Practice is of the utmost importance if you are intent on improving your game. Now that you know that, you have to actually know how to practice in the correct way for it to be effective. The tips that follow here are going to allow you to make your goals more often and teach you other things as well.

Dribble the ball the right way. When you dribble, only use your fingertips instead of your palms. Using your fingertips provides you with more control. Avoid dribbling in front of you and only dribble to the sides of your body. Never look at the ball; instead, look forward.

TIP! It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Basketball games are won because of good defense.

When dribbling, focus on what’s in front of you by keeping your head up. If you are looking at the ball for any reason while dribbling, you have not put in enough practice. Take the basketball around off-court wherever you are. Dribble on your way to school. Get used to looking up as you go so that you can focus your attention on the court and not on your hands and the ball.

Balance is important when shooting. While some NBA players are able to launch a ball to the net mid-fall, this is not appropriate for most people. Taking a shot when you are off balance will probably lead to a turnover. By learning how to stay properly balanced, you can improve your game.

Make sure you spend your time focusing on your strengths. If you can rely on your strengths, you will become a better player. Understand your strengths and use it to your advantage to help your team win!

TIP! Practice shooting free throws. This seemingly simple shot can be difficult to execute under game conditions.

You want to be prepared for any type of defense the other team plays. While a great portion of a game will be concentrated in the zone, your rivals could opt to go to man-to-man covering to keep you guessing. Be sure to practice for this eventuality so you will not become rattled and lose the game.

If you post up, you need to use good footwork to get open and make sure you get a good shot. You need to have physical presence beneath the net, but you also have to choose the right spot to be in. Plant your feet and own that spot. Solid footwork can make both of these things happen.

What do your teammates admire about your skills? Can they tell you what you’re really good at? Perhaps you have an excellent understanding of defensive strategies or you are the fastest player on your team. Develop your strengths even further and look for ways to improve your weaknesses.

TIP! A great way to bolster your basketball ability is to observe those who are considered to be the best in the sport. It is important that you see how other people play the game.

Always be sure of where you’re placing your feet so you’re aware of what they’re doing. When you are in possession of the ball, touching the baseline will get you out of bounds. Taking too many steps without dribbling means a walking call and another turnover situation. Moving your feet as you are setting a screen or pick usually results in you being called for a foul.

Practice passing while looking another way. It can be very confusing to your opponents. If you do it right, this draws your opponents’ focus the wrong way. It can be quite powerful.

To increase the efficiency of your layups, begin your takeoff on the foot opposite from the hand you’re shooting with. If you normally shoot using your right hand, jump with your left. This keeps your body balanced and moving toward the basket and keeps your body between yourself and your defender.

TIP! Practice playing by yourself. You may not always be able to find someone to play with you.

Build a routine to improve your free throw game. Failure to use consistency may make your shots less accurate. Practice and repetition are the only way to become a consistent free thrower. If you do not practice this shot consistently, you may miss it during an actual game.

Good footwork can really help you to get those rebounds. The person defending the position down-court from you will be coming at you, so you need to find any way you can to slide around him that gets you to the ball. This technique will help you rebound the ball without getting a foul called on you.

To avoid having the ball stolen, dribble hard. The ball will get back to the hand faster, giving the other team less of an opportunity to grab it away. If you are being guarded closely, halt your dribble and pass to an open teammate.

TIP! If you have student that wants to play basketball for their high school team, they will need to spend some time training their core muscles. The core muscles include the lower back, hips and abdonimals.

The tips from this article will help you play better basketball, no matter your skill level. Begin with a single concept and see the improvements take hold. You can play much better basketball by using the tips provided.