TIP! It’s natural to focus on offensive abilities when practicing the sport of basketball, but your practice time needs to focus on defense. Defense is what keep the other team from scoring.

The inventor of basketball was Dr. He invented the game in 1891. It’s now a hugely popular sport. Basketball has made many celebrities out of its players, from Shaq, to Magic Johnson. and Earvin Magic Johnson have shown that if you are an all-pro player, you are also a global celebrity. Look at this article for tips that helped them become successful.

TIP! Learn the best way to make your free throws. This seems like an easy shot, but it is quite hard.

Learn the mechanics of a free throw. The free throw shot might seem simple, but it can actually be pretty difficult. Use the following directions to perfect free throws and practice often. First, keep the ball in front of you and at eye level. There may be a number of distractions so you need to focus on your goal. Then shoot! Shoot the ball in the trajectory you imagined.

TIP! Knowing how to perform a crossover is a must when you handle the basketball frequently. This technique passes the ball back and forth from the right hand to the left hand.

Always dribble with your head up and looking forward. If you have to look at the ball while dribbling, that means you need to practice more. The ball can go with you when you go anywhere. Dribble as you walk to the market. By looking forward instead of at the basketball, you are able to see the happenings on the court.

TIP! Make sure that you practice your layups frequently. Layup shots make up nearly 80% of a game’s shots.

One way to help improve your overall basketball skills is to spend some time watching what the pros do. Go to actual games or watch on TV. Every player has skills that make them good, and you can work on the skills they use.

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 want to be prepared for any type of defense the other team plays. Always try to anticipate when your opponent is going to switch up their game to catch you off guard. If you have not practiced enough on this scenario, you could run afoul of the scoreboard very fast.

TIP! Frequently train yourself on your pass catching moves. You should practice catching errant passes, along with perfectly executed ones.

See if your teammates admire something in particular about your game play. What areas are your strong points? Maybe you are nimble or you are reliably there to support them. Find out what others perceive as your natural gifts and build upon those more completely.

TIP! Passing quickly without dribbling is a great way to practice. It is hard to play with no dribbling, but it will help your team make great passes.

When you’re practicing passing, try to look the other way. This will easily confuse your opponents. When done right, the look draws your opponents to the wrong locale so that the person you passed to has a good long look at the basket before shooting. This play can be very powerful.

TIP! Playing basketball does not require excessive muscle development. Strong muscles are certainly useful for basketball, but you can overdo it if you plan to play on the perimeter.

In order to do the best you can with layups, you’ll want to take off with the foot that is opposite of your shooting hand. So, your left foot should be the one you take off from if you use your right hand to shoot. This helps to maintain balance throughout your body and allows you to use yourself as a barrier between the defender and yourself.

TIP! You must know your opponent in order to be tough on defense. Watch replays and follow scouting reports.

A good drill to try is the five dribble drill. You try to get the ball the entire length of the court in only five dribbles. This may not seem feasible, but once you master it, your speed and stride will be truly impressive. This helps give your team the advantage, and allows you to drive the center.

TIP! Speed is a key attribute in the game of basketball. Speeding up the temp allows you to out-quick your opponent.

Take charges whenever you have the opportunity. A charge leads to a turnover by the opposing team and gives you the ball back. Perfecting this play can really give you an advantage on the court.

TIP! If the opposing team is breathing down your neck, it’s a good idea to pass the ball between your legs. This will make it very hard for your defender to get it.

Changing up your pace is something you have to do to make sure the offense is paying attention. When you approach the goal, put your front foot in firm place and start straightening up. The guard will assume you’re slowing down and start to straighten up, too. Push forward and blast by them.

Strength Training

TIP! Do not stop dribbling unless you’re going to shoot or pass. After dribbling is stopped, your choices are very limited.

Basketball players need to engage in strength training. In addition to strength, stamina is key in basketball. Even younger kids will benefit from strength training. If you have been exercising regularly for years, it might be time to introduce weights into the mix. Then they will be ready to really learn the skills that really make an excellent player.

TIP! Try to alter the path of your opponent. Whether you’re playing offense or defense, controlling what the other player does is essential.

When you are defending, keep your stance low. This will help you be quicker on the jump and react to the man in front of you easier. Stay in your defensive stance all the time. If you need to leave your feet in order to prevent your opponent from shooting the ball, quickly get back into that good defensive position.

TIP! You don’t want to double dribble while on the court. This occurs whenever you resume dribbling after a brief pause.

Continuously dribble the ball until you have an opening to pass it to one of your teammates, or you are prepared to shoot. The moment you cease dribbling, you have given yourself very few options. Aside from using your back foot to pivot, you have very little freedom. This will leave you open for double teaming from opponents and you may lose control of the ball.

TIP! When rebounding, hit the floor with your legs wide apart. Place your hands on both sides of the basketball while holding it close against your chest.

If you seek a regulation basketball game, there are a few things you will need: 10 players, a hoop 10 feet off the ground and a basketball court that is just about the size of a football field. In order to play basketball well, you need to have a lot of knowledge. This piece provides a good beginning, so keep working and improving.