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.

Whether you’re someone who wishes to play basketball for a living or if you just like to watch it, you need some information if the game is to be enjoyed. Are you not quite sure what the score is? Don’t worry. It is not too hard to learn about basketball. Read on for advice you can use for either viewing or playing basketball.

TIP! Learn the mechanics of a free throw. This seems like an easy shot, but it is quite hard.

Focusing on the offense may come easily but you need to be able to focus on the defense as well., Victory requires the ability to play defense. Offensive skills are usually the most impressive ones but defense is something every team should work on.

TIP! When dribbling, focus on what’s in front of you by keeping your head up. If you must look at the ball while dribbling, you haven’t practiced enough.

Make sure to dribble properly. Don’t use your palm, use your fingers. This helps you to control the ball better. Also, dribble off to the side instead of in front. The ball should bounce no higher than your waist. Look up, not down.

TIP! A good way to practice sound passing is to drill without dribbling. It is a challenge not to dribble while playing, but it will ensure the accuracy of your team’s passes.

Any good basketball player needs to know how to make a layup. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game. Practice running while dribbling, jumping and shooting as smoothly as you can. This running and jumping technique will help you learn how to jump and shoot better during the game.

TIP! Basketball players need to build strong core muscles. Core muscles are comprised of the hips, lower back, and abdominal muscles.

Hitting free throws is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. You’re able to train your whole body to do full free throw motions, but if you’re not mentally prepared, you will fail. Take a deep breath, relax and imagine you are at practice to help yourself make the shot.

TIP! Ask teammates what they admire about your playing skills? Do you have an area where you excel? Perhaps you are great backup or fast on your feet. Determine what others like about your game and fine tune those skills.

Watch professionals play to learn from their techniques. Go to professional games in person and/or watch them online or on TV. You’ll see that every great player has specific skills that cause them to be great and you have the opportunity to practice what you’re watching them do.

TIP! You can play a great defensive game if you know the opposition well. You should be look at scouting reports, practicing techniques and watch tapes.

Would you like to learn how to fool your opponent? Back passes can give your team the opportunity to score while the other team is still wondering what happened. Hold the basketball with your writing hand. With that same hand, bring the ball around your back. Lastly, flick the wrist in the direction you want the ball to go. This helps trick your opponents.

TIP! Quickness is something that’s desired in basketball. If you want the advantage, you’ve got more quickly.

Play solo basketball in the months leading up to the season, as well as during the season itself. Sometimes during off season, or when practicing, you can’t play as a team or find even a single opponent. This is perfectly acceptable. Playing on your own can give you the chance to work on isolated areas of your game. You can practice free throws or pivot moves. There are many things you can work on.

TIP! Have your games taped so you can play them back later and observe your court presence. Do you see anything you could do differently? Assess yourself honestly, but don’t be a harsh critic.

Try using hand signals to ensure that your passes are received. Often in basketball, a player makes a pass at the exact same time the receiving player heads to another part of the court. Avoid this using hand signals to see if they can get the pass. If no signal is displayed, a pass ought not be made.

TIP! To help perfect your free throw abilities you should perform a consistent routine. You could dribble twice, touch your forehead, bend your knees, or some other kinds of movements.

Never try to push through pain after an injury. You can easily tear a muscle or even break a finger while playing. Trying to play through the pain could just cause more damage. Don’t hesitate to see the doctor if you feel the injury warrants it.

TIP! Use the foot opposite of the hand you shoot with for a better layup. Jump off your left foot when you shoot using your right hand.

Play a good defense by knowing your opponent. Follow the scouting reports and watch tapes of their games. For example, you should know which of the players are left-handed and which are right-handed. Having a good understanding about your opponent strengths and weaknesses allows you to focus on how to better stop him. Smart defenders are good defenders.

TIP! Alternating your pace is critical to keeping the defense guessing. When running in the direction of the net, straighten up while planting the front foot.

If your shooting is in a slump, take a look at your shoulders. When they are out of alignment, all shots will fail. Shoulders should be towards the hoop. If your right hand is your dominant hand, your right shoulder must be aligned with the rim. For left-handedness, the opposite is true.

TIP! Only stop dribbling if you want to shoot or pass. After you have stopped dribbling, your options are quite limited.

You need to put a damper in your opponent’s plan if you want to be successful with defending. Don’t let them get comfortable. When you are guarding, do so aggressively. Other players should not influence the plays you make. Otherwise, the opponents will win all the shots and dominate you. Try making the initial move and interrupt their rhythm.

TIP! You’ll want to use the hand that you aren’t dribbling with as a barrier to protect the ball. This is much safer than just shoving an opponent, which is a serious foul and bad sportsmanship to boot.

It is important that you can clearly see everything that is occurring during a game. Not to just be able to see the scoreboard, but to actually make a shot and catch a pass. You want to be sure that your peripheral vision is at its best. If you watch the entire game instead of just focusing on the basketball, you will be able to see open teammates and oncoming defensive players.

TIP! If you are serious about basketball then you should be serious about your diet. Playing basketball uses a lot of energy, so it is important that you eat a lot of carbs, lean meats and protein.

If you want to put pressure on the offense, you need to change the pace of things. Try to block the net by planting your foot hard. Your defender will likely think you are taking a shot or passing, and straighten up as well. When they do, push ahead hard and outrun them.

TIP! Create a team environment that is tough on the court and off of it. Basketball is best played with a team which works well together.

If you are in a defensive position, keep yourself low. This helps you jump fast and react quickly. Maintain your proper defensive stance no matter what. When you break your stance to block, return to proper form as quick as you can.

TIP! You need to learn how to change your opponent’s personal path. It does not matter if you are on offense or defense, being able to control where the opposing player goes is very important.

The easiest way to do well at basketball is to speak with the team to see what everyone is up to. The sport of basketball is truly a team game. Offense and defense aren’t up to the individual. By communicating, you can work together more efficiently. Speak with them and make them aware of when you require assistance so that all of you play better.

TIP! You should try to remain calm while you are shooting. It’s important that the basket is your main focus.

It doesn’t seem so hard right? With all that you’ve now read about basketball, you really can see that it’s an amazing sport. Use what you’ve just learned to enhance your game or to be a better fan.