TIP! It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Basketball games are won because of good defense.

The key to mastering the game of basketball is practice. You should use your practice time wisely, and follow good advice from experienced teachers. The tips here are going to help you get the ball into the net every time.

TIP! Dribbling the ball the right way needs to be done. You’ll want to use your fingertips to dribble instead of using your palm.

Practice your layup shot as frequently as possible. Layups comprise approximately 80 percent of all shots. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. This method will teach you to improve your jumps and shots throughout the game.

TIP! Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. Crossovers involve moving the ball from hand to hand.

Would you like to completely fool the opposing team, making them look silly? Try a back pass. To do this pass, hold on to the ball with your dominant hand. Then, put the ball around your back. Flip your wrist towards the site where you want the ball to go. You can use this action to deceive your opponents.

TIP! One of the most important skills when playing basketball is 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.

Try playing basketball games alone before and during the season. You may not always be able to find someone to play with you. No problem. You are able to do a lot with solo games. Whether focusing on foul shots or how to pivot with the ball, you can look for ways to improve. This will help improve the hard parts of your game.

TIP! Practice layups often. During any game, layups make up about 75 percent of the game.

If you’re on the offense, you footwork needs to be excellent to stay open for passes and shots. Being physical under the rim is crucial, but having good positioning on the court is even better. Once you’re in position, you also need to secure your spot. These skills require solid footwork.

TIP! Bounce passes are extremely efficient when done properly. In order for a bounce pass to be sufficient, the person should receive the ball around their waist.

You can improve your control of the ball by spreading your fingers. That will ensure that it doesn’t get away from you as you hold it. Do not allow the palm of your hand to make contact with the ball. Your fingers should be all that is holding the ball when you pass it or shoot it.

TIP! Free throws have a huge mental element to them. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter.

One of the most vital attributes one needs to play basketball is quickness. Try to play faster than your opponents for an advantage. Consistent, repetitive drilling is the key to speed. Do not try playing faster than you can. If you play basketball past your own speed ability, then you can lose control of you game with bad passes and needless turnovers.

TIP! You can improve your passing skills by practicing a simple drill where dribbling is forbidden. It is a challenge not to dribble while playing, but it will ensure the accuracy of your team’s passes.

Be aware of what your feet are doing and where they are. If you step on the baseline, you will be out of bounds. You could also be the reason for a turnover if you get called for walking when you take more steps than allowed without dribbling. A foul will be called if your feet move while you attempt to screen other players.

TIP! Try using hand signals to ensure that your passes are received. Passing is tough, especially if you and your teammate are not in sync with one another.

If your opponent is pressing hard, you can give yourself some room to work by dribbling the ball between your legs. You can train for this maneuver by stepping forward or backwards as you bounce the ball real hard in-between your legs. This technique can really throw off defenders.

TIP! Never play through an injury when playing basketball. Basketball is very physical and there’s always a risk of injury.

Use deception by looking elsewhere when you make passes. You are able to confuse opponents with this technique. 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. This can be a great play if it is done correctly.

TIP! When exercising, concentrate on building up core strength and improving your footwork. When you have strong core muscles, your body will be better balanced and will move faster.

Practice dribbling with your weaker hand. If you have two hands that can dribble the ball effortlessly then it becomes easier to get by your opponent. Force yourself to not use your stronger hand. In no time, the weak hand will also be useful for dribbling.

TIP! Build a consistent routine for your free throws. If you are inconsistent then your shot will be off.

Never stop your dribble unless you are going to shoot or pass the ball. You do not have many options after you stop dribbling. If you don’t shoot or pass, you can only pivot using your back foot. You leave the ball vulnerable to possible steal attempts and yourself open to being double teamed.

If possible, keep the ball below your knees. This makes it difficult for the ball to be stolen. Practice moving quickly while dribbling below knee level.

TIP! Shoot from every point on the court thousands of times a day to get better. Try to practice a hard dribble followed by a quick shot.

Even if you only play basketball once in a while, these tips will help you out. Just start with one tip and watch your game improve. You can play much better basketball by using the tips provided.