This is why basketball is enjoyed by so many people; the game is fast and exciting. You must know the basics in order to jump onto the court and play. Here, you will read tips that will help you improve your basketball skills.

While focusing on offense is fun, you must also make sure you focus on defense. Many times, defense actually wins the game. Offense gets more attention, but the team is going to lose without a strong defense.

TIP! Focusing on the offense may come easily but you need to be able to focus on the defense as well., Basketball games are often won by the defense.

Improving your balance means improving your shots. Even though a professional can hit all sorts of crazy off-balance shots, it is not the ideal method of shooting that you want to learn. Taking a shot when you are off balance will probably lead to a turnover. Consider proper balance when you shoot, and eventually you’ll consistently make baskets.

Free Throws

Free throws are as much mental as they are physical. You’re able to train your whole body to do full free throw motions, but if you’re not mentally prepared, you will fail. You are more likely to make more successful free throws if you relax and focus on the basket.

TIP! Look forward when dribbling. You need more practice if you feel that you cannot dribble without focusing on the ball.

Practice catching passes as often as you can. When practicing, try catching great passes as well as really bad passes. When the pressure is on, not every pass will come straight to you. Make sure that your teammates also practice this type of pass with you.

When injuries occur on the court, it is unwise to keep on playing. Basketball is challenging physical sport and you can get injured. If you keep playing when you are injured, you could end up with an injury which keeps you from ever playing again. If the pain is bad, visit a doctor.

You can play a great defensive game if you know the opposition well. Watch tapes and stay up on scouting reports. Pay attention to dominant hands. Having a good understanding about your opponent strengths and weaknesses allows you to focus on how to better stop him. A smart defender is someone who is good at his position.

TIP! When using the ball a lot, you must relearn a crossover. A crossover happens when you switch hands the ball is in.

Watch your shoulders and their position if you notice yourself developing a slump in your shooting. If they’re in a poor position, no matter your skill level, you will be unable to make the shot. You’ll want to ensure that your shoulders are squared up towards the hoops. The shoulder that’s dominant should be in line with the rim.

Quickness is a key skill in basketball. You’ll have an advantage if you’re faster than an opponent. If you want to play the game fast, you need to drill continuously. Although being fast is important, avoid playing faster than your capabilities. This can cause you to get out of control and make careless mistakes.

If you need some help seeing where you need work, try to get a friend or relative to record your games. Can you see where you can improve your form? Are there things you might have done differently? Be honest with yourself but don’t be too harsh. It can help you to see how you really are instead of what you imagine you are.

TIP! It is important to keep your balance when you shoot. Many the professional player can be seen slipping out of bounds or making baskets from far away, but these are not proper techniques.

If the opposing team is guarding you to much, you can try a pass between your legs. Practice this maneuver by bouncing the basketball between your legs while taking steps. This move can give you an advantage when playing a tough defense.

Strengthen your hands and forearms for better ball handling. Do some wrist curls as much as possible and your dribbling should get better. Don’t think you can just go somewhere on the court, catch a ball and then make a successful shot. You have to learn to move the ball if you want something to happen.

Ensure that you have good court awareness. Not to just be able to see the scoreboard, but to actually make a shot and catch a pass. Great peripheral vision is an asset. If you view the entire game without focusing on the ball, you’ll see defensive pressure advance, along with open teammates.

TIP! Perfect your bounce pass. A good bounce pass should hit the player on the receiving end at waist level.

One of the best ways to always be in proper defensive position is to never break out of the defensive stance. Shuffle your feet in a side to side motion, then use your opposite foot to push off and give you good leverage. Don’t allow your feet to cross and opposing players will have difficulty getting around you.

Clearly, basketball has the potential to be incredibly enjoyable. You need to know more than just the basics in order to play ball like a pro. Put these tips to use to become a better basketball player.