TIP! It’s natural to focus on offensive abilities when practicing the sport of basketball, but your practice time needs to focus on defense. Basketball games are won because of good defense.

Basketball is a sport that has been much loved by young and old alike for decades. However, many folks still have much to learn regarding this pastime. This article should be of help to fans and players of all skill and dedication level.

TIP! Make sure that you practice your layups frequently. Layup shots make up nearly 80% of a game’s shots.

Try learning how to hit free throw shots. It looks simple to do, but it isn’t that easy. Practice constantly using this tip. Place the ball right in line with your face. Visualize the ball sailing into the hoop. Then shoot the ball with the trajectory that you visualized.

TIP! Watch how the pros play basketball. Get tickets to some pro games, if possible, or catch some games on television.

Play by yourself to practice. It is possible to enjoy this team sport even in the absence of your team. This is just fine. You can still do a lot on your own. Maybe work on those free throws or practice your pivoting. There is always something to practice.

Core Muscles

TIP! Don’t limit your practice to just playing against the zone defense. While a great portion of a game will be concentrated in the zone, your rivals could opt to go to man-to-man covering to keep you guessing.

If you have a high school level basketball player for a kid, be sure their core muscles are properly trained. Core muscles include hips, abs and the lower back. The core is what holds the body in balance and allows the limbs to work well. A well developed core lets a player generate force with their legs to be applied to faster running and jumping higher.

TIP! Building core muscle is key to playing great basketball. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles.

Remember to spread your fingers when handling the ball. This gives you better control of the ball. Do not allow the palm of your hand to make contact with the ball. When shooting or passing the ball, only your fingers should contact the ball.

TIP! Make better passes through the use of coordinated hand signals. One of the most challenging aspects is trying to send the ball to your teammate as they are going for the basket.

Play a good defense by knowing 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. Also know which is their dominant and weak hands. This knowledge will help you play the best game possible. When you are prepared, you play better defense.

TIP! You may get injured while practicing or playing. Don’t try to play if you are hurt.

Always be aware of your feet. Stepping even a toe on the baseline with the ball in your hands means you are out of bounds. If you walk without dribbling, you will be called for walking and this will result in a turnover. Being aware of your body movements can give you an advantage on the court.

TIP! Speed is a key attribute in the game of basketball. Speed always gives you an edge over your opponent.

To become a better free throw shooter, use the same routine prior to every shot. This can be any combination of movements that makes you feel comfortable and prepare for the shot. However, they need to be the same combination of movements each time. As long as this is a quick set of movements and it’s consistent, you won’t have any trouble having your body memorize what you’re doing.

TIP! For more consistency in making those free throws, stick with the same sequence of motions before you take each shot. This could mean dribbling twice, shaking out your head to loosen your neck or whatever else makes you comfortable.

If the opposing team is guarding you to much, you can try a pass between your legs. Practice dribbling the ball between your legs. This technique can really throw off defenders.

TIP! Work on passing through your legs to add another skill to your arsenal. Go forwards and backwards with the ball to practice bouncing it.

To get more out of layups, take off using the foot that;s the opposite of your shooting hand. Thus, if you tend to shoot with the right hand, make sure to jump off with the left. This gives you better balance, while keeping you poised toward the basket.

TIP! To improve ball handling, consider focusing workouts on your forearms and hands. Consider wrist curls and and exercise machine that focuses on strengthening each finger individually.

A consistent pre-shot routine when at the line will increase your chance at success. If you aren’t consistent, you won’t make the basket. You have to practice time and time again. Just keep repeating free throws, if you want to perfect that technique. If you have a glitch in the routine, you are likely to miss your shot.

TIP! Basketball players need to engage in strength training. In addition to strength, stamina is key in basketball.

It is hard to argue that basketball is one of the most popular sports in American life. The secret to both enjoying a good game and playing a good game is personal knowledge. Keep the information from this piece close at hand, and your love of basketball will reach amazing new heights.