TIP! If you want to improve your game, play up your strengths. Your strengths might not make you a star player, but you’ll be contributing a lot to your team.

Basketball is played by people of all ages. You can play it at home, or at the local recreation center. If you enjoy basketball, find out all you can in order to play better. The article that follows will help.

TIP! Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. In a typical game, up to four-fifths of all shots are layups.

It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. You can win a game, thanks to good defense. Offense gets all the praise and attention, but without a good defense, any basketball team is destined to lose.

TIP! Learn how to throw a proper bounce pass. Executed properly, a bounce pass will connect with the receiving player at the waist.

Learn proper dribbling. You want to dribble with the tips of your fingers, not your whole hand. Doing so will allow you a greater degree of ball control. Dribble along the side of the body, not immediately in front of it, and keep the bounce to the waist level or below. Never look at the ball; instead, look forward.

Perfect Passes

TIP! When it is not basketball season, keep in practice by shooting baskets and practicing your skills. While basketball is a team sport, sometimes you just can’t find others to play with.

Work on pass catches. You need to be able to retrieve perfect passes and not so perfect passes. During a game, not all of your passes will hit the mark. So do your teammates a favor by learning how to consistently haul in their less than perfect passes.

TIP! You must know your opponent in order to be tough on defense. Review videotapes and monitor scouting reports.

Practice playing by yourself. You may not always be able to find someone to play with you. That’s OK! You can still accomplish a lot when playing solo. Whether focusing on foul shots or how to pivot with the ball, you can look for ways to improve. You can always practice.

TIP! You need to be quick to be good at basketball. If you want the advantage, you need to be quicker than your opponents.

Never try to push through pain after an injury. The sport of basketball is very physical, which makes one susceptible to injury. Continuing to play when you are in pain can make an injury worse. See a physician if you think your injury is serious.

TIP! Always be aware of the locations of your feet and what they’re doing. Stepping your toe in a baseline with a ball in your grip will mean that you’re out of bounds.

Never turn away from the ball, so that you can always stay ready for anything. This helps you become aware of the court and lowers chances for surprises from turnovers and quick passes. When your eyes are constantly assessing the game, you will be better able to make easy shots.

TIP! Ask someone to take a video of you playing and watch it. You may see things differently as you observe the game and notice things you missed in the game.

If you’ve developed somewhat of a shooting slump, focus on your shoulders. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot. Ensure that you line up your shoulders so that they are squared with the basketball net. Try to line your dominant shoulder up with the rim.

TIP! Upset and disrupt your opponent’s play. All successful basketball players do this.

When you want consistently good free throws, repeat your routine. It could be that you dribble several times, bend at the knees, brush your hair out of your eyes or do something else. When you have a steady and consistent routine, your muscles will remember what to do to shoot those free throw shots.

TIP! You can improve your ability to handle the ball by working out your forearms and hands. Do some wrist curls as much as possible and your dribbling should get better.

A consistent pre-shot routine when at the line will increase your chance at success. If you aren’t able to be consistent then you’ll be off when you shoot. Free throw shooting is best improved by lengthy sessions of repetitive practice. You are likely to miss your shot if you’re not settled into your routine.

TIP! Take a charge if you can. Taking a charge allows you a chance to earn a defensive stop, take the ball for your team, and sets up one more foul against the opponent.

The key to great defense is being a nuisance to the player you are guarding. Do not allow your opponent to become comfortable with their style, or yours. Always move aggressively as they try to maneuver around you. This will keep them from being able to choose which plays they will make. The more aggressively smart team is usually the one who wins. Instead, make the first move and interrupt their rhythm.

TIP! One of the best ways to always be in proper defensive position is to never break out of the defensive stance. Use your opposite foot to push with or slide your feet around.

Improve your ball-handling by strengthening your hands and your forearms. Exercises that involve strengthening the wrist are especially helpful for dribbling. You will not be able to stand in one place and shoot. Motion is key to being successful on the court.

TIP! You can really up your performance on the court by doing strength training. It’s important to have stamina and strength when playing basketball.

Playing basketball well means developing good court “eyesight.” You will need it for more than checking the scoreboard or passing and shooting. Your peripheral vision should be up to par. If you’re looking around the whole court and not only at the ball, you’ll be able to look to the defense to see if pressure is coming and you can see who’s open.

TIP! To trap with a 2-3 zone, have your guards cover the point guard once he gets a few feet past midcourt. Once your opponent is trapped, he will have no option but to make a pass.

Never pass up a charging opportunity. When you do that, you can earn defensive stops, get the ball back, and set up foul shots against the other team. This is a great way to take control of the court and intimidate the other team.

TIP! Use the NBA three point line when practicing your shots. College, as well as high school three-point lines are set at a shorter distance.

No matter if you’re playing competitive basketball or just a friendly game of horse, improving your basketball skill-set can make the game much more enjoyable. Now that you’ve read this information, take it to the next level by putting what you’ve learned into practice. If you can better your game, why not do so?