Basketball is all the rage in this world. But, excelling at the game is not simple. Basketball is a sport that anyone can have fun with. Continue reading to learn how to play the game to the best of your ability.

Find out how to make free throw shots. As easy as these shots may seem, they are rather hard. Practice constantly using this tip. Start with the ball positioned right before your face. Keep your eyes on the goal and visualize the ball going into the goal. Then shoot the ball with the trajectory that you visualized.

TIP! You can easily focus on offense when learning to play basketball, however, you must really focus how playing defense. Basketball games are often won by the defense.

Constantly practice layups. Layup shots make up nearly 80% of a game’s shots. Don’t just walk through a layup drill. It is key to go at game tempo to practice the timing needed to maintain accuracy. That technique of running and jumping helps you get ready for an actual game.

Don’t bulk up if you want to be good as a jump shooter. Muscle strength is beneficial for playing any basketball position, but there is such a thing as too much. Some guards increase their upper body to the point of harming their field goals.

Play games against yourself in and out of season. Even though you play on a team, practicing alone can be helpful. This is just fine. In solo games, you can accomplish quite a bit. You can work on pivots and free throws. You can always find things to practice.

TIP! Start out with proper balance before attempting to take a shot. Sometimes you’ll see professional players fall out of bounds while making a shot from afar, but this doesn’t work at all times.

The key to ball control is to spread your fingers out. This will help prevent the ball from getting away from you while dribbling. Don’t let your palms touch it. Fingers need to be the only thing that touches the ball when you shoot it or pass it.

Your defensive game will be more successful if you know your opponents. Monitor scouting news and watch footage of other teams in action. Also know which is their dominant and weak hands. The more you understand what you are up against, the more likely you are to develop an effective strategy during games. A defender that has knowledge will be a strong one.

Is it time to let others know how good you are? You should practice these tips first. Get motivated, get energized and get excited; then, show your stuff on the basketball court. You will begin to see an improvement in many skills by implementing these tips.