Basketball is love by many fans around the globe. Whether you are seeking to make basketball your life focus or you simply enjoy a pickup game with some buddies, it’s easy to get started with the basics. Keep reading for some valuable information about this sport.

Free throws are as much mental as they are physical, like other parts of the game. You must train both your body and your mind. Relax, take your time and be focused.

TIP! It’s easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. You can win a game, thanks to good defense.

You need to practice more than defeating a zone defense. While much of the game is played in zone, the opponent can flip to man-to-man coverage, changing everything and surprising you. When you don’t know how to defeat it, you will lose.

Keep your weight lifting to a minimum as a jump shooter. Strong muscles are certainly useful for basketball, but you can overdo it if you plan to play on the perimeter. You will notice that most basketball players have well-defined muscles that are not overdeveloped.

In order to get a good shot, good footwork is essential when posting up. There are two important points you must remember. You must create a physical presence below the basket, and you must secure a good spot in advance of your opponent. After positioning yourself on the court, make sure that you are secure. Practicing your footwork is important to master these skills.

TIP! Dribble while your head is up and your eyes are forward. You haven’t practiced enough if you keep looking at the basketball while you’re dribbling.

Talk to your teammates and find out what they like about your game. Do you have an area where you excel? Perhaps you are great backup or fast on your feet. You can learn a lot about your skills by knowing how others see you on the court.

Spreading out your fingers is key to handling the ball correctly. This will help you to be sure that it won’t escape your grasp when trying to hold it. Don’t let your palms touch it. Remember to maintain contact with the ball through your fingers only.

Have someone record the games you play so that you can watch it to check out your form. You may see things differently as you observe the game and notice things you missed in the game. Appraise your performance honestly but don’t be overly harsh with yourself. There are times when it pays to view yourself realistically.

TIP! Improving your balance means improving your shots. Your knees should be bent with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders.

To get better at shooting free throws, make sure to keep a consistent pre-shot routine. This could mean two dribbles before taking your free throw, bending your knees, or some other thing you do to get into a rhythm before shooting. By developing a quick ritual, you can help train your body to make free throws.

Practice dribbling with both hands, dribble on both sides of your body and learn to dribble in front of you while taking large strides. It will be much easier to blow past your opponent if you can dribble with both hands. Force yourself to not use your stronger hand. In no time, the weak hand will also be useful for dribbling.

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. Keep your feet from crossing to make it hard for your opponent to get by you.

TIP! Don’t just practice playing against a zone defense. While a great portion of a game will be concentrated in the zone, your rivals could opt to go to man-to-man covering to keep you guessing.

Keep low when you play defense. This will let you get to the jump quicker and let you react to your opponent easier. Maintain this low stance with arms raised until a shot or high pass is made. When you break your stance to block, return to proper form as quick as you can.

Shoot from every point on the court thousands of times a day to get better. To improve further, work on fast dribbling just before shooting. While in the air check out your target, but never before that. This will mimic game conditions and help improve your accuracy.

Try practicing your dribbling while switching the momentum of your body from side to side. Remember that you must dribble in a variety of situations during a basketball game. Perhaps you will have open court; however, you might have bunches of opposing team members all around you. You will have to know the right way to dribble when the body is doing different things. This will help you in bad situations.

TIP! Try practicing looking in the opposite direction when you pass. This will confuse your opponents.

You can place your off-hand out in front of you to serve as protection against the defense. You don’t need to push any opponents since that’s a foul, but try using your non-dribbling arm like a separator for keeping the ball safe. Try to keep your arm around the same height as the apex of your dribble.

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. Working out with weights helps to improve your muscles and the physical part of the game. You will be able to shoot well with this confidence and aggression.

If you want to play better, communicate with your teammates so you know what they intend to do. It takes the efforts of an entire team to succeed. That means offense and defense aren’t one on one. Everyone should help each other. When everyone works together, you can play better as a team.

TIP! Work on getting the ball down the length of a full court with five or fewer dribbles during drills. You may find this very challenging, but once accomplished it will give you a real edge.

These tips can help you become a more versatile basketball player. All you need is the proper knowledge and some good old-fashioned hard work. Begin playing and before you know it, you will be playing every day. Get out there and have a blast!