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Basketball isn’t a game that’s only played in after school games or gym class. Basketball can be played at the park, driveway or at the local rec center. If hoop shooting is your thing, then more information on the subject will help you improve your game play.

While focusing on offense is fun, you must also make sure you focus on defense. Basketball games are often won by the defense. Offense may score points but defense keeps the other team from scoring points that your team will have to match.

TIP! Make sure that you’re dribbling the ball correctly. Proper dribbling technique involves use of the fingertips, not the palm of the hand.

Proper balance is essential when shooting. We have all seen the professional basketball player falling out of bounds and making a basket from 30 feet away, but this is not proper technique. They are going with the flow when this occurs. Keep your balance so you can consistently win points.

Try playing basketball games alone before and during the season. Basketball is usually a team sport, but just because you can’t find others, doesn’t mean you have to just stop thinking about it. That’s OK! You can accomplish a lot by practicing alone. Go to the free throw line and work on your shots. Many things can be practiced.

Hand signals can help you to stay away from making bad passes. You can become easily frustrated when a teammate does a poor job of anticipating your next passing move. Players should use hand signals often when available for a pass. If you don’t see a signal, you shouldn’t pass the ball.

TIP! Perfect your bounce pass. This means your pass should be aimed towards the receiving player at the level of his waist.

Ask your teammates what they like about the way you play. Are you great at any one thing? Perhaps you are quick footed, or you are always ready to lend a hand on the court. Honest feedback can really help you to narrow in on areas where you might need a little extra help practicing.

When playing basketball, it is important to always keep your eye on the ball. This will make you more aware of the court and you won’t be surprised when turnover potentials come up or quick passes. Also, watch for areas to open up so you can make an easy basket.

If you slump when you shoot, look at what your shoulders are doing. When the shoulders are wrongly positioned, your shot is unlikely to succeed. Make sure your shoulders are always square towards the hoop. Your dominant shoulder must be lined up with the rim.

TIP! Free throws are mental as well as physical. Of course, you can show your body how to make free throws.

A consistent pre-shot routine when at the line will increase your chance at success. Your shot could be off if you are inconsistent. The most effective method to achieve a great free throw is by practicing it repeatedly until you get it right. This will help you develop a routine. If that routine goes off, it will cause you to miss your shot.

A good drill to try is the five dribble drill. You try to get the ball the entire length of the court in only five dribbles. This can seem impossible, but if you do it, you’ll get incredible speed and length. That translates to smooth layups during fast breaks.

While you dribble, alternate your momentum from your left to right side. In the middle of a game, lots of dribbling situations will arise. You might have a truly open court, but you might also be dealing with an onslaught of opposition. Being able to dribble while shifting momentum is the key to controlling and keeping the ball. This can help you find your way out of trouble.

TIP! A good way to improve team passing to use a no dribbling drill, that is to play the game without dribbling at all. It is quite challenging to play the game without dribbling, but it does make sure you and your teammates make accurate passes.

Keep the activity below the knees if possible. This makes it more difficult for the opponent to take the ball. Although this means bending a bit, you will be able to move quickly down the court, particularly since you will be successfully avoiding those who are attempting to get the ball from you.

Make sure your off-court exercise is appropriate to help your on-court game. Running sprints helps you get faster for individual plays, and long-distance running is better for improving your game stamina. Resistance training or weightlifting builds better muscles for shots. Building your muscles and your confidence will help you game in many ways.

No matter how intense the competition may be, you will enjoy basketball more when your skills improve. Since you read the above article, all you have to do is put these tips to use. The more you learn, the more you can enjoy playing and watching basketball.