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. Defense ultimately determines the winner of a game of basketball.

What should you learn about basketball? What do you need to get down to be the best player that you can be? This article will provide you with great tips that will come in handy the next time that you go to play a game of basketball.

TIP! Make sure you dribble properly by keeping your head held up, facing forward. You need more practice if you feel that you cannot dribble without focusing on the ball.

Perfect your layup technique. 80% of all shots in a game are usually layups. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. Practicing the running and jumping method will help you shoot better this way in a game.

TIP! When using the ball a lot, you must relearn a crossover. This is when you switch hands while dribbling.

There is a lot of pressure when shooting free throws. You can teach your body to make a free throw properly, but unless you are properly prepared mentally, you may not succeed. Stay relaxed and just focus on the goal and you will increase your free throw rate.

TIP! Learn how a bounce pass is thrown. Executed properly, a bounce pass will connect with the receiving player at the waist.

Build your core strength and focus on your legwork when you train for basketball. Your balance will improve if you strengthen your core. Concentrate your efforts on the back, abdomen, buttocks and hips. Similar to boxers, jumping rope can better your speed and footwork.

TIP! Hitting free throws is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Your body can be trained to make free throws, but your mind has to be focused on success if you want to make the basket.

Quickness is something you have to have when playing basketball. Speed always gives you an edge over your opponent. You will have to do a lot of drilling to play faster. Make sure you never play past the speed you are comfortable. By playing beyond your speed capabilities, you will quickly lose control of the ball, which will lead to bad passes, bad shots, and turnovers.

TIP! Practice catching passes as often as you can. When you practice, mix it up so that you can catch perfect passes and errant throws.

In order to be good at rebounding the ball off a missed free throw, you must be quick with your feet. Defenders will start to move at you, so you need to get around them to grab the ball. You won’t foul as you catch the rebound this way.

TIP! Would you like to completely fool the opposing team, making them look silly? Consider the back pass. Hold the basketball with your writing hand.

Ensure that you have good court awareness. You will need it for more than checking the scoreboard or passing and shooting. You want to make sure that you see what is going on to the sides of you. Being aware of the entire court will help you to better anticipate who will move where.

TIP! When posting up, solid footwork is essential to getting yourself into position to shoot. Securing a good location is critical when playing basketball.

When you have a chance, take a charge. This strategy can result in your opponent taking a foul and your team getting a defensive stop and taking possession of the ball. This may completely break the competition down.

TIP! Whenever you work out, practice footwork and work on your core strength. If the core muscles are in good shape, you will feel lighter on your feet.

Do not release your defensive stance. Stay in the right position by pushing off of your opposite foot. Stay low and make it hard for opponents to get around you.

TIP! Always be aware of your feet. Out of bounds will happen with even one toe over the baseline of the lined play area on the court.

If you are in a defensive position, keep yourself low. Staying low gives you a better chance to play the ball and helps you move more quickly. Stay in your defensive stance. The only time you should be out of your stance is when you are jumping to block an opponent shooting.

TIP! If the other team has a good defense, passing the ball between your legs is a good option. Try practicing this by bouncing your ball hard in between your legs while stepping forward or backward.

Shoot from NBA distances to see your three-point skills improve. The International standard line, as well as college and high school lines are all closer. By practicing at the NBA line, you will be used to getting a look a little further than what most defenses will cover.

TIP! To gain greater dribbling skill, always practice with the weaker hand as well as the more dominant one. Using both hands to dribble makes you a more effective player, especially when you’re trying to get past your opponent.

To make your shooting skills better, shoot from all around the court. Become better and better by practicing your fast dribble then stopping abruptly to make a shot. Hone in on your target while you are jumping, but not before you leave the ground. This is a good way to simulate real game-time conditions and increase accuracy.

TIP! You must disrupt and upset the play of your opponent if you want to be successful as a defensive player. Focus on getting them out of the comfort zone.

Be sure to be well acquainted with your team mates so that you can all work well in cooperation. You are sure to understand that it takes teamwork to play basketball. This means that defense and offense are not one-on-one. Everyone should help each other. If you communicate your wishes before you go out on the court, the team will work better as a unit.

TIP! If an opponent charges at you, let him run into you. This strategy can result in your opponent taking a foul and your team getting a defensive stop and taking possession of the ball.

Keep dribbling in a particular rhythm until you think it’s time to trick the opponent. Dribble consistently, then break it up by dribbling fast. This will keep your opponent off balance so you can get in a good shot. Changing the speed also changes the sound which can be off-putting.

TIP! Strength training can improve your game. Being physically tough is as important as having the stamina to keep up with the game.

Work on taking shots from various on-court locations. The first thing you should do is practice your grip and balance. Even though it is less accurate, it is possible to score with off-balanced shooting. Pay attention to the air valve on the ball. Using your dominant hand, grip the ball with wide-spread fingers. Be sure that the center portion of your hand is covering the air valve located at the basketball’s center.

TIP! It is important that you remain in control of the ball despite which way your body is going. During the game, you will dribble in various situations.

Are you aware of the answers to the questions you have? Are you now prepared to take on any challenge? After reading this article, you will be able to become a better ball player. Practice all you can and work hard towards your goals.