For decades, people have adored basketball. However, only some people understands how to play the game really well. This article was put together to help anyone who wants to play basketball to appreciate it so they can do better at it.

Learn how to block out movement, noise and other distractions when taking a free throw. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game. Relax and focus on the net, and you’ll be able to make more.

When an injury occurs while you are playing ball, don’t keep playing with pain. Basketball is physically challenging, and injuries are not uncommon. Playing through an injury can prolong it which is always bad. If you have a very serious injury, talk to a doctor.

TIP! Many people forget that defense is as important as offense during practice. Basketball games are often won by the defense.

If you are shooting as well, pay attention to the position of your shoulders. If your shoulders aren’t correct, you may not be able to make the shots. Be sure to keep the shoulders squared up to the hoop. The dominant shoulder needs to be aligned correctly with the rim.

Have your games taped so you can play them back later and observe your court presence. Are you able to see missed opportunities or ways in which you could have improved? Appraise your performance honestly but don’t be overly harsh with yourself. Sometimes, it helps a lot to see yourself as you really are and not as just you imagine yourself to be.

Dribble the ball hard to keep it from being stolen. This will make the ball come back to you faster, and the opponent will have a hard time to get it from you. If you are being guarded closely, bring your dribbling to an end and pass the ball to another open team member.

TIP! Correct dribbling is key. Instead of using your palm to dribble focus on using your fingertips.

Ensure that you have good court awareness. Your eyesight will affect more than just making shots. Your peripheral vision should be up to par. Tunnel vision makes it difficult to play effectively, so try to view the entire court and all players.

Defensive players need to stay low. This helps your reaction time against your opponent. Stay in your defensive stance. When you block a shot, go back to a defensive form quickly.

To improve your perimeter shooting, it is important to practice every day from various spots on the court. To improve even more, practice dribbling the basketball and then pull up fast for a quick shot. Avoid looking at the basketball goal while dribbling the ball. This is a good way to simulate real game-time conditions and increase accuracy.

TIP! To get better in your basketball game, focus on your strengths. You can contribute to the team by consolidating your best skills, even if these skills do not make you one of the star players.

Keep dribbling until you’re ready to either pass or shoot. Once you stop dribbling, you are extremely limited in your options. If you decide not to shoot a basket or pass the ball on, you are only allowed to pivot on the heal that is furthest back. This leaves you vulnerable to being double teamed by members of the opposing team, and it is far more likely that the ball will be stolen.

Try using your non-dribbling hand like a barrier between the ball and your opponent. Avoid physical contact like pushing, but keep the ball from them by separating them from it. Simply elevate it slightly as you dribble.

Do off court exercises that will improve your game on the court. Sprint running can help improve on-court speed, while distance running is sure to boost your stamina. Weightlifting or resistance training improves your muscle tone. You will develop a confidence and attitude that you make you a better shooter.

TIP! A bounce pass is essential to learn. If done properly, the pass will land near waist level with the opposite player.

Make sure you stay in a constant rhythm until it is time to make your move. Smooth dribbling interrupted by a quicker dribble is a great way to catch the opponent off-guard and go in for a shot. Changing the speed is part of what confuses your opponent, but the difference in sound can throw him off, as well.

A missed shot from the corner of the basketball court will usually go to the opposite side. Anticipating this can help you score a quick rebound.

Take advantage of a player that shows weakness with a particular hand by forcing them to that side. If they are right handed, step towards them with your left foot so they have to switch sides. Keep your center of gravity low at all times so that your chance to steal the ball remains high at all times.

TIP! Free throws are as much mental as they are physical. You’re able to train your whole body to do full free throw motions, but if you’re not mentally prepared, you will fail.

Keep yourself calm when shooting the ball. Concentrate on the basket. Learn to always focus your gaze on the back edge of the rim as you shoot the ball. With a lay-up, focus your attention on the backboard and how the shot will bank off into the basket.

You should know your weaknesses. Make an honest assessment. When fouls are your hangup, practice them frequently. If you have trouble with rebounds, work on your vertical leap and lift weights to add strength. Strengthen your weaknesses so you can be an all-around player.

You need to bounce the ball hard when dribbling. This is because when you bounce the ball hard, the ball is moving quicker and gives the defender less time to try to snatch it away when it is out of your hands. Therefore, you must always dribble to the extent of your strength and ability.

TIP! Practice catching passes as often as you can. Try to catch all of the passes that are thrown to you.

Dribbling is as much mental as it is physical. Being a good dribbler requires being able to control spin without thinking, change the speed of your dribbles, and have a developed sense of where the ball always is in relation to your body. Change your momentum and shift your body to keep your defenders on their toes.

There are different types of defense, but two of the most important ones are known as zone and man-to-man. In the latter, you guard a particular area on the court as opposed to guarding single players. For the latter, your focus on one particular person from the opposing team. When the player you are guarding switches in response to a given situation, it is known as switch man to man defense.

Basketball has been very appealing to most people. The key to basketball, whether watching or playing, is knowledge. Keep the ideas from this article in your mind, and your appreciation of basketball will rise.

TIP! 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.