will make the opponents go to the wrong place so that when you pass the other person has a better chance at making a shot. It’s a powerful play when done right.

TIP! When you dribble, bend your knees. It makes it much easier to control the ball while dribbling as opposed to standing straight up, which makes controlling the ball much harder.

In order to be good at rebounding the ball off a missed free throw, you must be quick with your feet. Use your feet to slip around the opposing player below you, then get into position for a rebound off the rim. You are able to rebound the ball without fouling someone.

TIP! You should make sure when practicing dribbling that you shift from one hand to the other. Games require you to be able to dribble under all types of conditions.

Never stop your dribble unless you are going to shoot or pass the ball. You have few options remaining to you after you stop dribbling. You can’t do anything but pivot if you don’t shoot or pass. This causes you to be wide open to some double teaming by the other team and increase your chances of having the ball stolen.

TIP! Concentrate your ball-handling below knee level whenever possible. This is going to make things harder for your opponents if they want to steal the ball.

Clearly, there are quite a few ways to help yourself play a better game. Continue to learn new techniques and perfect your skills. Practice is essential to learning anything, so be sure you have the access you need to a hoop, and play as much as you can. Regardless of whether or not you play on a team or a playground, these tips will make your game better.