When you set goals to improve your basketball game, the most important thing you can do is practice. However, it is of utmost importance that you make sure you are practicing correctly. This article will teach you the right way to play basketball.

Practice your defense more than your offense. Defense is what keep the other team from scoring. Offense may be splashier, but lacking a solid defense, any team is sure to lose.

TIP! When dribbling, make sure that you look forward and keep your head up. You haven’t practiced enough if you keep looking at the basketball while you’re dribbling.

Free throws are an excellent skill to practice in your spare time. This is something that seems simple, but in reality it can be hard. Practice frequently using these techniques. Put your weaker hand in front of the ball and center your stronger hand over the air valve in the basketball. Picture yourself going through the shot in your mind, with the ball sinking through the net. Then, shoot the ball using the trajectory you pictured.

Shooting has much to do with proper balance. Your knees should be bent with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders. Taking a shot when you are off balance will probably lead to a turnover. Non-professionals should focus on having good balance to ensure good shots. As time passes, you will make more and more baskets with this method.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. You can practice for hours on how to make the shot, but if you over think things or get distracted you will miss every time. Relax yourself and focus on the hoop.

TIP! You have to know how to bounce pass properly. Proper bounce passes ought to hit the recipient at the level of their waist.

Even professional basketball players spend a lot of time watching other people play basketball. Watch pro games on TV, or attend games in person. When you find a player who has the skills that you want, then watch them and emulate.

You can improve your passing skills by practicing a simple drill where dribbling is forbidden. Playing the game without the use of dribbling is a challenge, but it can help you and your team learn to make more precise passes. Try not to lose yourself in frustration if you do not master it immediately, with the more time that passes with you and your team practicing, the more accurate they will become.

When an injury occurs while you are playing ball, don’t keep playing with pain. You can easily tear a muscle or even break a finger while playing. Trying to play while injured will just make your situation worse. In case of serious injury, it is time to see a doctor.

TIP! One way to help improve your overall basketball skills is to spend some time watching what the pros do. Go to a bunch of professional games in person, watch them on television, or just get online to search for basketball videos.

Understanding the opponent is key in beating a tough defense. You can read scouting reports and watch tapes to evaluate your opponents game. Know which team members are right handed and which ones are left handed. When you know more about the opposing team, you will play a better defense. A defender that is knowledgeable is an effective defender.

Develop a routine to use every time you shoot a free throw. Always dribble the same way, or with the same movements. Having a consistent routine is ideal, and that helps train your body to know how to be in the proper position every time you shoot the free throw.

Strengthen your hands and forearms for better ball handling. Wrist curls can be effective at helping you to control the ball as if you’ll be dribbling in your sleep. Don’t ever believe you’re going to be able to stand still, receive a pass and take a shot. It is essential to move the ball around in order to succeed.

TIP! If you want to be a master of the jump shot, do not make weight lifting a priority. Muscle is good, but you can have too much.

You want to strive in practice to bring the ball all the way up the court in no more than five dribbles. This can seem impossible, but if you do it, you’ll get incredible speed and length. This translates to simple layups, fast breaks or just a general increase in your team’s numbers.

In basketball, strength is important, so do strength training. Stamina and strength are two things you need to do well in this sport. Small kids who play stand to reap real benefits from strengthening their legs and arms. As they grow and gain skills, they will be even better players. Then they will be ready to really learn the skills that really make an excellent player.

Regardless of your ability, by using the advice above you are sure to see improvement. Just start with one tip and watch your game improve. With this knowledge, you can improve rebounding, passing, shooting, and other important moves.