Basketball is fun, fast-paced and sometimes frustrating. To make the most of your abilities, you need to learn all aspects of the game and how to improve. Read the tips below to become more knowledgeable about basketball.

Practice your defense more than your offense. Many times, defense actually wins the game. While everyone focuses on shots made, a good defense can kill the chances of even an amazing shot taker.

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. You can win a game, thanks to good defense.

If you want to improve your game, play up your strengths. You may not be the star player, but by contributing the best way you can you will win more games. Know your strengths and keep practicing to get even better.

Learn how to block out movement, noise and other distractions when taking a free throw. Without a strong mindset, your body simply goes through the motions to take the shot. Take a deep breath, relax and imagine you are at practice to help yourself make the shot.

Knowing your opponent is the best way to play a tough defensive game. Watch taped games, and keep current with scouting reports. Pay attention to dominant hands. Studying your opponent is one of the best ways to be able to win the game. Knowledge can make you a strong defender.

TIP! Work on core strength when you work out. A strong core allows you to be more balanced during games.

If you experience a slump in your scoring and shooting, your shoulders may be the cause of the problem. If your shoulders aren’t properly positioned, your shot is not going to go in. Your shoulders should always be squared towards the hoop. The shoulder that is dominant should be perfectly aligned with the hoop rim.

Passing between the legs is great when you are being closely guarded. Step forward and back while dribbling the ball between your legs hard. Mastering this move can give you an advantage on the court.

Practice dribbling with your weak hand as much as possible. Being able to effortlessly dribble with both hands gives you the ability to run both sides on an opponent and keep them off guard. To help develop your weaker hand, avoid using your dominant hand. This will train your weaker hand to dribble and control the ball well.

TIP! If your shooting is in a slump, take a look at your shoulders. You won’t be able to make a shot if your shoulders aren’t in the right position.

Make sure your vision is good. This isn’t just for reading the score, but for catching passes and making shots. You want your peripheral vision to be as good as it can. By seeing the court well, you can anticipate defensive moves as well as what all your teammates are doing. Good vision is vital to basketball success.

Don’t break out of defensive stance always remain in the proper defensive position. Stay in the right position by pushing off of your opposite foot. Don’t let your feet get crossed and it will be hard to get around you.

If you are in a defensive position, keep yourself low. This helps your reaction time against your opponent. Always stay in the proper stance on defense. When you break your stance to block, return to proper form as quick as you can.

Bad Pass

A powerful play called the trapping machine, is to have your guards wait for the point guard to come just past midcourt. Then they need to get to the guard on point to trap him. With the forwards blocking outside, you have a good shot at intercepting a bad pass. You will see the opposing point guard make a bad pass that anyone on your team can steal.

Many shots from the court corner end up sailing right over the basket. Positioning yourself on the opposite side of the basket will increase your chances of getting the rebound.

TIP! Always have an awareness of the location and movement of your feet. This can help you avoid going out of bounds or making a bad pass.

As you hit the ground after catching a rebound, improve your balance by spreading your legs wider than your shoulder span as you land. Place your hands on both sides of the basketball while holding it close against your chest. Make sure you don’t hit anyone else with your elbows.

Make sure that you are not stressed when shooting. It’s important to focus. Condition your focus on the backside of the rim during the times when you shoot. With a lay-up, focus your attention on the backboard and how the shot will bank off into the basket.

Understand when a pass is a better choice or when a shot is open. Instead of hogging the ball and losing the game when you fail to make the shot, be a team player and pass it off to the player who has the better chance to make the winning shot.

TIP! Practice looking in the opposite direction when you make a pass. This can go a long way toward confusing the opposition.

Always pay attention to where the ball goes once your teammate or your opponent sends it out of their hands. Rebounds are very important in the game. You need to be able to get the ball if your opponent misses the shot.

Know what aspects of your game are weak. Be honest with yourself. For instance, if foul shots are a problem, work on them more than long, high risk, three point shots. Focus on playing more physically and making your short shots if that’s your weakness. The very best basketball players are the ones who are well-rounded in all areas of the game.

Many people love to play basketball and for good reason. This article shows that you must have basketball knowledge to play like the pros. The information in the above article is your starting point for becoming a great basketball player.