Basketball is a sport that millions of people all over the world love. You can go play it in your driveway if you wish to, or it’s something you can do for a living if you begin early. Use this article to get more of an understanding of the game of basketball.

It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. Defense is what stands between you and a win. Offense gets all the praise and attention, but without a good defense, any basketball team is destined to lose.

TIP! While focusing on offense is fun, you must also make sure you focus on defense. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games.

Learn proper dribbling. You want to dribble with the tips of your fingers, not your whole hand. This method gives you much more control of the ball. Keep the ball by your side as you dribble instead of right in front your body. You should always look upwards instead of at the ground.

In order to be a great shooter, good balance is key. Everyone has watched a pro player drift out of bounds while still making their shot, but this isn’t something to emulate. Taking a shot when you are off balance will probably lead to a turnover. Keep your balance so you can consistently win points.

Bounce Pass

TIP! Bounce passes are extremely efficient when done properly. Good bounce passes need to hit the other player waist length when they receive it.

Perfect your bounce pass. Bounce passes should not go above or below the receiving players waist. The ideal bounce pass should land about 3/4 of the way between you and the receiver. Of course, there are factors that should be taken into consideration when passing using the bouncing technique.

Connecting on your free throws is as much mental as it is physical. You can train your body to complete the motions of making a free throw, but if you are mentally prepared to fail, you will. Relax and focus on your shot, and you can make it.

Practice your pass catching often. When you practice, be sure to do drills that improve catching wild throws and making great passes. During a real game, many of the passes that come your way will be off-target and tougher to handle. Help your teammates by learning what you need to haul in those imperfect passes.

TIP! Free throws require as much mental focus as physical skill. You must be mentally strong to be a consistent free throw shooter.

Playing basketball does not require excessive muscle development. Though muscle strength is great to have with any sport, it is very possible to be too buff for serious game play. You might see a decrease in your goal percentages if your biceps become too large.

Strong Core

If you have a kid that wants to play basketball in high school, be sure they’re working on their core muscles. That means their hips, lower back and abs. The core connects the lower extremities to the upper extremities. Without a strong core, your performance may be limited. Strong core muscles help you with many movements associated with basketball.

TIP! If you want to take jump shots, don’t spend time pumping iron. Muscle strength is great for any position in basketball, you can have too much when it comes to perimeter play.

As you exercise to improve your game, it is important to work on your footwork and strength. Your body will naturally balance well if you have strong core muscles. Work out your hips, back and abdomen. Similar to boxers, jumping rope can better your speed and footwork.

Free Throws

Build a routine to improve your free throw game. If you’re not consistent you’ll find yourself missing free throws. The simplest way to get better at shooting free throws is through constant repetitive motions when shooting the ball. If your routine is off, then you will miss the shot.

TIP! If your child is training to be a high school basketball player, make sure that they train their core muscles properly. Core muscles include hips, abs and the lower back.

Your forearms and hands should be strengthened in order for you to handle the ball better. Do some wrist curls as much as possible and your dribbling should get better. Never assume you can just stand somewhere, catch and then shoot. You have to start moving the basketball around to get things to happen.

If you wish to do better a shooting three pointers, you should do it from where NBA players shoot from. All the other three point lines are much closer than the NBA line. If you’re able to get the shot from where the NBA shoots, then you can start working from a range further than the defense expects.

The only way to gain skill in outside shooting is to make over 100 practice shots every day from various spots on the court. Become better and better by practicing your fast dribble then stopping abruptly to make a shot. Avoid looking at your target until you are in the air. This is a good way to simulate real game-time conditions and increase accuracy.

TIP! A smart tip to follow while playing basketball is to always keep your eye on the ball and not away from the play. That will keep you aware, so you don’t get surprised by turnovers or quick passes.

If possible, keep the ball below your knees. This makes it more difficult for the opponent to take the ball. Bend a little so you can keep the ball closer to the ground and move through the court as quickly as possible.

Use whatever hand you aren’t dribbling with as a shield between the ball and your opponent. Don’t push your opponent because that is a foul; however, you may use your free arm to create a barrier that keeps your opponent away from the ball. Just keep it raised a little while you dribble with your dribbling hand.

Your workout routine can help you do well in the game. You could, for instance, work on your sprint so you can perform plays faster, while running on a longer distance will help you build your stamina. You can build muscle to support your shots and ability to hustle by lifting weights and engaging in resistance training. The resulting confidence helps you have more reliable shooting.

TIP! Spread your fingers out to handle the ball properly. This gives you better control of the ball.

Create a team environment that is tough on the court and off of it. Basketball teams can achieve greatness when the whole team blends cohesively. The ability to intuit and appreciate the actions of your teammates can significantly improve your performance as a whole.

It must clear what you need to do to get better at basketball. Practice often to gain the necessary skills and knowledge needed to play a good game. So get out there and use the tips that will help up your game. Start having some fun!