TIP! Even professional basketball players spend a lot of time watching other people play basketball. Watch pro games on TV, or attend games in person.

Have you wanted to learn more about playing basketball, but have not known where to get good information? You are not the only one. There are many people out there who love to take in a basketball game and are very curious as to how the pros play so well. This article contains tips used by them.

TIP! If you’re looking to be the best defensive player that you can be, you’ll want to know your opponent. Watch tapes and be sure you’re paying attention to scouting reports.

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. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games. Offense may score points but defense keeps the other team from scoring points that your team will have to match.

TIP! If you experience a slump in your scoring and shooting, your shoulders may be the cause of the problem. When your shoulders are not properly positioned, then it is almost impossible to perform at your best.

Balance is essential to shooting. You’ve seen the pros fall out-of-bounds and shoot a basket up to 300 feet away, however, this isn’t proper technique. This is simply an improvised move. You need to maintain good balance while shooting, which is sure to produce greater consistency.

TIP! Ask a friend to record your games so that you can see how yourself in action. This way, you have the opportunity to go through your play at a later time and see your mistakes.

Perfect your layup technique. Almost 80% of shots will be layups. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. Knowing how to run and jump quickly and smoothly will assist you in knowing how to leap and shoot more effectively while playing.

TIP! Work on passing in a direction you are not looking. This may confuse your opponents, greatly.

Bounce passes are extremely efficient when done properly. The bounce pass needs to reach the player at waist level. It’s smart to get the ball to bounce about 75% to the receiving player. There are, however, other factors that influence the pass.

TIP! Give your layouts the most by launching from the foot that opposes the hand you are shooting with. Jump off your left foot when you shoot using your right hand.

Learn how to block out movement, noise and other distractions when taking a free throw. You can practice for hours on how to make the shot, but if you over think things or get distracted you will miss every time. Relax as you focus on making the shot, and soon you’ll be making more free throws.

TIP! You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. Strong hands make it easier for you to keep control of the basketball.

Shake things up rather than focusing solely on a zone defense. Though much of the game is sure to be played within a zone pattern, the opposition may try to go man-to-man in order to confuse you. You may lose control of the game if you aren’t prepared.

TIP! Perform drills where you attempt to get the ball up full-court in 5 dribbles or less. While this is a challenging goal, working toward it will make you a much better player.

If you are good at shooting the ball then the last thing you want to do is lift weights. While muscle strength is good to have in any basketball position, it is possible to have too much for perimeter play. You might see a decrease in your goal percentages if your biceps become too large.

TIP! It can be great help to do strength training when you’re training for basketball. Being physically tough is as important as having the stamina to keep up with the game.

If you are shooting as well, pay attention to the position of your shoulders. If your shoulders are in a bad position, no matter how good you are, you won’t make the shot. Be sure shoulders always remain squared towards your hoop. Then, make sure that your shooting side is lined up directly to the rim.

TIP! Stay low when you play defense. This allows you to jump or react quicker.

Try practicing how to pass while looking in another direction. Your opponents can really get confused by this, as well. When it’s done properly, it will cause the opponents to go to the wrong area so that you can pass to someone that has a good look at a basket before shooting. It’s quite a play when done properly.

TIP! You need to practice many types of shots on the basketball court. You will want to learn how to be steady and have a good grip on the ball.

Get into a consistent routine to improve your free throw shots. If you are inconsistent then your shot will be off. You can shoot better free throws by making sure you use the same exact routine every time, and of course practice. A break in your routine will foul the shot.

TIP! It is important to take your diet seriously if you want to be the best player you can be. When you play regularly, you need plenty of carbs for more energy, along with protein and fats.

You need to mess with your opponent’s head. Don’t let them get comfortable. Make assertive moves, keeping your opponent unsure of your next move. Do not allow them to choose the plays that they make. If you do, your opponent will run all over you. Instead, make the first move and interrupt their rhythm.

TIP! Where you are standing on the court can make a difference as to whether you get a rebound. Use both feet when jumping; this improves both height and control.

Your forearms and hands should be strengthened in order for you to handle the ball better. Wrist curls can be effective at helping you to control the ball as if you’ll be dribbling in your sleep. Don’t just think you can place yourself in one spot, wait for the ball then hoist up a shot. The best way to get into the flow of the game is to be in motion.

TIP! If you are assigned to defend someone bigger than you are, try staying in the passing lane between your man and the current ball handler. This prevents any easy passes that can go over your head.

Dribbling the ball fast and hard will help you to keep better control of it. The ball bounces faster, giving the guard less time to steal. If another player is getting too close to you, it is best to pass the ball if a teammate is open.

TIP! Focus on the ball and where it is going. Rebounds and recoveries are important parts of a basketball game.

A good basketball drill to perform is to see if you can get the ball down the entire court in 5 or less dribbles. This will help you to gain speed, stride length and control of the ball. This will help you accomplish great layups on those fast breaks.

TIP! If a team plays a zone defense, make use of a penetrating dribble to get past them. If you or another player can find a crease in the zone, the other team will have to swarm to the ball.

You can use your guards and point guard to trap an opponent with a 2-3 zone defense. Then they need to get to the guard on point to trap him. While they are doing that, the forwards should move out to the wings. This will cause the point guard to throw a pass that will allow your forwards to steal.

Bend your knees when dribbling the basketball. If your knees are not bent, the basketball will be more difficult to control. Slightly bending your knees improves ball control significantly.

TIP! For basketball players with advanced skills, dribbling the ball becomes both a physical and mental task. You can control the ball spin and where it will land by where you feet and legs are planted.

To improve three-point shooting, do it from NBA distance at the very least. The standard line , high school and college lines are all going to be closer. Being able to shoot successfully from the NBA range will give you a great advantage.

TIP! Communication is important in a game of basketball. When a team is practicing, this needs to be planned out.

Never stop your dribble unless you are going to shoot or pass the ball. If you stop, you limit your options. If you can’t shoot or pass, then you will have to pivot with your back foot. You leave the ball vulnerable to possible steal attempts and yourself open to being double teamed.

TIP! Do some practice with your footwork. Figure out where your feet should be when you need to pivot or to play a different position.

You likely didn’t know much about basketball previously. However, with the tips above, you can now step out on the court with more confidence. Keep reading to learn how you can improve your game!