TIP! It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Basketball games are won more often by defense than offense.

In order to be great at basketball, you must remain dedicated and practice often. Even if you just play for fun, you want to be good right? Well here are some great ways to develop those skills and learn new ones.

TIP! You need to learn the correct way to dribble the ball. Instead of using your palm to dribble focus on using your fingertips.

You can easily focus on offense when learning to play basketball, however, you must really focus how playing defense. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games. Offense receives all the glory, but it is nothing without the best defense.

TIP! Free throw practice is vitally important. It seems easy to do but surely isn’t.

When dribbling, focus on what’s in front of you by keeping your head up. If you have to ever look at the ball while dribbling, then you haven’t practiced that enough. You can practice dribbling almost anywhere. Dribble as you walk to the market. Remember, if you are directly staring at the ball, there’s no way for you to see what’s happening on the court.

TIP! Practice layups often. Up to eighty percent of the baskets attempted in a game are layups.

If you want to excel, you have to play to your strengths. Your skills may not turn you into the star player, but knowing how to make the most of your skills will make you a more valuable player. Learn what your strengths are, then practice to perfection!

TIP! Frequently practice passing and catching the passes of others. Don’t just work on waist-level, perfect passes, though, work on receiving tougher passes as well.

One way to help improve your overall basketball skills is to spend some time watching what the pros do. You can do this by watching games in person and on television. You are sure to notice the key skills each player has mastered, and from there you can start practicing.

TIP! A good tip about passing is try doing it without dribbling the ball. It is hard to play with no dribbling, but it will help your team make great passes.

You can improve your passing skills by practicing a simple drill where dribbling is forbidden. It is a challenge not to dribble while playing, but it will ensure the accuracy of your team’s passes. Don’t let it frustrate you, just be patient.

TIP! Want to make the other team not know what’s going on? The back pass is perfect for this. You want to grip the basketball with your strongest hand.

If you want to be a master of the jump shot, do not make weight lifting a priority. Muscle is good, but you can have too much. Some shooting guards worked on their arms so much that they started lowering their percentage of field goals.

TIP! If you have a kid that wants to play basketball in high school, ensure they’re training core muscles in the right way. Core muscles include the hips, abs, and lower back.

In order to get a good shot, you must use good footwork. You always want to beat your opponent to the open spot. Once you get into your position, you need to secure it. Both skills rely on some solid footwork.

TIP! If you’re injured in a basketball game, don’t attempt to play while in pain. Basketball is physically challenging, and injuries are not uncommon.

A great way to stay prepared at all times is to always face the ball. 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. Make sure you also have the court in your line of vision as well, so you know when and where you can drive in for the score.

TIP! Have other players give you information about what they think are your strengths and weaknesses. Do you do something particularly well? They may say that you are a great team defender or are always playing with excellent speed.

Practice looking the other way when passing. This can go a long way toward confusing the opposition. When you do this right, looking this way will make the opponents go to the wrong place so that when you pass the other person has a better chance at making a shot. It can be a really powerful play.

TIP! If your shooting is suffering, take a close look at your shoulders. If you have bad shoulder position it doesn’t matter how great you are the shot isn’t going to go in.

Work on making your forearms and hands stronger in order to improve ball handling. An exercise to help develop your basketball skills is to perform wrist curls. Good playing is not only instinctive, it takes hard work and discipline. It is essential to move the ball around in order to succeed.

TIP! Your routines must be consistent for free throws. If you’re not consistent you’ll find yourself missing free throws.

Hard dribbling helps avoid stolen balls. When you dribble hard, the ball bounces back to your hand faster. That means there is less time for the other side to grab it. Stop dribbling when people guard you too closely.

TIP! If you wish to dribble the ball better, you have to start using your hand that’s considered the weak one. It will be much easier to blow past your opponent if you can dribble with both hands.

Try to get the basketball from one side of the court to the other in about five dribbles. Although this might seem tricky in the beginning, this can really help your game if you can master this skill. This drill can help you to have success with lay-ups during a fast break.

TIP! Dribble with force to prevent the ball from being stolen. The ball returns more quickly to your hand when you do this, giving the opponents fewer opportunities to steal it from you.

Varying your pace and direction keeps the offense off guard. When you running towards the basket, try planting the front foot and start straightening up. The guard may think you’ve slowed down and may try to straighten themselves. When they do this, run ahead and push yourself forward.

TIP! Do drills where you try and get the basketball up a full-court in five dribbles or less. You will need to learn how to push the basketball in front of you while making long strides.

Only cease dribbling when you are prepared to shoot or pass. When you stop dribbling the ball, you only have a limited amount of plays you can perform. If you can’t shoot or pass, then you will have to pivot with your back foot. This will leave you open for double teaming from opponents and you may lose control of the ball.

TIP! Be sure your vision is unobstructed. This isn’t just for reading the score, but for catching passes and making shots.

Try to practice a dribble while switching momentum from side to side. Games require you to be able to dribble under all types of conditions. You may see an open court but there are opponents ready to swarm you. Because of this, you must be able to dribble efficiently regardless of your body’s position. By nailing this skill, you have a better chance to avoid a turnover.

TIP! Do not release your defensive stance. You can shuffle your feet to either side, or push with your opposing foot, so you will be ready and in position.

Use the non-dribbling hand to create a buffer between the ball and your opposition. However, you’re not actually going to push with this hand; instead, you’re going to separate yourself using this hand. Keep this hand up as you’re dribbling the ball with the other.

TIP! Keep your knees loose when you dribble the ball. Standing while dribbling will make it much easier for the opponent to steal the ball from you.

Use the various techniques discussed in this article during your next ball game. You will soon become a better player if you apply the tips you just read in this article. Those three simple steps will carry you all the way to the top.