Many people around the world love basketball. Anybody can play basketball, no matter what their age is. While playing, you learn cooperation skills and good sportsmanship. Learning more can begin with this article.

It is easy to be focused on offense when you are learning how to play basketball, but you really should focus your practice on defense. Basketball games are won because of good defense. Offense gets all the praise and attention, but without a good defense, any basketball team is destined to lose.

TIP! Make it a point to concentrate on both your defensive and offensive skills. Focusing only on offense does not make you a well-rounded player.

Find out how to make free throw shots. This kind of shot seems easy, but it really is not. You should practice as often as possible with this technique. Place the ball right in line with your face. Then, look at the ball and visualize it going in the basket. When you shoot, keep the visualized trajectory in mind.

When dribbling, your head must be up, and you need to look forward. If you are looking at the ball for any reason while dribbling, you have not put in enough practice. Take you ball with you everywhere. Try dribbling even when walking to a store. Staring at the ball doesn’t allow you to watch the other players.

Make sure that you practice your layups frequently. Layups account for up to 80 percent of the shots taken during a game. During practice you want to get up enough speed to quickly get to the rim then easily lay the ball towards the hoop. This method will teach you to improve your jumps and shots throughout the game.

TIP! Learn how to maneuver a crossover if you have the ball fairly often. This term refers to switching the hand you use.

If you’re a jump shooter, don’t lift weights too often. Muscle is good, but you can have too much. Shooting guards that end up with bulked up arms sometimes find that it affects field goal percentages.

How would you like to trick the opposing team? The back pass is perfect for this. To accomplish this, grab the ball with the dominant hand. The next step is pull the basketball behind the back. The last step is to flick your wrist in the direction you want the ball to land. This is a good way to trick your opponents.

Don’t play while injured or else your injury will worsen. It’s a challenging sport that’s very physical, and you have the ability to get injured. You may injure yourself more if you continue to play with an injury. In case of serious injury, it is time to see a doctor.

TIP! One of the most important skills when playing basketball is balance. Everyone has watched a pro player drift out of bounds while still making their shot, but this isn’t something to emulate.

Understanding the opponent is a good way to win with defense. Watch tapes of their games and see how others move on the court. For example, you should know which of the players are left-handed and which are right-handed. Defense is more effective when you know what your opponent is likely to do. Knowledge is power, even in basketball.

Practice looking the other way when passing. This can go a long way toward confusing the opposition. When done properly, this technique distracts the opposition and gives your pass recipient a chance to focus on the basket. It’s a great play if done properly.

Get into a consistent routine to improve your free throw shots. If you aren’t able to be consistent then you’ll be off when you shoot. The easiest way to make sure you’re doing great at free throws is to do repetitions of the same routines time and again. If the routine is off in any way, then you’ll miss the shot.

TIP! Free throws require both mental and physical abilities. You may know how to make a free throw but if your focus is off, then you will miss.

If you wish to dribble the ball better, you have to start using your hand that’s considered the weak one. If both hands are useful for dribbling, your opponents will not stand much of a chance. You can actually force yourself to utilize your weak hand by tying your other hand behind you. Very soon, you will develop dribbling skills with the hand you considered weak.

Use small weights and resistance training to build the muscles in both forearms and hands. Wrist curls can be great for honing ball handling skills. Making a goal isn’t just standing there as the ball miraculously comes to you and then shooting it at the basket. Good dribbling skills will help you always stay in movement.

You want to strive in practice to bring the ball all the way up the court in no more than five dribbles. This might not seem possible, but if you can do it your speed and length will strengthen. If you master this, you will be able to quickly take layups.

TIP! Watch the pro’s play if you want to improve your game. Try to go to games, watch televised games, or check out videos of the pros playing.

One of the best ways to always be in proper defensive position is to never break out of the defensive stance. Use a shuffling side to side motion to ensure you are in position. Stay low and make it hard for opponents to get around you.

Be sure you do the sort of off-court exercises that help you during games. Running sprints can make you faster on individual plays, while long-distance running helps you make it through a game with good stamina. In addition, lifting weights will improve your strength, and hopefully, your shot. Building your muscles and your confidence will help you game in many ways.

If you want to play better, communicate with your teammates so you know what they intend to do. Basketball is not an individual sport. Neither defense nor offense is a one-on-one matter. You have to help everyone out. If you believe others can help you improve, let them know. The result benefits you and your entire team.

TIP! You want to be prepared for any type of defense the other team plays. Most of the basketball game will probably be played in this zone, but the other team might decide to surprise you and do some man-to-man coverage.

If someone is shooting from a corner of the court, a missed shot will likely bounce right over the net and to the other side of the court. Figure out where it will land to grab the rebound.

Why is basketball very popular? It’s probably because it’s easy to pick up at first, and also a lot of fun to play. If you enjoy basketball, the following tips will make your in-game experience even better. Use this advice to have fun while working hard to better yourself with these tips.