TIP! It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. Basketball games are often won by the defense.

Basketball is exciting and fast-paced; of course people love it. However, if you want to do your best, there are some pointers you need. You can read the tips below to better your skills.

TIP! You must become knowledgeable about hitting a free-throw shot. These shots look easy on television, but are actually hard when you are doing the shooting.

Improving your balance means improving your shots. You have seen some crazy shots made by professionals, but these shots aren’t going to be based on fundamentals. These shots are improvisational and usually desperate attempts. Consider proper balance when you shoot, and eventually you’ll consistently make baskets.

TIP! You need good balance when you shoot. 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.

Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. Layups sometimes wind up being 4 out of every 5 shots in basketball. It’s critical to practice running towards the basket at full speed and following up with a good jump and smooth shot. That technique of running and jumping helps you get ready for an actual game.

TIP! Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. You are able to train your hands and legs to free throw well, but if you think you will fail, you will.

Practice your passes and catches frequently. When practicing make sure you drill yourself to catch errant throws as well as picture perfect passes. When a game is underway, not every throw will be perfect. Help your team by learning to catch those bad passes, as well as those perfect passes.

TIP! Watching the pros play is a great way to see how great basketball players use their skills in the game. Watch as many games on TV as you can.

If you’re going to be a jump shooter, don’t lift too many weights. Muscle strength is great for any position in basketball, you can have too much when it comes to perimeter play. Some pro shooting guards make their arms large enough to decrease their own field goal percentage.

TIP! How would you like to trick the opposing team? Try using a back pass! Hold the ball in your strong hand to start the pass. Next, place the ball behind you.

If there’s no one around to play with, it is okay to play a basketball game by yourself. Sometimes you cannot find a team of people to play basketball with. This is just fine. There is much that can be accomplished when playing on your own. Maybe work on those free throws or practice your pivoting. Many things can be practiced.

TIP! Quick and solid footwork is what it takes to make the shot when your posting up. There are two important points you must remember.

Try using hand signals to prevent passes in error. You can become easily frustrated when a teammate does a poor job of anticipating your next passing move. Hand signals can help you communicate with your teammate on the court. Without a signal, you should not attempt to pass the ball to a player.

TIP! To properly handle the ball, you have to spread your fingers out. The ball will not get away if you always keep your fingers spread when handling the ball.

If you post up, you need to use good footwork to get open and make sure you get a good shot. You must be certain to get the good spot ahead of your opponent. Once you get into your position, you need to secure it. Each of these skills is reliant on good footwork.

TIP! Understanding the opponent is key in beating a tough defense. You can read scouting reports and watch tapes to evaluate your opponents game.

Watch your shoulders and their position if you notice yourself developing a slump in your shooting. You won’t be able to make a shot if your shoulders aren’t in the right position. One area of focus should be to keep your shoulders aligned straight toward the hoop. Your shooting arm’s shoulder also needs to be exactly lined up with the rim.

TIP! During your workouts, concentrate on improving your footwork as well as your core strength. By developing strong core muscles, you will be able to recover quickly and keep your balance.

As shown in this article, basketball is a highly enjoyable sport. This article has offered a lot of advice to help you become a better basketball player. Use these tips to play the game better than you ever thought possible.