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Basketball season tends to be an obsession to supporting fans and players. It is important to make the games exciting for the spectators. Everyone on the team has to contribute somehow, so you have to be sure that you know what goes into having good basketball skills. Continue on for excellent tips to ensure that you win as many games as you can.

It's easy to focus on offense when learning to play, but your practice time would be better spent on defense. Defense can make or break a basketball game. Offense gets attention and praise, but when you lack good defense, any team can lose.

Practice your layup shot often. Four out of every five shots taken in a given game will be layups. When you practice, you need to be able to run toward the basket at full speed, then shoot while jumping in the air. Practicing your running and jumping as a single motion will improve your technique faster than practicing them separately.

To be a better basketball player you should concentrate on the things that make you great. You might not have star ability, but you can be an outstanding team player. Know your strengths and keep practicing to get even better.

Practice your layup shot as frequently as possible. 80% of all shots in a game are usually layups. When you practice, you need to be able to run toward the basket at full speed, then shoot while jumping in the air. Practicing this technique helps you learn to make layups during a game.

Understanding the opponent is key in beating a tough defense. Watch replays and follow scouting reports. Know the dominant hand of every player. The more you understand what you are up against, the more likely you are to develop an effective strategy during games. The more knowledgeable a defender is, the stronger he is.

When an injury occurs while you are playing ball, don't keep playing with pain. It's a challenging sport that's very physical, and you have the ability to get injured. If you keep playing when you are injured, you could end up with an injury which keeps you from ever playing again. Serious injuries may require medical attention.

Work on passing in a direction you are not looking. This will make your actions very confusing to the other team. If you do it right, the look makes members of the opposing team look in the wrong direction, which gives the person to whom you passed the ball plenty of time to make the shot. This can be a great play if it is done correctly.

If your shooting is suffering, take a close look at your shoulders. When they are out of alignment, all shots will fail. Be sure to keep the shoulders squared up to the hoop. The dominant shoulder needs to be lined up with the rim.

Create and stick to a routine each time you prepare to shoot a free throw. This can include the number of times you dribble, how you position your feet, or anything else. Don't dilly dally, but do complete your ritual.

A routine can enable your free throw percentage to rise. A routine that is constantly in flux will only open up more opportunities for failure. The best way to perfect your free throw shooting technique is through repetition by practicing the same routine over and over again. You are likely to miss your shot if you're not settled into your routine.

Use the hand you aren't dribbling with to keep the opponent away from the ball. This is much safer than just shoving an opponent, which is a serious foul and bad sportsmanship to boot. Just make sure it is kept slightly up while you use the other hand to dribble.

Stay low when you play defense. You will be able to react more quickly and jump higher because of this. Hold a defensive stance always. If you need to leave your feet in order to prevent your opponent from shooting the ball, quickly get back into that good defensive position.

Whether for casual play, for competition, or just for a shoot around, improving your basketball skills will make it more fun to play. You've taken the time to read this article, now go one step further by making use of it. Learning more will make you a better player.

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