The love that many people have for this game cannot be overstated. Understanding the nuances of the game helps you to appreciate it in its splendor. This article can help anyone do that.

It is tempting to concentrate just on offense when just staring out, but defensive practice is absolutely vital. Defense is essential to winning these games. Offense is often what gets the glory, but most winning basketball teams play great defense.

TIP! Get good at making free throws. This may seem like an easy task, but in reality, things prove otherwise.

Make sure to dribble properly. You want to dribble with the tips of your fingers, not your whole hand. This allows you to control the ball much better while you dribble. Be sure to dribble beside your body instead of in front of yourself. Bounce the ball at a level even with your waist. Always look up and never look down at the ground.

You need good balance when you shoot. Everyone has seen professional basketball players make a shot from 20 feet away as they are falling. They are merely making up the play on the spot. When you shoot, you should always be properly balanced, which will help you make more baskets more consistently.

A bounce pass is essential to learn. Proper bounce passes ought to hit the recipient at the level of their waist. A good estimation is to target the ball to bounce at about 3/4 of the distance that the receiving player is. It does depend on a variety of other factors, however.

TIP! Make sure you dribble properly by keeping your head held up, facing forward. Anyone who watching the ball while they dribble surely needs to spend more time in the gym practicing.

Practice catching passes often. During practice you should come up with drills where you perfect catching bad passes along with the good ones. Understand that during a game, you will receive very scattered passes. Some will be good; some won’t. Being able to get imperfect passes will limit turnovers.

Do not restrict your practices to zone defenses alone. While much of the game is played in zone, the opponent can flip to man-to-man coverage, changing everything and surprising you. Practice with each type of defense so you will know what to expect.

You can learn how to pass well by drilling on it separately from dribbling. It is hard to play with no dribbling, but it will help your team make great passes. Work through the initial frustration and see how the challenge will improve your game in the long run.

TIP! Always work on your layups. Layup shots make up nearly 80% of a game’s shots.

Build your core strength and work on your footwork. Your body will retain balance and move quicker when you have strong core muscles. You must work out your hip, back and abdomen muscles. Just like with boxing, you can do a little speed and footwork training with a jump rope.

If you’ve developed somewhat of a shooting slump, focus on your shoulders. If your shoulders are in a bad position, no matter how good you are, you won’t make the shot. One area of focus should be to keep your shoulders aligned straight toward the hoop. The shoulder that is dominant should be perfectly aligned with the hoop rim.

For more consistency in making those free throws, stick with the same sequence of motions before you take each shot. For example, you might tug your ear, dribble three times, or flex your wrists. Following the same routine gives your body will maintain muscle memory for more consistent free throw shooting.

TIP! Passing the ball is an important part of playing basketball so practice making and receiving passes. Don’t just work on waist-level, perfect passes, though, work on receiving tougher passes as well.

Passing between the legs is great when you are being closely guarded. Practice dribbling the ball between your legs. This move can give you an advantage when playing a tough defense.

You must disrupt and upset the play of your opponent if you want to be successful as a defensive player. Force opposing players into an unfamiliar or unexpected position. When you are guarding, do so aggressively. Keep them from deciding what moves to make. If you do, your opponent will run all over you. Rather, move first; attack their rhythm.

The excitement that basketball creates for millions of fans across the globe s hard to match. However, those who are new to the game may not really know what it is going on when they lack knowledge about the game. We hope this piece has provided the sort of guide that virtually anyone looking to understand basketball better will find useful.