TIP! Make it a point to concentrate on both your defensive and offensive skills. Focusing only on offense does not make you a well-rounded player.

When you first stepped onto a basketball court, it was a brand new experience. You were exploring how to shoot, dribble and pass. Today, you may feel like you know it all and are a master of the game. The tips here are going to help you realize you can still learn.

TIP! Know how to dribble the ball in the correct way. When dribbling the basketball, use your fingertips rather than the palm of your hand.

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 is what stands between you and a win. Offense may score points but defense keeps the other team from scoring points that your team will have to match.

TIP! To improve your game, concentrate on your strong points. Your skills might not make you an all-start every time out, but playing up your strengths makes you a great contributor.

It is important to keep your balance when you shoot. Everyone has seen professional basketball players make a shot from 20 feet away as they are falling. They are improvising. You need to maintain good balance while shooting, which is sure to produce greater consistency.

Bounce Pass

TIP! Work on catching passes frequently. When you practice, mix it up so that you can catch perfect passes and errant throws.

Perfect your bounce pass. Executed properly, a bounce pass will connect with the receiving player at the waist. If it helps to measure it out, consider aiming for a mark on the floor about three-fourths of the way between you and your teammate. Many other factors will affect it, too.

TIP! Try playing basketball games alone before and during the season. There are times you may not find anyone to play with you.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. 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. Be relaxed and concentrate on the basket and you will help you make more free throws.

TIP! When playing basketball, it is important to always keep your eye on the ball. This will help you stay on top of quick changes in possession or plays attempted by your opponent.

Hand signals can help you to stay away from making bad passes. Passing is tough, especially if you and your teammate are not in sync with one another. You can get around that when you use hand signals, if a player can receive a pass. Without a signal, there shouldn’t be a pass.

TIP! Proper handling of the ball requires that your fingers be spread apart. That will ensure that it doesn’t get away from you as you hold it.

If you experience a slump in your scoring and shooting, your shoulders may be the cause of the problem. When you’re in a shooting slump it usually means that your shoulders are not square to the hoop. To help improve your shot, focus on squaring up on each of your shots. The shoulder that’s dominant needs to be lined up with the rim perfectly.

TIP! Practice looking in a different direction when you pass. This is a great way to fake out your opponents.

Be aware of what your feet are doing and where they are. This can help you avoid going out of bounds or making a bad pass. Also, you can cause a turnover if you walk without dribbling the ball. Also, when you’re moving your feet when a screen is being set, you can take a charge or pick to try and get a foul.

Free Throws

TIP! You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. Wrist curls work well at helping you handle the ball.

When you want consistently good free throws, repeat your routine. You could dribble twice, touch your forehead, bend your knees, or some other kinds of movements. Just make your routine quick, so that it can be consistent, and your body is going to remember just how to nail free throws following your ritual.

TIP! Maintain a lower position as you play defense. You will become faster and react faster.

If you are being heavily guarded, a pass between your legs might help. Go forwards and backwards with the ball to practice bouncing it. If you get this down, you will have a major advantage on the court.

TIP! While you’re dribbling the basketball it is wise to bend your knees. If you are standing up straight, you will have more difficulty controlling the ball.

Look away when you practice passing. You can really confuse your opponents this way. 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. You must practice this move with your teammates so that everyone on your team understands what is going on.

TIP! To better three-point shooting, try using NBA distance as the minimum. That is the furthest distance that you would ever have to shoot from to score a three.

With all the advice you have now, there is no limit to where you can go. Make goals for yourself and keep improving. By using these tips, you’ll be able to become a better basketball player in no time.