TIP! It’s natural to be drawn towards offense as a novice, but the pros know defense is where the game is won or lost. Basketball games are often won by the defense.

One of the most popular games on earth is basketball. Whether you enjoy watching games, playing for a team or simply playing in the yard, basketball will always be around. Of course, anyone who plays wants to be a star player and win the game. The following tips will help you become an even better player.

TIP! You should learn the best way to throw a great bounce pass. If done correctly, a well-executed bounce pass will reach the player in a way that allows them to move immediately with the ball.

It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. Defense is what wins basketball games. Offense is often what gets the glory, but most winning basketball teams play great defense.

TIP! Need to dupe the opposition? Back passes are a great way to confuse other players. To work it, place the ball in your most dominant hand.

It is important that you practice layups. Almost 80% of shots will be layups. Run as fast as possible, while jumping and performing a smooth shot. If you can do this right, you can master this shot.

TIP! Watch your own recorded games, and look for weak areas. Are you able to see missed opportunities or ways in which you could have improved? Look at how you did and judge yourself.

Making free throws are almost as much a mental part of the game as they are a physical part. You are able to train your hands and legs to free throw well, but if you think you will fail, you will. Relax your mind and keep your concentration centered on the basket to make more of these freebies.

TIP! Sly feet will help you get the rebound of your team mates free throw. The more quickly you get under the basket, the better you chance of grabbing the rebound.

You want to be prepared for any type of defense the other team plays. Most of the basketball game will probably be played in this zone, but the other team might decide to surprise you and do some man-to-man coverage. Be sure to practice for this eventuality so you will not become rattled and lose the game.

TIP! A great way to stay in a correct defensive stance is to always stay in position no matter what. Slide your feet to the sides or push off using the opposite foot to always be in position.

Improve your passing abilities by challenging yourself to perform drills without actually dribbling. It is hard to play basketball without dribbling, and demands accurate passing and teamwork, so it will be a challenge. This may be hard and frustrating at first, but as you get the hang of it your entire team will begin to excel at passing.

TIP! Alter your pace to confuse the opposition. When you approach the goal, put your front foot in firm place and start straightening up.

If you have a kid wanting to play basketball in high school, be certain that they are properly training their core muscles. Hips, abdomen and back must be worked on. The core links together all of the extremities and if it isn’t strong, they will be dealing with a limited athletic ability. By developing a strong core, your legs will follow suit.

TIP! In order to improve your weaker hand, make use of it for everyday things, such as brushing your teeth, eating out of a spoon, etc. Try becoming ambidextrous outside of the court, and you will soon find that you do not have a weaker hand when playing basketball.

Ask your teammates what they like about the way you play. Can you get better at something? It may be that you are quick on your feet or that you are always there to back them up. Develop your strengths even further and look for ways to improve your weaknesses.

TIP! Bend your knees when dribbling the basketball. Standing while dribbling will make it much easier for the opponent to steal the ball from you.

Always have an awareness of the location and movement of your feet. You will be called out of bounds if even one toe is touching the baseline as you hold the ball. Holding the ball for too many steps and not dribbling will result in a walking call which will cause you to you will lose possession of the ball. Moving either of your feet when setting a pick, screen, or even take a charge will result in a foul.

TIP! To improve 3 point shooting, practice from NBA distance, at least. All the other lines are closer.

Use the foot opposite of the hand you shoot with for a better layup. Thus, if you tend to shoot with the right hand, make sure to jump off with the left. This will keep you balanced and going towards the basket.

TIP! Never stop your dribble unless you are going to shoot or pass the ball. The instant you stop the dribble, your options become limited.

As soon as the ball leaves your teammate’s hands after a free throw, start moving into position. The defender that’s below you will move towards you, so try to slip by them to obtain the ball. This gets you the rebound without you committing a foul.

TIP! Practice your dribbling skills while shifting your momentum to alternate sides. Remember that you must dribble in a variety of situations during a basketball game.

Try some drills that require you to move the basketball from one end of the court to the other in no more than five dribbles. You may find this very challenging, but once accomplished it will give you a real edge. This will help you accomplish great layups on those fast breaks.

TIP! Your workout routine can help you do well in the game. For example, building up your stamina will help you play your hardest throughout the game.

Alternating your pace is critical to keeping the defense guessing. When you running towards the basket, try planting the front foot and start straightening up. 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! Switching up your dribbling rhythm can really throw the defense off. Dribbling somewhat slowly, then suddenly dribbling fast might give you the opening you need to take a shot.

Make sure you don’t pick up your dribble unless you are prepared for a shot or pass. You do not have many options after you stop dribbling. If you don’t shoot or pass, you can only pivot using your back foot. This leaves you vulnerable to being double teamed by members of the opposing team, and it is far more likely that the ball will be stolen.

TIP! The position you are in before and after your rebound will determine whether you get to keep the ball or not. Use both feet to jump up to create more force and quickly snatch the ball, grabbing it with two hands.

Practice all kinds of shots from every court location. You should first practice on balancing and your grip. It is possible to make an off-balance shot, but it has less accuracy. Get a better grip on the ball by using the valve. Using your dominant hand, grip the ball with wide-spread fingers. Be sure that the center portion of your hand is covering the air valve located at the basketball’s center.

TIP! If you’re trying to guard a person that’s bigger than you are, try keeping between that person and the one in possession of the ball. This prevents them from getting the pass, which helps them not have the chance to shoot over you.

You can use all of some of these tips to become a better basketball player. Most of what you learned simply requires a lot of repetitive practice to hone your skills. The more you practice, the more you’ll improve your skills. Take what you have learned here to make the most out of your next basketball game.