TIP! Many people only direct their attention to the offensive part of the game without realizing that defense is the key to winning. Defense is what keep the other team from scoring.

The fundamentals of basketball are fairly easy to learn. The basics of basketball can be learned in a matter of minutes. Of course, if you desire to be more than a casual player, there’s a lot you can learn from this article.

TIP! Make sure you are dribbling the right way. Finger tips, not palms, are the key to successful dribbling.

Learn how to hit a free throw shot. The free throw shot might seem simple, but it can actually be pretty difficult. The following technique should be practiced often. Place the ball right in line with your face. There may be a number of distractions so you need to focus on your goal. Next, shoot with just the trajectory you saw.

Paying Attention

TIP! Practice playing a man-to-man defense and zone defense. While a good chunk of the game will most likely be played in zone, your opponent might flip the switch to man-to-man coverage just to change things up and surprise you.

Always keep your head up when dribbling instead of focusing on the ball. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling. Bring the ball no matter where you go. Whenever you are walking and it is appropriate, dribble there. Paying attention to the ball means you’re not paying attention to the rest of the game.

TIP! Playing basketball does not require excessive muscle development. Though muscle strength is great to have with any sport, it is very possible to be too buff for serious game play.

Practice your layup shot often. Eighty percent of the shots taken in a game are layups. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. This type of technique will translate well into actual game situations.

TIP! If your son or daughter wants to play high school basketball, they need to work on core muscle training. Hips, abdomen and back must be worked on.

Free throws are as mental as physical. 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. You are more likely to make more successful free throws if you relax and focus on the basket.

TIP! Ask your fellow team members which of your skills that they admire. Are you really good at any one thing? It could be your speed, or it could be your back-up abilities.

To make sure there are no errant passes, use hand signals. Often in basketball, a player makes a pass at the exact same time the receiving player heads to another part of the court. Using signals helps communicate passes with your team. If you don’t see a signal, you shouldn’t pass the ball.

TIP! It can help you when you pass through your legs. You can practice this technique by stepping forward or backward and bouncing the ball with force between your legs.

A great way to stay prepared at all times is to always face the ball. You have to be aware of what is going on with the ball at all times. Pay attention to open areas for passes, too.

TIP! In order to become a better free throw shooter you need to have a good practice routine. A routine that is constantly in flux will only open up more opportunities for failure.

Make sure you know what is going on with your feet. Stepping ever so slightly out of bounds while you have the ball can cause an overturn. In addition, if you move your feet and you don’t dribble, you will be called for walking. Moving your feet as you are setting a screen or pick usually results in you being called for a foul.

TIP! You need to mess with your opponent’s head. Force them into an uncomfortable zone.

If your opponent is pressing hard, you can give yourself some room to work by dribbling the ball between your legs. To practice this skill, bounce the ball between your legs so that it passes through as you step back and forth. Perfecting this technique will help thwart the opposing team while you’re trying to advance the ball.

TIP! You can prevent other players from stealing the ball from you by dribbling hard. The ball returns more quickly to your hand when you do this, giving the opponents fewer opportunities to steal it from you.

Practice passing while not looking in the direction of the pass. This throws your opponents off. 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’s a great play if done properly.

TIP! Take charges whenever possible. Turnovers are an important part of the game that can end up giving your team the upper hand.

To make your layups count the most, take off from the foot opposite your shooting hand. What this practically means is that if your right hand is your shooting hand, you need to take off with 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! If you want to put pressure on the offense, you need to change the pace of things. You can try faking a jump shot by planting quickly, and straightening your body.

A good drill to try is the five dribble drill. You try to get the ball the entire length of the court in only five dribbles. This may seem quite difficult at first, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll have great speed and stride length. You will find that it becomes easier to score and make layups.

TIP! Keep low when you play defense. This will help you be quicker on the jump and react to the man in front of you easier.

Be certain that your vision is the best it can be. While it will allow you to catch passes and read the score, there is more to it than that. Peripheral vision is important during game play. If you’re looking around the whole court and not only at the ball, you’ll be able to look to the defense to see if pressure is coming and you can see who’s open.

TIP! You should practice your dribbling while switching your balance from right to left. Games require you to be able to dribble under all types of conditions.

When you have a chance, take a charge. This helps get the ball for the team and allows another foul on the opponent. This can make for good psychological warfare.

TIP! Communication with your team mates is crucial to your overall success. Your actions and strategies must not be kept to yourself.

Strength and flexibility training can help your skills in basketball. Stamina and strength are two things you need to do well in this sport. Even the youngest players need to have strong arms and legs. As they get older you can use weights to help enhance their performance. Playing as an adult, it is important that you focus on your stamina for optimal performance.

TIP! Keep your dribbling consistent until the time you want to confuse your opponent. You can surprise the opponent by changing up your dribbling.

To better three-point shooting, try using NBA distance as the minimum. All other distance lines, high school, college and International, are not as far. Nailing shots from the NBA line can really help improve your overall shooting skills.

TIP! Try different shots from different places on the basketball court. Start out by practicing grip and balance.

An excellent tip to help you with shooting skills is to shoot the ball from different spots on the court. Become better and better by practicing your fast dribble then stopping abruptly to make a shot. Look at the target when you’re airborne and not a moment before. All these techniques give you the feel of actual game play, and this will help you become more accurate.

TIP! Make your opponent change their path. Whether you are in an offensive or defensive stance, make other players do what you want.

Perhaps you just learned to play basketball shortly before reading this article. Perhaps you’ve played ever since childhood. No matter what, the tips in the article above are great for helping you improve. Use the information from this article to help improve your game.