For years, fans of all ages have loved the game of basketball. That said, few understand the game enough to play well. This article was put together to help anyone who wants to play basketball to appreciate it so they can do better at it.

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. Basketball games are often won by great defensive play. Offense may be splashier, but lacking a solid defense, any team is sure to lose.

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 won because of good defense.

You should often work on your layups. 80% of all shots in a game are usually layups. Run as fast as possible, while jumping and performing a smooth shot. This running and jumping technique will help you learn how to jump and shoot better during the game.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. You must train both your body and your mind. Relax and focus on your shot, and you can make it.

Remember to practice a lot of different possibilities so that you will not limit your game. You can count on quite a bit of the game being played in zone; however, you should not be surprised if it becomes one-on-one coverage just for the sake of confusion. Practicing these techniques can give you a competitive edge over your competition.

TIP! Make sure to dribble properly. Instead of using your palm to dribble focus on using your fingertips.

You can learn how to better pass the ball if you run drills without the dribble. While this may be difficult, it gets you used to finding teammates and thinking on the run. Frustration can be an issue at first, but passing will improve as time goes by.

Build hand signals so passes are more successful. Passing is tough, especially if you and your teammate are not in sync with one another. The use of hand signals can help you avoid this difficulty. Without a signal, there shouldn’t be a pass.

Ask someone to take a video of you playing and watch it. Do you see anything you could do differently? Assess yourself honestly, but don’t be a harsh critic. It can help you to see how you really are instead of what you imagine you are.

Free Throw

High percentage free throw shooters typically have the same free throw routine prior to each and every shot. For example, many people touch their foreheads or tap their chest before making a free throw shot. As long as this is a quick set of movements and it’s consistent, you won’t have any trouble having your body memorize what you’re doing.

You need to constantly disrupt your opponents in order to be a great defensive player. Force them away from their comfort zone. Make aggressive plays. You don’t want the defense choosing your plays so to speak. Your opponent will take any opportunity to give you the run around. You need to adopt an aggressive style and react quickly so you can interrupt the patterns set by your opponents.

TIP! Keep practicing your layups. In a typical game, up to four-fifths of all shots are layups.

Improve your ball-handling by strengthening your hands and your forearms. An exercise to help develop your basketball skills is to perform wrist curls. Don’t believe you will be able to simply plant yourself someplace, receive the ball and sink a shot. Learning how to pass the ball ensures that you can get the ball safely to a teammate who has better position on the court.

Good footwork will help you get rebounds off your teammates’ foul shots. You’ll have a defender coming at you and this means you have to figure out what can be done to get around them. This will allow you to score a rebound without getting penalized for a foul.

Changing your pace is key to keeping the offense on their toes. When running toward the hoop, plant your leading foot and start to straighten up. The guard will think you are slowing down and will also straighten themselves. When they do, push ahead hard and outrun them.

TIP! 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.

If you want to build the dexterity of your weaker hand, start using it for everyday tasks like shining your shoes or opening doors. If you gain more mastery of it in all walks of life, you improve overall control. This will start to appear in the game of basketball, too.

If you wish to do better a shooting three pointers, you should do it from where NBA players shoot from. College, as well as high school three-point lines are set at a shorter distance. Learning how to shoot from the NBA three point line can help you get better looks at the basket.

Basketball brings pleasure to many different kinds of people. The key to enjoying the game and also playing it skillfully is knowledge. This article can help you build your skills.