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How to Shoot the Basketball : Learn the Basics to Become a Great Shooter

How To Shoot A Basketball

Shooting is the single most crucial skill in basketball. If you can shoot and put the ball through the hoop, there’s undoubtedly a spot for you on the court. Shooters bring so much to the table - even if they never take a shot. They cause major dilemmas for the other team - not just because they can score but because they have to constantly know where the shooter is on the floor.

A prime example is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. When he is on the floor, he is a threat from anywhere and that keeps the floor spread for their offense. The defense has to stick tight to Curry and aren’t able to help their teammates on defense because you can’t give a shooter any space otherwise they’re giving up a bucket. You always have to respect the shooter.

Not everyone has the ability to shoot, but no matter the skill level any player can improve their shooting if they’re willing to make a commitment and work at it. In this article, we’re going to breakdown the art of shooting in basketball. We’ll cover the basics such as correct form along with shooting drills to work on your shot, and recommendations for shooting aids to even further improve your shot.


Basketball Shooting Form - the Key to Being a Great Shooter

First things first, we’re going to start from the very beginning. As a basketball player, you have to know how to shoot the basketball the correct way. Great shooters have great technique. They pay attention to every last detail of their shot and they are relentless about getting shots up. It will take repetition after repetition to make your shot automatic - to the point where you know as soon as it leaves your hand whether it’s going in or not. To get to this point, you have to start at the basics.

  1. Starting Stance. The first habit you need to create is catching the ball in your shooting stance. This means your knees are bent, your feet are shoulder width apart for good balance, and a little staggered as well. Your feet should be staggered so that it’s comfortable for you which usually means your shooting foot is the lead foot. Once you have this stance down, be sure to line up the exact same way every time. Your knees are bent so that you can use them to jump on your shot. If your knees aren’t bent then you’re playing straight up which is what you don’t want.
  2. Line Up Your Shot. When the ball is in your hands, move it quickly into the shot pocket to get your shot ready. Your shooting form should be a straight line. You simply want to be all lined up - eyes on target, your elbow tucked in, and your wrist straight - everything should be lined up with the rim. If your elbow starts poking out, pull it back to keep in a straight line every time.
  3. Grip on the Ball. With the ball all lined up, it’s time to get your hands positions right to grip the ball. Your fingertip pads should be parallel to the long seems on the ball which should give your ball backspin when you shoot. Be sure to leave space between the ball and your palm - just enough space that you could poke a finger in it.
  4. Guide Hand. Or in other words, your non-shooting hand. Your guide hand should be on the side of the ball doing nothing but guiding the ball from your shot pocket to your release. It will the the hand that comes off the ball first.

    5. Shooting the Ball. Your in your shooting stance, the ball is lined up in your shot pocket with the right grip, and now you’re using your guide hand as you’re jumping up to shoot the ball. As your jumping, the ball should be moving in a straight line motion upwards, release the ball on the way up (just before you’re at the top of your jump), and it should come off your fingertips with backspin. Your guide hand should be to the side.


    6. Hold Your Follow Through. Once you release the ball, hold your follow through. This is my favorite part of shooting. Why? Because the follow through is so pretty. Make sure you extend your follow through and everything is still lined up. Your follow through should look like you’re trying to get a cookie out of the cookie jar on top of the fridge. After you’ve released the ball, you should land in the same spot you jumped from and hold your follow through until the ball hits the rim.


How to Shoot a Basketball Consistently

Are you missing short or long on your shot? Click Here.

Are you missing left or right on your shot? Click Here.

Basketball Shooting Games

Basketball shooting games are a fun way to help players developing their shooting skills. Just be careful that when you play baskeball shooting games that players are using good form. Often, players will get sloppy and start hurring their shot which can lead to bad form and the development of bad habits.  

So what basketball shooting games should you use? You can make any shooting drill competitive and therfore turn it into a game. Add any of these elements to any shooting drill and you can make a game out of it.

  • Number of made shots
  • Make a number of shots in a row
  • Swish a number of shots (total or in a row)
  • Add a time element to a drill. Player must make 10 shots from a spot in 2 minutes for example.

How to Shoot a Basketball More Accurately

10 Shooting Tips from Coach Trey


Basketball Shooting Machine to Get Up More Shots in Less Time

To get better at shooting it requires repetition after repetition. The best thing you can do to get the maximum number of reps with each work out is purchase a iC3 rebounder. The iC3 Rebounder is going to make your shooting sessions better by passing the ball back to you. What does this mean? It means you won't waste energy chasing after missed shots and you WILL get more shots up. You'll be efficient with your time as well as getting quality work in on the court.

The quality work you accomplish on the court will come from using a great mixture of drills. You need to work on being able to shoot the ball off the pass as well as use your dribble to create your own open shot. The drills below will give you many ways to work on these two things - some drills even show you how useful an iC3 Rebounder will be during your workout - but all of these drills can still be done on your own or with a teammate.

Drill #1: Steve Nash Basketball Shooting Drills. In this drill, Nash breaks down using a shot fake to get your defender off the ground then using a circle move to get by them for an open shot at the basket.

Drill #2: 3 Point Shooting Drill Streak Shooting. In this drill, you're going to be shooting to see how many shots you can hit in a row. Instead of shooting a certain number of shots, you choose to make so many shots in a row. By training yourself to make shots in a row, you're focusing on every shot and helps you learn to shoot under pressure.

Drill #3: Basketball Shooting Drills Off the Dribble with iC3 Rebounder. In this drill, you start at the top of the key where you'll catch a pass, take one dribble right for a jump shot. Go back to the top of the key, catch a pass then take one dribble left for a jump shot. Continue going back to the top of the key for a pass and mix up taking one dribble in either direction for a jump shot.

Drill #4: Point Guard Shooting Drills - Off Ball Screens. In this drill, you start at the jump circle in half court and have a dummy defender (chair, cone, etc) set up at the elbow. Pick a side and dribble to the wing, then dribble to defender at elbow getting by them for an open shot in the lane. Continue going back and forth from wing to wing, working on using your screen, and your shot.

Drill #5: 1-2 Step Basketball Shooting Drill. In this drill, you start at the right elbow, spin out your basketball then 1-2 step into your shot. By spinning out your basketball, you're simulating a pass so picture catching to shoot. On the right elbow, you're 1 step with be with your inside (right) foot and the 2 step will be your outside (left) foot coming around to square yourself to the basket. For the left elbow, it will be opposite. Continue to go back and forth between elbows, spinning the basketball out, working on your correct footwork, and shooting with perfect form a jump shot.


Basketball Shooting Drills

  • The Art of the Quick Release. Pro Trainer Dorian Lee is going to show you how to get a Steph Curry like release with the techniques, tips, and drills he shares in this video.
  • How to Correct Common Shooting Errors. If you've been working on your shot and still feel like you're making mistakes then take a look at this DVD rental. NBA Shooting Coach Dave Love is going to coach you through those mistakes and how to fix them to get the correct form.

How to Shoot a Basketball Training Aids

  • iC3 Basketball Rebounder Shooting Aid.The iC3 is a must have for any basketball player. It allows you to stop chasing your ball after every shot which means you will be able to put up more shots during a workout and focus your energy on improving your game with quality workouts.
  • Bulls Eye Basketball Shooting Aid. The Bulls Eye will help you establish the perfect shooting form on every shot. Your jump shot will become smoother as you learn to use your wrist more instead of pushing your shot.
  • Wrap Strap Shooting Aid. The Wrap Strap is here to help you develop a true one-handed shot without your guide hand getting in the way. It's guaranteed to make a difference the first time you use it!
Nov 06, 2019 Coach Chris

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