TIP! It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Defense is how you win a basketball game.

When you first played the game of basketball, it was a whole new world. You probably learned how to dribble the ball and make a shot. Now, you might even feel as though you have mastered the sport. There is still a lot more to learn, and the following tips will show you how.

TIP! Practice shooting free throws. The execution of a free throw is not as simple as it may appear.

Practice shooting free throws. These shots may seem easy, but they can be quite difficult. You should practice as often as possible with this technique. Put your weaker hand in front of the ball and center your stronger hand over the air valve in the basketball. Keep looking towards the goal and think about the ball getting into that goal. Shoot the ball how you imagine it going in.

TIP! Look forward when dribbling. If you are looking at the ball for any reason while dribbling, you have not put in enough practice.

You need good balance when you shoot. Your knees should be bent with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. These shots are improvisational and usually desperate attempts. You need to maintain good balance while shooting, which is sure to produce greater consistency.

TIP! Know your strengths and they’ll help you become a better player. Your best skills may not be center-stage every game, but knowing how to play the best angles can help you give more to your team.

If you want to improve your game, play up your strengths. You may not be the star player, but by contributing the best way you can you will win more games. Knowing what you excel at and then practicing that can help you become perfect at it!

TIP! Perfect your bounce pass. Bouncing the pass to the receiver should be at their waist.

You should learn the best way to throw a great bounce pass. It needs to get to the player at their waist. If it helps to measure it out, consider aiming for a mark on the floor about three-fourths of the way between you and your teammate. At the same time, take into account any other extraneous factors that may affect the pass.

TIP! Would you like to completely fool the opposing team, making them look silly? Try a back pass. Hold the basketball with your writing hand.

Work on catching passes frequently. When you practice, be sure to do drills that improve catching wild throws and making great passes. When a game is underway, not every throw will be perfect. Make sure that your teammates also practice this type of pass with you.

Practicing Alone

TIP! Between the leg passes are usually helpful when another team’s players are riding you hard. Take a step back or forward and bounce the ball hard through your legs.

Perform skills, practice your ball handling and shoot free throws when you are practicing alone. Basketball is sport played in teams, but there are times when no one is around to play with you. There’s nothing wrong with that. You can accomplish a lot by practicing alone. Whether focusing on foul shots or how to pivot with the ball, you can look for ways to improve. Additionally, you can practice vertical jumping and dribbling.

TIP! Use the foot opposite of the hand you shoot with for a better layup. That means, if you shoot right-handed, use your left foot for taking off.

Hand signals can help you to stay away from making bad passes. It can be frustrating passing to a teammate when you’re both heading to the basket. This can be prevented through the use of hand signals. If they don’t signal, don’t pass to them.

TIP! Workout to increase flexibility and strength in your hands and forearms. Wrist curls work well at helping you handle the ball.

You want to always be aware of foot placement and what you’re doing. This can help you avoid going out of bounds or making a bad pass. If you travel without dribbling, you’re going to get yourself into a turnover situation. Moving your feet as you are setting a screen or pick usually results in you being called for a foul.

TIP! Make sure your vision is good. You will need it for more than checking the scoreboard or passing and shooting.

Have someone record the games you play so that you can watch it to check out your form. Can you see chances that you missed or ways that you could have done better? Stay honest when you’re assessing yourself, but don’t over criticize yourself either. Sometimes, it helps a lot to see yourself as you really are and not as just you imagine yourself to be.

Free Throw

TIP! In order to improve your game, make sure you do plenty of strength training. It’s important to have stamina and strength when playing basketball.

If you wish to do free throw shots reliably, always do the exact same thing before making each shot. You could dribble twice, touch your forehead, bend your knees, or some other kinds of movements. Following the same routine gives your body will maintain muscle memory for more consistent free throw shooting.

TIP! The first step when dribbling is to bend at your knees instead of standing straight-legged. The farther the ball has to bounce, the less control you will have of it.

Practice passing while looking in other directions. This trick can be used successfully to confuse defenders. If you do this fake the right way, then the receiver of the pass should have an advantage and a great look at the goal. When completed correctly, it creates an awesome play.

TIP! To get better at three-point shots, work on shooting from the NBA three-point line. School and the international standard lines are nearer than that.

Can you see well? This will help you to secure the ball during the game. Great peripheral vision is an asset. If you look across the whole game and not just focus on the ball, you can see oncoming defensive pressure in advance, as well as open teammates.

Strength Training

TIP! Keep a rhythm while dribbling to throw your opponents off. Changing your pace can confuse them.

Strength training can improve your game. Conditioning training will also increase your stamina. Even the youngest kids that play will benefit from the game. When they become teens, try using weights to keep enhancing their exercises. Strength training is essential once you reach the adult years.

TIP! Practice all types of shots while in different distances and angles. You will want to learn how to be steady and have a good grip on the ball.

Control the ball at a level that is below your knees. This makes it more difficult for the opposing players to get control of the ball from you. You will need to bend somewhat for this to happen, but it’ll allow you to move quickly down the court as you ward off your opponents.

TIP! Serious basketball players take their diets seriously too. Basketball uses a lot of energy; therefore, it is important to fuel your body with lean protein and whole grains.

Use whatever hand you aren’t dribbling with as a shield between the ball and your opponent. You don’t want to be pushing any of your opponents (that’s a foul), but you can use that non-dribbling arm as a separator to keep the ball safe. Just keep it raised a little while you dribble with your dribbling hand.

TIP! The position you adopt before, during, and immediately following a rebound has an effect on your ability to keep possession of the ball. Jumping with both feet creates a more balanced, powerful motion.

A great way to improve your game involves communicating with teammates so that you can anticipate their moves. Basketball is considered a team sport. Offense and defense aren’t up to the individual. You have to help everyone out. When everyone works together, you can play better as a team.

TIP! Control your nerves. Focus on the basketball hoop.

With all of the knowledge you have in front of you now, only you can decide your future. Set your personal goals and practice to boost your skills. Put putting these tips to use, along with your plan, you will notice the difference in your game.