Basketball is a great game where there is always something new. Things change all the time and you have to know that you have to learn more about the sport all the time. Want to do better than the competition is doing? Continue reading in order to gain that competitive edge.

It is important to focus on both offense and defense when learning to play basketball. Defense ultimately determines the winner of a game of basketball. Offense is flashier, so it draws the attention of fans and journalists, but a team that can’t defend well won’t win any games.

TIP! Dribbling the ball the right way needs to be done. Don’t use your palm, use your fingers.

Learn the best way to make your free throws. The execution of a free throw is not as simple as it may appear. Practice frequently using these techniques. Begin by holding the ball directly in front of your face. Keep looking towards the goal and think about the ball getting into that goal. Then repeat that when you take the shot.

When dribbling, your head must be up, and you need to look forward. Looking at your ball when you dribble indicates that you haven’t practiced enough. One of the best ways to improve your dribbling is to bring your ball along anytime you need to walk somewhere. Practice in your home and wherever you walk. By looking forward instead of at the basketball, you are able to see the happenings on the court.

Balance is vital to good shooting. Everyone has seen professional basketball players make a shot from 20 feet away as they are falling. They are improvising. If you have correct balance when you are making a shot, you will make more consistent baskets over time.

TIP! It is vital that you learn to crossover the basketball while dribbling. Moving the ball from hand to hand is a crossover.

Don’t bulk up if you want to be good as a jump shooter. It’s important to be strong, but not too strong. Shooting guards that end up with bulked up arms sometimes find that it affects field goal percentages.

Play solo basketball in the months leading up to the season, as well as during the season itself. Basketball is a multiple player sport, but other people won’t always be around. This is perfectly acceptable. You are able to do a lot with solo games. Practice free throws and layups. There is always something to practice.

Footwork is what gets you ready for a shot. Although physical presence under the basket is important, getting to a good spot before your opponent does is even more important. When you are in position, you must secure your spot. Footwork is the key to either of these.

TIP! You need to keep your balance if you’re shooting. You have seen some crazy shots made by professionals, but these shots aren’t going to be based on fundamentals.

Never play through an injury when playing basketball. Basketball is physically demanding, and it is easy to get hurt. Playing through an injury can prolong it which is always bad. See a doctor if the injury is serious enough.

If you’re quick on the basketball court, you have a built in advantage. If you want the advantage, you’ve got more quickly. It takes steady drilling to play fast. However, you should not attempt to play any faster than your abilities permit. If you play beyond your speed, the game gets out of control, with errant passes and turnovers.

When you want consistently good free throws, repeat your routine. Focus on your shot and eliminate all outside distractions. Keep it simple and consistent, and the routine will become a part of your muscle memory.

TIP! Bounce passes are extremely efficient when done properly. If done properly, the pass will land near waist level with the opposite player.

When doing a layup, start running using the weaker of your two feet. So, if you shoot using your left hand, launch with your right foot. This will allow you to be more balanced while moving closer to the basket while keeping your body between the defender and you.

Get into a consistent routine to improve your free throw shots. When you stay consistent, you get better success. You can shoot better free throws by making sure you use the same exact routine every time, and of course practice. If you alter your routine then chances are the shot will not be good.

If you wish to get a free throw rebound from a teammate, you have to stay on your toes properly. Guards will be attempting to stop you, so get around them. You are able to rebound the ball without fouling someone.

TIP! Hitting free throws is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. It is possible to practice the physical movements needed to make such a shot, but when your mental focus is lacking, you are likely to miss.

An excellent way to have proper defensive posture is to remain in the correct stance. Slide your feet from side to side or push off with your opposing foot so that you are always in position. Don’t allow your feet to cross, and this will make you a hard defender to beat.

Use a 2-3 zone as a way to trap opponents. You can do this by having guards wait for the point guard to come at least 10 feet past midcourt. The guards must then rush the opposing team’s point guard and create a trap. Simultaneously, forwards should block sprint toward wing players. This will likely cause the point guard to make a high, short pass, which your forwards will steal quite easily.

Now you have the knowledge about how to improve those court skills. These techniques will help improve your game. Never stop learning and always keep practicing. Use the information from above to take your skills to a new level.