TIP! It’s natural to be drawn towards offense as a novice, but the pros know defense is where the game is won or lost. Basketball games are often won by the defense.

Basketball is more than a gym class sport. You can play this game in your driveway or at a local park. If you love basketball, read the following tips to help you become a better ball player.

TIP! Watch your form while you dribble the ball. Don’t use your palm, use your fingers.

When learning the game of basketball, it’s easy to get caught up in offensive play. But you should also give plenty of attention to defense. Defense ultimately determines the winner of a game of basketball. Offense may score points but defense keeps the other team from scoring points that your team will have to match.

TIP! Practice catching passes often. Try to catch all of the passes that are thrown to you.

Make sure you are looking forward and looking up as you’re dribbling. You haven’t practiced enough if you keep looking at the basketball while you’re dribbling. Take you ball with you everywhere. Whenever you are walking and it is appropriate, dribble there. You will not be able to see what’s happening before you on the court while beholding the ball.

TIP! Don’t bulk up if you want to be good as a jump shooter. Muscle strength can be great for basketball players, but it is actually possible to have excessive amounts for playing on the perimeter.

Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. This will make up about eighty percent of shots during any basketball game. When you practice, run full speed ahead at the basket, jump, and shoot. This method will teach you to improve your jumps and shots throughout the game.

TIP! If you have a child that is strength training for basketball, their core muscles should be properly developed. This will involve their lower back, hips, and abs.

Make sure to practice catching passes. When you’re practicing, you should drill in being able to catch random throws in addition to passes that are perfect. During a real game, many of the passes that come your way will be off-target and tougher to handle. Learn how to catch any sort of throw.

TIP! Hand signals can help stop you from turning the ball over. It can be frustrating making a pass when a player moves away towards the basket.

You can learn how to pass well by drilling on it separately from dribbling. Playing without any dribbling is very hard, but builds your passing skills. It may seem nearly impossible at first, but over time your team will learn to throw accurate passes and be in good position to receive them.

TIP! If you are posting up, strategic footwork is important to becoming open and making a good shot. Being physical under the rim is crucial, but having good positioning on the court is even better.

If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. This sport is physically demanding and you can become injured. If you keep on playing after sustaining an injury, you may make the injury even more serious. Be sure to talk to a doctor if you feel that the injury isn’t going away.

TIP! When playing a game of basketball, have a friend tape the game. This way, you can take a look at your game.

For more consistency in making those free throws, stick with the same sequence of motions before you take each shot. For example, many people touch their foreheads or tap their chest before making a free throw shot. Having a consistent routine is ideal, and that helps train your body to know how to be in the proper position every time you shoot the free throw.

TIP! A solid routine is necessary for improvement in free throw shooting. When you stay consistent, you get better success.

Learn to pass the ball without looking at your intended target. This is a great way to fake out your opponents. Not only will they not see the pass coming, they may think a pass is going in the opposite direction. It can be a really powerful play.

TIP! Improve your basketball skills by incorporating strength training into your fitness regimen. In order to play well, you will need to work on both your strength and stamina.

Use the foot opposite of the hand you shoot with for a better layup. Thus, if you use your right hand for shooting, you need to push off using your left foot. This way you keep your body away from defenders, your momentum going in the direction of the basket and your body stays balanced.

TIP! Defensive players need to stay low. This will let you get to the jump quicker and let you react to your opponent easier.

To dribble the ball better, it is important that you practice dribbling with the hand that’s weaker. If you’re using both hands to dribble the ball well then you can get by an opponent easily. Tie the main hand you use behind your back so that you have to use the weak hand. Soon enough you will develop those weak hand dribbling skills.

TIP! You’ll want to use the hand that you aren’t dribbling with as a barrier to protect the ball. Don’t push your opponent because that is a foul; however, you may use your free arm to create a barrier that keeps your opponent away from the ball.

Can you see well? Not to just be able to see the scoreboard, but to actually make a shot and catch a pass. Your peripheral vision should be the best it can be. If you scan the entire court instead of keeping your eye on the basketball, you will be aware of oncoming defensive pressure as well as the positions of your open teammates.

TIP! Exercise off the court. Running, both sprints and long distance, can help your game.

Whether you enjoy the occasional casual game or compete in local tournaments, improving your skills on the court can help you get more out of the game. Now that you’ve read all the way through this article, put it to good use! As you develop your skills, you will automatically become a better ball player.