Whether you play competitive basketball or pick-up games at the local gym, you can improve your game. If you wish to learn how to play your best basketball, you should practice often. Read this article to get the information you need to play basketball.

Free throws are mental as well as physical. Your body can be trained to make free throws, but your mind has to be focused on success if you want to make the basket. Relax and focus on the basket; this will help you succeed.

TIP! 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. Defense is how you win a basketball game.

Don’t just practice playing against a zone defense. The majority of the game is in that area, but be careful about a team who changes things up. You might lose your control of the court if the other team use this technique, unless you are ready for this possibility.

Use hand signals to avoid errant passes. One of basketball’s most frustrating elements is the concept of sending a quick pass onto a teammate who has just moved in a different direction. Hand signals can be a great way to find out if a teammate will be able to receive your pass. If you don’t see a signal, try to find someone else to pass to.

Quick and solid footwork is what it takes to make the shot when your posting up. Although a strong presence in the key is important, beating your opponent to good spots on the floor is more important. Having found a good spot, you must secure it. The key to this relies on having good footwork.

TIP! Free throws are an excellent skill to practice in your spare time. These shots may seem easy, but they can be quite difficult.

To hold the ball right, spread your fingers out. That makes it less likely that you lose control of the ball. Also, keep your palm off the ball. You should only use your fingers to touch the ball when passing or shooting.

When your shooting isn’t accurate, check out your shoulder position. Shoulders are the key to a consistently successful shot. Ensure that you line up your shoulders so that they are squared with the basketball net. Line up your shooting shoulder with the rim as well.

Basketball players must be fast. Try playing faster than the opponents for a better advantage. You will have to do a lot of drilling to play faster. But don’t try to go even faster than you actually are. If you play beyond your speed, the game gets out of control, with errant passes and turnovers.

TIP! Make sure you are looking forward and looking up as you’re dribbling. Looking at your ball when you dribble indicates that you haven’t practiced enough.

Always be aware of the locations of your feet and what they’re doing. Placing even a single toe atop the baseline while holding the ball will result in you being ruled out of bounds. In addition, if you move your feet and you don’t dribble, you will be called for walking. In addition, a foul can be called against you if you move either foot while setting a screen, a pick or taking a charge.

If the opposing team is guarding you to much, you can try a pass between your legs. To practice, simply bounce the basketball between your legs while stepping either forward or backwards. Mastering this movement gives you a big advantage on the court.

To play good defense, you have to upset and disrupt your opponent. Force them out of their comfort zone. Be assertive and focused within the rules, aggressively keeping your player off balance. Never allow them to decide what plays will be made. If they do, they’ll dominate you. You should make the initial move and throw them off.

TIP! If you wish to do better with basketball, you have to focus on what you’re good at. You can contribute to the team by consolidating your best skills, even if these skills do not make you one of the star players.

If you know some good techniques for practicing basketball, then you’ll find playing easier and more fun. Learn as much as you can from videos and articles to enhance your skills. Absorb all the advice you find and work on your game.