TIP! You can easily focus on offense when learning to play basketball, however, you must really focus how playing defense. Basketball games are won more often by defense than offense.

Men and women, young and old alike, enjoy basketball as a sport. Anyone can play. Get everyone together so you can show them what you’ve learned. What moves do you want to learn? Keep reading to learn what sorts of things you can do.

TIP! Correct dribbling is key. When you dribble, only use your fingertips instead of your palms.

Find out how to make free throw shots. This kind of shot seems easy, but it really is not. Use good technique when shooting foul shots. Start with the ball positioned right before your face. Keep your eyes on the goal and visualize the ball going into the goal. Then, shoot the ball using the trajectory you pictured.

TIP! Learn the best way to make your free throws. These shots may seem easy, but they can be quite difficult.

Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game. Don’t just walk through a layup drill. It is key to go at game tempo to practice the timing needed to maintain accuracy. This method will teach you to improve your jumps and shots throughout the game.

Free Throw

TIP! A bounce pass is an important technique to learn. Good bounce passes need to hit the other player waist length when they receive it.

Your mind plays as big a part in making a free throw as your actual body does. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter. Stay calm and collected to increase your free throw percentage.

TIP! Free throws are as much mental as they are physical, like other parts of the game. You can practice for hours on how to make the shot, but if you over think things or get distracted you will miss every time.

Lay off the weights if you are trying to become a jump shooter. It’s important to be strong, but not too strong. As a shooting guard, having bulky arm muscles can actually reduce the number of successful shots.

TIP! Lifting weights too much can actually take away from your jump shot. Muscle strength is beneficial for playing any basketball position, but there is such a thing as too much.

When an injury occurs while you are playing ball, don’t keep playing with pain. Basketball is physically demanding and you can easily get hurt. Trying to tough it out and keep playing, even if you are experiencing discomfort, can exacerbate an injury even more. Be sure to talk to a doctor if you feel that the injury isn’t going away.

TIP! Ask fellow team members what they like about your skills on the court. Do you do something particularly well? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to develop your skills to become an all around better player.

Speed is a key attribute in the game of basketball. You’ll have an advantage if you’re faster than an opponent. It takes steady drilling to play fast. Don’t attempt to play more quickly than your skills allow. Doing so can cause the game to spin out of control as turnovers and faulty passes are made.

TIP! Don’t let the ball go behind your back. This will help you stay on top of quick changes in possession or plays attempted by your opponent.

In order to become a better free throw shooter you need to have a good practice routine. If you aren’t consistent, you won’t make the basket. The most effective method to achieve a great free throw is by practicing it repeatedly until you get it right. You are likely to miss your shot if you’re not settled into your routine.

TIP! Your defensive game will be more successful if you know your opponents. Watch tapes of their games and see how others move on the court.

To be a strong defender, you must have the ability to disrupt and interfere with the opponents’ plans. Force them into an uncomfortable zone. Be aggressive in the moves you execute. Do not allow them to decide which plays to make. You should never let an opponent control what you do on the court. You make the moves, which helps shift the momentum.

TIP! If you slump when you shoot, look at what your shoulders are doing. When they are out of alignment, all shots will fail.

Dribble harder if you want to avoid the ball being stolen. A hard dribble returns the ball back to you faster, leaving less chance of it being snatched by the other team. If someone is close to you and is really good at guarding you, pass to another person that’s open.

TIP! You need to be quick to play good basketball. If you can play quicker than the opposing team can, then you will be at an advantage.

Remain low when playing defense. This allows you to jump faster and increases your reaction time should the person you’re covering do something. Make sure you always maintain your defensive stance. If you need to block someone’s shot, quickly get back into your stance.

TIP! You want to strive in practice to bring the ball all the way up the court in no more than five dribbles. This may seem like an impossible challenge, but it will increase your stride length and your speed.

AS you dribble the basketball down the court, keep your knees bent. You will have a hard time controlling the ball if you always stand straight and opponents will be able to steal the ball. You will have better ball control with bent knees.

TIP! It can help your basketball skills when you strength train. It’s important to have stamina and strength when playing basketball.

If you wish to shoot on the outside better you should work on shooting hundreds of times every day from a lot of places on the court. You should also practice starting with a dribble and then taking a shot. Focus on the target when airborne, but never before. This can help you simulate the conditions of the game and also helps you improve accuracy.

TIP! When dribbling you want to keep your knees bent. If you are standing straight, you will have a harder time controlling the ball and your opponent will be able to steal it more easily.

Don’t discontinue dribbling until you have the chance to shoot or pass. The instant you stop the dribble, your options become limited. If you don’t have the chance to shoot or pass, you can just pivot with the foot in the back. When you do this, your opponents can double team you and steal the ball.

TIP! Always set your three-point shooting practice goal at the official NBA distance. High school lines, international standard lines, and college lines are much closer.

Use the hand you are not dribbling with to keep your defender away from the ball. You never want to push the opponent with your hand, but it is possible to use your free hand to secure the ball. Just keep it raised a little while you dribble with your dribbling hand.

TIP! Never stop your dribble unless you are going to shoot or pass the ball. You are limited once you cease dribbling.

The easiest way to do well at basketball is to speak with the team to see what everyone is up to. A good basketball team consists of players who understand that this is not an individual sport. Offense and defense aren’t 1 on 1. The whole team has to work together. Let others know when you require assistance.

TIP! Communication with your team mates is crucial to your overall success. Your actions and strategies must not be kept to yourself.

Now you can cruise to the court in confidence with the backing of your new-found skills. You should know more about basketball than your friends do. Don’t forget, the game should always be fun or it’s not worth playing. No matter what, though, winning is always a great feeling.