TIP! It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. You can win a game, thanks to good defense.

People in many different countries love to watch and play basketball. You can almost always find a playground game going. You might even make a career of it if you have enough time. Learn a little more about what basketball is all about by reading this article.

TIP! Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter.

Practice shooting free throws. These shots look easy on television, but are actually hard when you are doing the shooting. Put this technique into practice as often as you can. Begin by holding the ball directly in front of your face. Keep your eyes on the goal and visualize the ball going into the goal. Bend your knees to control the arc of the ball.

TIP! Play solo basketball in the months leading up to the season, as well as during the season itself. You may not always be able to find someone to play with you.

Practice layups often. Layups sometimes wind up being 4 out of every 5 shots in basketball. Whenever you practice, approach the goal full speed, jump and take a smooth shot. This technique helps improve your on-court layup skills.

TIP! To make sure there are no errant passes, use hand signals. Players can get easily frustrated if they make a pass to players that aren’t available to catch the ball.

Your mind plays as big a part in making a free throw as your actual body does. Without a strong mindset, your body simply goes through the motions to take the shot. Relax your mind and keep your concentration centered on the basket to make more of these freebies.

TIP! If you’re injured when playing basketball, don’t push through the pain. Basketball is physically demanding, and it is easy to get hurt.

Watch how the pros play basketball. Go to games, watch them on TV and you can also watch videos. You will quickly notice all the different skills that they have which makes them a great player, then take what you learned and use it to help improve your own game.

Perfect Passes

TIP! In order to handle the ball correctly, spread your fingers out. This will help prevent the ball from getting away from you while dribbling.

It is important to practice catching the ball from others as much as passing. You need to be able to retrieve perfect passes and not so perfect passes. In the heat of the game, not every pass is going to hit the bulls-eye. So do your teammates a favor by learning how to consistently haul in their less than perfect passes.

TIP! Work on passing through your legs to add another skill to your arsenal. To practice, simply bounce the basketball between your legs while stepping either forward or backwards.

Building core muscle is key to playing great basketball. The core muscles are the hips, lower back muscles and the abdominal muscles. The core muscles link lower and upper extremities. Without a strong core, they won’t have strong athletic performances. Having a strong base allows the player a solid position from which to jump and accelerate during the game to help speed up their movements.

TIP! Good footwork will help you get rebounds off your teammates’ foul shots. As you see the defender moving in, quickly slip around to grab the ball.

Quickness is a key skill in basketball. Developing speed and vision is vital to playing the game well. To speed up the pace of your play, you need to keep practicing. However, don’t try and push past your limits. Playing beyond your capabilities will lead to bad passes and lots of turnovers.

TIP! You need to take a charge anytime you can. Taking a charge allows you a chance to earn a defensive stop, take the ball for your team, and sets up one more foul against the opponent.

Try practicing how to pass while looking in another direction. This should befuddle your opponent. You give your teammate a better chance to make the shot because the opposing player is moving the wrong direction when you pass the ball. When executed properly, this is a powerful play.

TIP! Keep low when you play defense. This helps you jump fast and react quickly.

Now you should know how to get into basketball even more. As with any sport, getting better takes hard work and a willingness to learn. Begin playing and before you know it, you will be playing every day. Get out on the court and have fun.