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. Victory requires the ability to play defense.

Many people enjoy watching basketball and supporting their favorite team. One way to satisfy your fans is to keep them cheering. It takes practice and a willingness to work on all aspects of the game. You can be a better basketball player. These tips will help you become a better basketball player.

TIP! Make sure you are dribbling the right way. Don’t use your palm to dribble, but use your fingertips instead.

Many people forget that defense is as important as offense during practice. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games. Offense gets attention and praise, but when you lack good defense, any team can lose.

TIP! Perfect your free throw. This looks easy, but it is actually very hard to do.

Learn the mechanics of a free throw. As easy as these shots may seem, they are rather hard. Practice frequently using these techniques. Put your weaker hand in front of the ball and center your stronger hand over the air valve in the basketball. Concentrate on the basket and visualize the basketball going in. Then shoot! Shoot the ball in the trajectory you imagined.

TIP! Learn to crossover if you get the ball often. This is when you switch hands while dribbling.

When dribbling, make sure that you look forward and keep your head up. If you’ve got your eye on the ball while you’re dribbling, you haven’t mastered it yet. The ball can go with you when you go anywhere. Dribble as you walk down the street. If you are staring at the ball, there is no way you can know what else is happening on the court.

TIP! Teach yourself how a bounce pass can be properly thrown. Bounce passes should not go above or below the receiving players waist.

To be a great basketball player you need to work on your balance. Everyone has seen professional basketball players make a shot from 20 feet away as they are falling. They are professionals, and they are able to improvise successfully. You need to maintain good balance while shooting, which is sure to produce greater consistency.

TIP! There are passes that can confuse the other team momentarily. Try a pass back! To do this pass, hold on to the ball with your dominant hand.

Always work on your layups. Up to eighty percent of the baskets attempted in a game are layups. It’s critical to practice running towards the basket at full speed and following up with a good jump and smooth shot. Drill the jumping technique regularly so you can do layups very smoothly and always stay in control of where the ball is going.

TIP! If there’s no one around to play with, it is okay to play a basketball game by yourself. You may not always be able to find someone to play with you.

Free throws are as much mental as they are physical. You’re able to train your whole body to do full free throw motions, but if you’re not mentally prepared, you will fail. Relax and focus on the net, and you’ll be able to make more.

TIP! Never play through an injury when playing basketball. It’s a challenging sport that’s very physical, and you have the ability to get injured.

Don’t pump too much iron if you plan on being a jump shooter. Strong muscles are certainly useful for basketball, but you can overdo it if you plan to play on the perimeter. Some professionals develop their muscles so much that they are actually having a hard time with shooting.

TIP! You need to be quick to play good basketball. Gaining agility and speed will give you the upper hand when playing a game of basketball.

Play by yourself to practice. Even though basketball is usually played with teams, it is sometimes the case that there just isn’t anyone around to play with. No problem! There is much that can be accomplished when playing on your own. Work on free throws and pivot moves. You can always find things to practice.

TIP! Always know where your feet are and what they are doing. Out of bounds will happen with even one toe over the baseline of the lined play area on the court.

Regardless of your skill level, there is always room for improvement. A better player has more fans and more applause. From the players of a team to the fans in the crowd, everyone involved in a game plays a major role in it. Bringing forth your best game is your contribution to the fun of basketball. So keep these tips in mind and become a player that everyone can be glad to have on the team.