A thorough understanding of basketball makes it more fun for spectators and players alike. Are you lost? Don’t worry, you can become a better basketball player. Basketball is pretty easy to learn and is fun, too. This article will give you tips whether you’re watching or playing.

It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Defense is essential to winning these games. Offense gets all the praise and attention, but without a good defense, any basketball team is destined to lose.

TIP! Figure out how to perfect your free throw. The execution of a free throw is not as simple as it may appear.

Always keep your head up when dribbling instead of focusing on the ball. By focusing your sight on the ball, you cannot be fully aware of your surroundings. Wherever you go, take your ball with you. Walking to your mailbox? Dribble the ball. If you have to watch the ball, you will be unable to see whatever is going on at court level.

Any good basketball player needs to know how to make a layup. In a typical game, up to four-fifths of all shots are layups. Practice running while dribbling, jumping and shooting as smoothly as you can. This type of technique will translate well into actual game situations.

If you want to take jump shots, don’t spend time pumping iron. While muscle strength is good to have in any basketball position, it is possible to have too much for perimeter play. If your arms are too big, your field goal percentage will go down.

TIP! When you dribble, look forward, keeping your head up. You should never be looking at the basketball while dribbling.

Ask your fellow team members which of your skills that they admire. Are you skilled at something? It may be that you are quick on your feet or that you are always there to back them up. Find out what others think your natural abilities are, and be certain to keep developing those skills.

A great way you can prepare for what happens on the basketball court is to avoid having your back to the ball. This will help you stay on top of quick changes in possession or plays attempted by your opponent. Always scout the court for areas that will open up and allow you to make a clear shot.

You can play a great defensive game if you know the opposition well. Watch tapes and be sure you’re paying attention to scouting reports. You should know if a player is right or left handed. Having a good understanding about your opponent strengths and weaknesses allows you to focus on how to better stop him. One of the most important keys to being a solid defender is an understanding of your opponent.

TIP! Bounce passes are important in the game of basketball. If done properly, the pass will land near waist level with the opposite player.

Ask a friend to record your games so that you can see how yourself in action. Do you see anything you could do differently? Be honest with yourself but don’t be too harsh. It can be an eye-opener to see how you’re playing the game really, not just what you picture it to be.

To dribble the ball better, it is important that you practice dribbling with the hand that’s weaker. Using both hands to dribble makes you a more effective player, especially when you’re trying to get past your opponent. Tie your dominant hand behind your back and force yourself only to use your weak hand. You will quickly strengthen your non-dominant hand for dribbling.

Can you see well? This isn’t just for reading the score, but for catching passes and making shots. Great peripheral vision is an asset. If you scan the entire court instead of keeping your eye on the basketball, you will be aware of oncoming defensive pressure as well as the positions of your open teammates.

TIP! Frequently train yourself on your pass catching moves. Be sure to be able to catch off-target throws on top of good ones.

Not that wasn’t bad at all, right? After taking in the above article you should be aware of the incredible amount of joy it brings to people. Use the information presented here to become better at playing or watching basketball.