It’s impossible to repair a car engine without proper research. Along the same lines, nobody ought to expect basketball greatness in the absence of know-how and practice. This article details many of the tips the experts use to make their game as good as it is.

When learning the game of basketball, it’s easy to get caught up in offensive play. But you should also give plenty of attention to defense. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games. Offensive skills are usually the most impressive ones but defense is something every team should work on.

TIP! You need to learn the correct way to dribble the ball. Proper dribbling technique involves use of the fingertips, not the palm of the hand.

You must become knowledgeable about hitting a free-throw shot. As easy as these shots may seem, they are rather hard. Try using this technique in practicing. Start with the ball positioned right before your face. Concentrate on the basket and visualize the basketball going in. Then shoot the ball with the trajectory that you visualized.

If you want to be a master of the jump shot, do not make weight lifting a priority. Muscle flexibility is more important than muscle mass. Some overzealous shooting guards buffed up too much, and it had an adverse effect on their overall field goal percentages.

If you’re on the offense, you footwork needs to be excellent to stay open for passes and shots. Securing a good location is critical when playing basketball. After positioning yourself on the court, make sure that you are secure. Strong footwork is key.

TIP! When dribbling, your head must be up, and you need to look forward. If you start staring at the ball while you dribble, you know you need to practice more.

See if your teammates admire something in particular about your game play. Do you have an area where you excel? You could potentially be excellent in one area while you are busy focusing on another, unaware. Improve the skills where you tend to be a bit weaker while maintaining your stronger skills.

Remember to spread your fingers when handling the ball. This can help you to remain in control of the ball at all times. Don’t let your palms touch it. Don’t let anything but your fingers touch the ball during passing or shooting.

In order to be your best on defense, take the time to completely understand the player you are guarding. You should be look at scouting reports, practicing techniques and watch tapes. See if you can determine each players strong and weak sides. When you know more about the opposing team, you will play a better defense. A defender that has knowledge will be a strong one.

TIP! Balance is essential to shooting. Everyone has seen professional basketball players make a shot from 20 feet away as they are falling.

When you are passing the ball, get used to looking in the other direction. You can really confuse your opponents this way. When done properly, this technique distracts the opposition and gives your pass recipient a chance to focus on the basket. You must practice this move with your teammates so that everyone on your team understands what is going on.

Build a consistent routine for your free throws. Inconsistency does not make a better shot. In order to make your free throw perfect, you’ll need to practice the shot many times and get into a routine. If you do not practice this shot consistently, you may miss it during an actual game.

As soon as the ball leaves your teammate’s hands after a free throw, start moving into position. You’ll have a defender coming at you and this means you have to figure out what can be done to get around them. This technique will help you rebound the ball without getting a foul called on you.

TIP! Practice catching passes often. You want to practice catching perfect passes and bad passes.

Don’t discontinue dribbling until you have the chance to shoot or pass. When you cease dribbling, you’re really limiting your options. If you choose against passing or shooting, you are stuck pivoting in place. Then, you will be vulnerable to being double teamed by the opposition, and you are likely to have the ball stolen.

The goal to improving a game is building conversation with your teammates. A good basketball team consists of players who understand that this is not an individual sport. Neither defense nor offense is a one-on-one matter. Everyone has each others’ backs. Discuss your strengths and weaknesses with teammates so you know where you need improvement.

Practice rhythmic dribbling up until the point you wish to shake an opposing player. By dribbling consistently and then breaking it up into a different rhythm that’s fast, you can trick an opponent so you have more time to shoot. Perfecting this can make you nearly unstoppable on the court.

Position yourself between the ball carrier and your opponent if they are bigger than you. This keeps them from grabbing a pass and shooting over you.

Understanding what works in basketball is key to figuring out how to play the game. That is, unrivaled by any other except for reading all you can and learning how to better your basketball game. This will help you win more and become more impressive.