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. Basketball games are won with a good defense.

Basketball is a very easy game that’s played all over the world. All players contribute different skills to the team. Keep reading to find out how you can improve your abilities.

TIP! You need to learn the correct way to dribble the ball. Proper dribbling technique involves use of the fingertips, not the palm of the hand.

Free throw practice is vitally important. It looks simple to do, but it isn’t that easy. Use the following directions to perfect free throws and practice often. Hold the ball level with your head. Keep looking at the goal while visualizing the basketball going through the hoop. Once you’ve visualized this, take your shot as you just saw it in your head.

TIP! If you want to improve your game, concentrate on your strengths. If you can rely on your strengths, you will become a better player.

Be sure to get lots of practice on layups. Layups account for up to 80 percent of the shots taken during a game. It’s critical to practice running towards the basket at full speed and following up with a good jump and smooth shot. Drill the jumping technique regularly so you can do layups very smoothly and always stay in control of where the ball is going.

TIP! Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. Four out of every five shots taken in a given game will be layups.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss. Relax and focus on the basket; this will help you succeed.

TIP! Observing what the professionals do can be a great way to improve your game. It is important that you see how other people play the game.

Quick and solid footwork is what it takes to make the shot when your posting up. You do, of course, need to be near the basket, but finding the right spot without getting blocked is essential. Once you have a location, it is important that your feet are firmly planted there. These skills require solid footwork.

Playing Basketball

TIP! Don’t play when you are injured! Basketball is challenging physical sport and you can get injured. You may injure yourself more if you continue to play with an injury.

If you become injured when playing basketball, stop immediately. It is possible to receive an injury when playing basketball because it is a sport that is physically challenging. Trying to play while injured will just make your situation worse. If you have a very serious injury, talk to a doctor.

TIP! Ask your teammates what they like about how you play. They will probably notice the things you do best.

You can improve your control of the ball by spreading your fingers. This makes sure that it does not escape away from your grip. Do not allow your palm to come in contact with the ball either. Fingers need to be the only thing that touches the ball when you shoot it or pass it.

TIP! Make it your goal to never turn away from the ball on the court. This will help you stay on top of quick changes in possession or plays attempted by your opponent.

You need to be quick to be good at basketball. Make an effort to do all things on the court more speedily than the opposing team. Playing fast requires steady drilling. Just don’t play any faster than you’re able to. It’s easy to lose control when you play fast.

TIP! Get someone to analyze how you play on tape. This way, you have the opportunity to go through your play at a later time and see your mistakes.

Where are your feet? Out of bounds will happen with even one toe over the baseline of the lined play area on the court. Taking a lot of steps when you’re not dribbling means you’re traveling and that’s a turnover call. Moving your feet as you are setting a screen or pick usually results in you being called for a foul.

TIP! If you wish to shoot free throws better, you have to have a routine that’s consistent. When you stay consistent, you get better success.

A consistent pre-shot routine when at the line will increase your chance at success. If you aren’t consistent, you will find that your shooting is off. Practicing your free throw again and again is the only way to perfect it. If you are off your game, you will not make the shot.

TIP! You need good vision if you are going to play basketball. Your eyesight will affect more than just making shots.

As soon as the ball leaves your teammate’s hands after a free throw, start moving into position. The defender in your path will be moving at you, so be sure you’re thinking of how to get past that defender. This will get you a rebound without having to commit a foul.

TIP! Accept a charge when you can. The charge lets you build a defensive stop and get control of the ball.

Never break your defensive stance as this will assure you are in your proper position for defense. To do this, avoid lurching or stepping across the floor; instead use smaller, shuffling steps to move with your opponent. Don’t cross your feet and no one will get around you.

TIP! Mix things up offensively to keep the other team’s defense off-balance. Plant a foot and start to straighten your body.

One way to increase your three-point skill is to practice at the NBA range. High school lines, international standard lines, and college lines are much closer. Learning how to shoot from the NBA three point line can help you get better looks at the basket.

Know where missed shots are most likely to end up. This knowledge will help you get more rebounds.

TIP! Don’t cease dribbling until you get ready to shoot or pass. The instant you stop the dribble, your options become limited.

Foster a strong team camaraderie both on the court and off. A cohesive team is an effective team, and basketball teams are no exception. That means knowing each players strengths and weaknesses and trusting them.

TIP! Use the hand you’re not dribbling with to create a barrier between the ball and the opponent. However, you’re not actually going to push with this hand; instead, you’re going to separate yourself using this hand.

When you are dribbling, practice bouncing the basketball as hard as you can. You can get the ball to move a lot quicker by bouncing it hard, which means other players will have a hard time stealing it from you. So, be sure you’re dribbling with a hard dribble.

TIP! It is important to take your diet seriously if you want to be the best player you can be. When playing regularly, you are going to need lots of carbs for serious energy, along with some fats and protein.

A good defensive technique against your opponent is to constantly force them towards the sideline. If a player remains in the court’s middle, they will have more options available to them. When they are sidelined, their choices for moves becomes very limited.

TIP! If a shot is taken from the corner and missed, the ball typically ends up across the court from the player. When someone is going for a corner shot, try to anticipate where a missed shot would land so you can be there for the rebound.

For more advanced players in basketball, dribbling is a mental and physical task. You control the spin of the ball, where it lands and how hard. Change your momentum and shift your body to keep your defenders on their toes.

TIP! Penetrating dribbling is essential to defeating the zone defense. If you get around a defender and make it to the shooting lane, the defenders will either break their defense or converge on the ball.

When you’re working on playing basketball, you have to know how to communicate. Build this during team practice. Good teams use hand signals and phrases or words that tell the team what plays are being run. When you need someone to move in a certain direction, you ought to have a way to tell them.

TIP! You should know your weaknesses. Make an honest assessment.

Work on footwork. Learn how to pivot and how to play different positions. If you want to be at the right spot at the right time, your feet must react quickly. For success, you need to be able to keep your balance while reacting quickly.

TIP! Do not argue with game officials. You may disagree with a call, and it’s OK to ask a question of the official.

Everyone that plays basketball eventually tries mastering specific skills to better their game. After reading the tips located above, you should know what areas you should be working on. Read over the above info again if you need to, but keep using the tips you read so you’re able to do better.