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Basketball was created by a man named Dr. James Naismith, way back in 1891. Since that time, the game has become supremely popular the world over. Players who excel in basketball have become household names. It then went from him to Magic Johnson to make the best players into celebrities. To get more out of their success, read below.

It is easy to be focused on offense when you are learning how to play basketball, but you really should focus your practice on defense. Defense is what keep the other team from scoring. If your team doesn't have a good defense, you're not going to make it far in a game.

Free throws are mental as well as physical. With everyone watching, it can be easy to allow the pressure to interfere with your game. Relax, take your time and be focused.

When dribbling, your head must be up, and you need to look forward. If you have to keep your eye on the ball when you're dribbling, practice can remedy that. Wherever you go, take your ball with you. Dribble as you walk to the market. Always look ahead when you are dribbling the ball.

Never play through an injury on the court. Basketball is physically demanding, and it is easy to get hurt. You can quickly turn a strain into a debilitating medical issue if you do not take a break from the action. If you are seriously injured, obtain medical care.

Before, during and after the season, play out games by yourself. Even if you can't get a bunch of people together to play, you can still practice on your own. That is okay. You are able to do a lot with solo games. Maybe work on those free throws or practice your pivoting. You can always practice.

If you're going to be a jump shooter, don't lift too many weights. Muscle strength can be great for basketball players, but it is actually possible to have excessive amounts for playing on the perimeter. Some professionals develop their muscles so much that they are actually having a hard time with shooting.

Always know where your feet are and what they are doing. This can help you avoid going out of bounds or making a bad pass. Taking excessive steps while not dribbling results in a call of walking as well as a turnover. A foul will result if you try to take a charge or set a pick and your feet are moving.

Build your core strength and work on your footwork. Your body will be more stable and easier to move when you have strength in your core muscles. The most important muscle groups include your back, stomach, and pelvic region. Similar to boxers, jumping rope can better your speed and footwork.

If you are posting up, strategic footwork is important to becoming open and making a good shot. Getting a great position under the goal is the most important. When you are in position, you must secure your spot. Each of these skills is reliant on good footwork.

A great way to stay in a correct defensive stance is to always stay in position no matter what. Slide your feet from side to side or push off with your opposing foot so that you are always in position. Always keep your feet from crossing, and you will make it hard for any opponent to get past.

Trip up the offense by constantly changing your pace. As you are heading towards the net, straighten up and plant down your foot. Your guard will do the same, thinking you plan to stop. When they do this, push yourself forward and take the chance to run by them.

If you can take this advice to heart, you can win on the court. Set reasonable goals and practice regularly to become the best player possible. When adding these tips, use them within the strategy you made to start seeing the improvements you've wanted.

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