Many people love basketball because it’s so fast-paced, and exciting to watch. There are a few important things to keep in mind when playing ball. You can read the tips below to better your skills.

It’s natural to focus on offensive abilities when practicing the sport of basketball, but your practice time needs to focus on defense. In the end, it’s defense that consistently wins you games. While offensive players sometimes seem like the stars of the show, it is the efforts of defensive players that allow them to shine.

In order to be a great shooter, good balance is key. Everyone has seen professional basketball players make a shot from 20 feet away as they are falling. They improvise to do that. Consider proper balance when you shoot, and eventually you’ll consistently make baskets.

Find out how to make free throw shots. These shots look easy on television, but are actually hard when you are doing the shooting. The following technique should be practiced often. Begin by holding the ball directly in front of your face. Your eyes should be on the goal. You should be thinking about the ball going in the hoop. Then shoot! Shoot the ball in the trajectory you imagined.

If you want to excel, you have to play to your strengths. Your best skills may not be center-stage every game, but knowing how to play the best angles can help you give more to your team. Focus on the skills you have and work to make them better.

Look forward and hold your head up while you dribble the ball. Looking at your ball when you dribble indicates that you haven’t practiced enough. Bring the basketball with you everywhere you go. You can practice dribbling when you have to walk to the store. If you’re looking at the basketball, you won’t be able to see what is coming at you.

Make sure to practice your layups whenever possible. You should expect layups to represent about 80% of all the shots you take in a game. When you are practicing, run full speed at the goal and make the shot. Practicing the running and jumping method will help you shoot better this way in a game.

Knowing how to perform a crossover is a must when you handle the basketball frequently. In a crossover, you transfer the basketball from hand to hand. This should be something you do quickly. One done the right way, the crossover dribble can help you change directions and get down the court more efficiently.

Free throws have a huge mental element to them. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game. Stay focused and vigilant to improve your ability to make free throws.

To be a great basketball player you need to work on your balance. Everyone has watched a pro player drift out of bounds while still making their shot, but this isn’t something to emulate. This kind of improvisation is the result of years of practice and loads of ability. Point your feet towards the basket, guide the ball with your weaker hand and push the ball away with your strong hand whenever you shoot the basketball.

Play basketball against yourself even during the off-season. There are times you may not find anyone to play with you. For concentration purposes, it can be good to practice on your own. It is possible to get a lot done even when playing alone. Practice pivoting or doing free throws. You can always work on something.

Make layups a part of your daily practice regimen. Layups sometimes wind up being 4 out of every 5 shots in basketball. The best practice strategy is to go full tilt toward the hoop, then do a smooth jump shot. Jump to the net and concentrate on shooting the ball in a specific location on the backboard.

Quick and solid footwork is what it takes to make the shot when your posting up. Getting a great position under the goal is the most important. Once you have a location, it is important that your feet are firmly planted there. Both skills rely on some solid footwork.

Even professional basketball players spend a lot of time watching other people play basketball. Try to go to games, watch televised games, or check out videos of the pros playing. Every truly great player has unique skills that you can learn from.

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Do not practice solely against zone defense. Always try to anticipate when your opponent is going to switch up their game to catch you off guard. If you have not practiced against this, you may lose your grip of the game for the remainder of it.

Should you receive an injury during the course of the game, never try to continue playing despite the pain. Basketball is physically demanding, and it is easy to get hurt. Trying to continue playing even if you’ve got discomfort can make the injury worse. See a doctor if the injury is serious enough.

One great way to pass good is to drill when you can without dribbling. While this may be difficult, it gets you used to finding teammates and thinking on the run. It may seem nearly impossible at first, but over time your team will learn to throw accurate passes and be in good position to receive them.

Many people love to play basketball and for good reason. This article has helped to show that continual learning is a part of really excelling at the sport. Put these tips to use to become a better basketball player.

If you want to take jump shots, don’t spend time pumping iron. Even though having strong muscles is great for the inside game, being on the outside it can harm you when shooting the ball. Some professional shooting guards made their arms so big that it started decreasing their field goal percentage.

There’s so much more to learn, so never stop. While this piece should have helped you get a grasp on it, you must always keep your knowledge updated and fresh. Always keep an eye out for great opportunities or new information to get an edge.