Millions of people love the game of basketball. To fully enjoy basketball, whether as enthusiastic spectator or player, you need to fully understand this game. The guts of this article can help any fan or player do just that.

It’s natural to focus on offensive abilities when practicing the sport of basketball, but your practice time needs to focus on defense. Defense is what stands between you and a win. Offense gets more attention, but the team is going to lose without a strong defense.

TIP! Dribble while keeping your head upward and looking ahead. By focusing your sight on the ball, you cannot be fully aware of your surroundings.

Free throw practice is vitally important. It seems easy to do but surely isn’t. When practicing your free throw, concentrate on where you want the ball to go when it leaves your hands. To start off, hold the ball in front of you. Have your eyes on your goal and picture your ball going into it. Then shoot! Shoot the ball in the trajectory you imagined.

Dribble while keeping your head upward and looking ahead. Lack of practice will manifest itself in looking down towards the ball when dribbling. The ball can go with you when you go anywhere. Dribble while walking to the store. If you are staring at the ball, there is no way you can know what else is happening on the court.

A bounce pass is essential to learn. Good bounce passes need to hit the other player waist length when they receive it. One thing you should do is always remember the ball should be bounced three quarters on its way towards the person you’re passing too. There are other factors you have to think about too, however.

TIP! Focus on your strong point to help you become a better ball player. While you may have a particular skill that isn’t going to make you stand out as the star player, honing it can help you become an integral part of your team’s success.

Keep your weight lifting to a minimum as a jump shooter. While muscle strength is good to have in any basketball position, it is possible to have too much for perimeter play. Certain pro guards ended up increasing their arm size so much that their shooting started to suffer.

Do you want to fool the other team? Try doing what is known as a back pass. Hold the basketball with your writing hand. Then, put the ball around your back. Quickly flick with your wrist in the direction you want to pass the ball. This is a good way to trick your opponents.

Before, during and after the season, play out games by yourself. While basketball is a team sport, sometimes you just can’t find others to play with. This is perfectly acceptable. You can still get a lot accomplished with solo games. Practice free throws and work on pivot moves. You can always find things to work on.

TIP! It is important that you practice layups. Eighty percent of the shots taken in a game are layups.

In order to get a good shot, you must use good footwork. Although physical presence under the basket is important, getting to a good spot before your opponent does is even more important. Once you’re in the proper position, you’ll have to then secure your spot. Good solid footwork will help you develop the skills you need for success.

Asking for feedback from coaches and teammates about your playing is important in order to become a stronger player. Are you skilled at something? Perhaps you are great backup or fast on your feet. Find out how your game appears to others and develop your skills accordingly.

In order to be your best on defense, take the time to completely understand the player you are guarding. Watch games if you can and look at their tendencies. Learn which of the opposing players are left-dominant and which are right-dominant. Knowing an opponent’s dribbling, passing and shooting styles gives you a definite edge on defense. A smart defender is someone who is good at his position.

TIP! If there’s no one around to play with, it is okay to play a basketball game by yourself. Even if you can’t get a bunch of people together to play, you can still practice on your own.

The thrills and excitement that basketball hold for legions of fans worldwide is tough to match. However, it’s so easy for novices to be lost, wondering what the fuss is all about. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand basketball a bit better and that you can use some of these tips yourself.