TIP! It is easy to be focused on offense when you are learning how to play basketball, but you really should focus your practice on defense. Defense is what keep the other team from scoring.

Basketball is among the most loved and followed sports in the world. The fans number in the millions. The best way to really enjoy basketball, either as a player or as an enthusiastic spectator, is to understand it completely. This article will help you do that.

TIP! Learn the best way to make your free throws. These shots look easy on television, but are actually hard when you are doing the shooting.

The way to properly dribble is to keep your head up while looking ahead of you. You need more practice if you feel that you cannot dribble without focusing on the ball. Take you ball with you everywhere. Dribble as you walk to the market. You will not be able to see what’s happening before you on the court while beholding the ball.

TIP! Having a good foundation is key when shooting the ball. We have all seen the professional basketball player falling out of bounds and making a basket from 30 feet away, but this is not proper technique.

Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. You can train your body to complete the motions of making a free throw, but if you are mentally prepared to fail, you will. Relax your mind and keep your concentration centered on the basket to make more of these freebies.

TIP! Practice your pass catching often. Be sure to be able to catch off-target throws on top of good ones.

A great way to hone your own basketball abilities is to watch the pros. Go to professional games in person and/or watch them online or on TV. Watch great players to learn the specific skills that make them exceptional.

TIP! Shake things up rather than focusing solely on a zone defense. While a good chunk of the game will most likely be played in zone, your opponent might flip the switch to man-to-man coverage just to change things up and surprise you.

Practice catching passes as often as you can. When you practice, mix it up so that you can catch perfect passes and errant throws. When the pressure is on, not every pass will come straight to you. Cover for your teammates’ errant passes by developing the hands to cover their mistakes.

TIP! Don’t pump a lot of iron if you wish to become a jump shooter. Strong muscles are certainly useful for basketball, but you can overdo it if you plan to play on the perimeter.

If you want to be a jump shooter, avoid pumping iron excessively. Even though having strong muscles is great for the inside game, being on the outside it can harm you when shooting the ball. You might see a decrease in your goal percentages if your biceps become too large.

TIP! Play by yourself to practice. Even though you play on a team, practicing alone can be helpful.

Prior to basketball season, and even during it, you can play solo games. Even though you play on a team, practicing alone can be helpful. Don’t fret! You can still accomplish a lot when playing solo. Whether focusing on foul shots or how to pivot with the ball, you can look for ways to improve. You can always hone your skills when practicing alone.

TIP! Never try to push through pain after an injury. Basketball is very challenging physically, and this can cause further serious injury.

When avoiding errant passes, use 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. These common miscommunications can be avoided by utilizing hand signals, which tells the passing player the other player is ready for a pass. If there is no signal, the player should not make the pass to them.

TIP! Never turn away from the ball so that you can always be prepared for what’s coming. This can help you to avoid surprises by fast passes, help you keep an eye on the rest of the court, and allow you to spot potential turnovers.

Have your team mates critique your playing skills. Do they feel you are really good at something? You may be quick with your footwork or are always there for backing them up. Discover what other people feel are your strongest skills and then set about perfecting them.

TIP! Focus on your footwork and your core strength in your workouts. When you have strong core muscles, your body will be better balanced and will move faster.

Create and stick to a routine each time you prepare to shoot a free throw. It could be that you dribble several times, bend at the knees, brush your hair out of your eyes or do something else. As you adopt this routine, it becomes easier for your mind and body to prepare for the shot.

TIP! To become a great free thrower, practice and develop a routine you will use during each shot. Whatever you do before each shot, from dribbles to body motions, should be the same each time.

Your forearms and hands should be strengthened in order for you to handle the ball better. Wrist curls can be effective at helping you to control the ball as if you’ll be dribbling in your sleep. Do not remain in one place. It’s not likely that you will be able to successfully catch and shoot without moving. Good dribbling skills will help you always stay in movement.

TIP! In order to play defense successfully, you must be able to disrupt the game of your opponent. Force opposing players into an unfamiliar or unexpected position.

Prevent the opposing team from stealing the ball by dribbling hard. A good hard dribble brings the ball back to you much faster, leaving less time for the opponent to steal it from you. If you have somebody guarding you very closely, pass the ball to an open teammate.

TIP! Always attempt to remain low when you are playing defense. Staying low gives you a better chance to play the ball and helps you move more quickly.

Take charges whenever possible. This helps get the ball for the team and allows another foul on the opponent. This is a great way to take control of the court and intimidate the other team.

TIP! Don’t stop dribbling until you are ready to pass or shoot. You have few options remaining to you after you stop dribbling.

Be sure that off-court exercises are proper for playing on-court. Sprints helps with individual plays, and long-distance running gives you stamina. Lifting weights and doing resistance training is going to help you to build muscle to take shots. This is also good for making you much more relaxed while you’re shooting the ball.

A missed shot from the corner of the basketball court will usually go to the opposite side. It may bounce back right into the opponent’s hands.

TIP! To keep your opponent on their toes, keep your dribbling steady and regular, then surprise them. A consistent dribbling broken up by a fast paced dribble can surprise your opponent and give you a major edge for a shot.

Make strong team environments off and on the court. Basketball is best played with a team which works well together. If you get to know and trust your teammates, you’ll see that your game will reach untold levels of excellence!

TIP! Foster a strong team camaraderie both on the court and off. Basketball is something that can work in a team’s favor if they all work together well.

You need to control your nerves when shooting the ball. This will help improve your focus during the shot. Learn to always focus your gaze on the back edge of the rim as you shoot the ball. When shooting layups, be sure you are using the backboard.

Stand between the person with the ball and the one you are supposed to be guarding. This will limit their ability to pass the ball.

TIP! As you come off a rebound, come down with legs that are spread out wider than the broadness of your shoulders. This will increase your balance.

Try always focusing on the location the ball goes after it exits your teams’ hands or the opponents’ hands. Rebounds are one of the most important parts of the game. It does not matter how well you defend when the opponent takes a shot and misses, if you cannot get the ball back.

TIP! When your defending, forcing the opposing team’s player to the sideline is helpful. If you let someone shoot down the middle, you lose control.

Basketball is enjoyed by people all over the world. However, if knowledge of the game is lacking, newbies might feel overwhelmed. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand basketball a bit better and that you can use some of these tips yourself.