TIP! It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Defense can make or break a basketball game.

For decades, people have enjoyed basketball. It allows people to compete but have fun at the same time. If you are interested in the game, you must have the proper skills and the right mindset. Keep reading to find out what you need to know.

TIP! One way to help improve your overall basketball skills is to spend some time watching what the pros do. You can follow the pros in online videos, on TV and you can also attend a basketball game if there is a pro team in your area.

Learn the way to throw proper bounce passes. Bounce passes should not go above or below the receiving players waist. Bounce the ball so that it lands near your teammate. Many other factors will affect it, too.

Practice Catching

TIP! Would you like to pull one over on the other team? How about the behind the back pass? Use your dominant hand to palm the basketball. Then, move the ball so it is behind your back.

Work on pass catches. You want to practice catching perfect passes and bad passes. During the game, not all passes will go where they’re intended. Therefore, it pays to practice catching passes that are a bit off-target.

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

Would you like to pull one over on the other team? Try a back pass. To accomplish this, grab the ball with the dominant hand. Next, pull the ball behind your back. Quickly flick with your wrist in the direction you want to pass the ball. It is an effective means of confusing your opponents.

TIP! If the other team has a good defense, passing the ball between your legs is a good option. You can train for this maneuver by stepping forward or backwards as you bounce the ball real hard in-between your legs.

Talk to your teammates and find out what they like about your game. Do you do something really good? Perhaps you have good dribbling skills or maybe your footwork is enviable. Improve the skills where you tend to be a bit weaker while maintaining your stronger skills.

TIP! Learn to pass the ball without looking at your intended target. This trick can be used successfully to confuse defenders.

One of the best ways to play a strong defensive game is to know your opponent. One great way to get a better understanding of your opponent is to take the time to watch film and get information from other players or scouts. For example, you should know which of the players are left-handed and which are right-handed. Knowing an opponent’s dribbling, passing and shooting styles gives you a definite edge on defense. The strongest defenders are those who have information.

TIP! To get more out of layups, take off using the foot that;s the opposite of your shooting hand. This means that if you shoot with your right hand, take off from your left foot.

Pay attention closely to the shoulders if you’re starting to slump when you shoot. No matter your skill level, you won’t make shots if your shoulders aren’t in the proper position. Be sure to keep the shoulders squared up to the hoop. Also, allow your dominant shoulder to line up with the rim.

Playing Fast

TIP! Never pass up a charging opportunity. Letting the other guy run into you stops the game without having to use a time out, and adds another four to the opponent’s total.

It’s great to be quick in basketball. Make an effort to do all things on the court more speedily than the opposing team. Playing fast requires steady drilling. Don’t try playing fast until you can. If you play beyond your speed, the game gets out of control, with errant passes and turnovers.

TIP! Using your weak hand to brush your teeth can help you build skills with that hand. You’ll find it becomes more controllable.

Have someone record the games you play so that you can watch it to check out your form. You may see things differently as you observe the game and notice things you missed in the game. Be honest when assessing, but avoid being overly critical. Analyze your skills honestly so you can become the player you want to be.

TIP! When dibbling the ball, bend your knees. If your knees are not bent, the basketball will be more difficult to control.

As soon as the ball leaves your teammate’s hands after a free throw, start moving into position. The defender that’s below you will move towards you, so try to slip by them to obtain the ball. This allows you to secure the rebound without finding yourself penalized.

TIP! Be sure to be well acquainted with your team mates so that you can all work well in cooperation. Basketball involves playing on a team.

Dribbling hard keeps the ball from being stolen from you. This is because the ball returns to you hand faster, so the opposing team has less of a chance to get it. If you have an opponent who is guarding you relentlessly, it is time to pass the ball.

TIP! Always practice from all spots on the court. First, practice your balance and grip.

Take a charge if you can. Turnovers are an important part of the game that can end up giving your team the upper hand. This play can give your team a psychological boost, as well as demoralizing the other team.

TIP! Your diet is key to being a better player. Carbs, fats and proteins all keep your energy levels at the right place.

Strength and flexibility training can help your skills in basketball. Stamina and physical strength are required for basketball excellence. Even smaller children can use fitness routines to build stronger arms and legs. As players mature, weight training can begin. The adult years are where strength training is crucial to maintain solid performance on the court.

TIP! Be sure to practice good teamwork on the court and off. Basketball is a sport that goes so much further when a team truly connects.

If you want to make a 2-3 zone into something special, have the guards remain put until the opposing team’s guard makes their way about ten feet in from mid-court. At this point, your guards must rush the point guard thus trapping him. While this is happening, your forwards must sprint toward players in the wings. The guard on point should make a pass that can easily be stolen by the forwards.

TIP! Be careful not to double-dribble. If you start, stop and then begin again, that is double dribbling.

When you use these tips, you will have more fun when playing basketball. Look at videos and blogs, and make sure you read more articles, so you can always keep learning. Gain as much knowledge as you can to improve your enjoyment of the sport.