8 Effective Tips for Shooting a Basketball

Let’s face it – most of the best players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) have the highest shooting percentages. At its core, basketball is still about successfully shooting the ball through the hoop.


8 Tips About How To Shoot A Basketball

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Keep Your Eyes on the Target

You shooting accuracy will increase when you keep your eye on the target. This is true even when you have already developed muscle memory for your shooting skills.

  • Locate the rim of the basket as early as possible.
  • Avoid following the ball’s flight as you release it. Just keep your eyes on the target.
Keep Your Eyes on the Target

Your muscle memory and informed judgment about the ball’s trajectory will kick into gear. When you take your eyes off the target, you’re more likely to make mistakes.


Adopt the Proper Stance and Balance

Your body’s stance is the key to keeping your balance and making the shot. Your power comes from your lower body, particularly your legs. You should then adopt an athletic stance that harnesses such power.

  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart for better stability. Your toes should point toward the rim. You should be comfortable in your slightly staggered stance. Your shooting foot must be a bit in front of your non-shooting foot.
  • Point your feet in the basket’s general direction although not directly at it. You can choose between an open and closed stance.
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    Flex or bend your knees for every shot you make.
Adopt the Proper Stance and Balance

Note: Many coaches prefer an open stance with the feet pointing toward one side of the basket. If you’re a right-handed shooter, your feet should point just to the left of the rim. You will have a more natural and comfortable shooting position.

Keep in mind that consistency is crucial in making the shot. When you have developed a comfortable shot, you should line up your feet in the same way.


Move into the Shot Pocket

You have to move the ball quickly into the shot pocket, as soon as you catch it. The shot pocket is the position where you begin your jump shot. All the parts of your shooting arm should be in a vertical plane to the side of your face, out in front of your shoulder.

  • Line up everything that your shooting eye and the ball form a straight line to the hoop.
  • Position the basketball several inches above your waist.
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    Keep a firm and proper grip on the ball before readying the shoot.
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    Position it in your shot pocket in exactly the same way after every catch.


Get the Proper Grip

Your control over the ball and its shot also depends on your proper grip over it. This is one of the first things that you must learn in a basketball clinic, too, as it’s crucial to ball handling.

  • Place the ball’s air hole between your index and middle fingers.
  • Line up the pads of your fingertips parallel to the ball’s long seams. You can effectively check its back spin in this manner.
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    Leave a space between the middle of your palm and the ball. You can insert a pencil in the area, just to check it.
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    Spread your fingers so that the ball has a stable and comfortable balance in your hand. Your fingertips should be touching the ball (i.e., the ball should sit on them).
Get the Proper Grip

You should practice holding the ball without dribbling or passing it.


Be Aware of Your Balance Hand

Your balance hand is important in making the shot, too. You should keep these dos and don’ts in mind about it:

  • Do keep your non-shooting hand (i.e., balance hand) on the side of the ball.
  • Do use your non-shooting hand to guide your shots.
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    Don’t let your balance hand move on delivery.
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    Do let it always come off the ball first upon delivery.
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    Don’t let your balance hand add spin or force to your shot.

Keep in mind that your balance hand should add balance to your shooting motion.


Follow on the Delivery

Your delivery will be the difference between a successful and missed shot. Keep these delivery tips in mind:

  • Never dip the ball. It should start its motion upwards directly from the shot pocket.
  • Keep your elbows in a comfortable position under the ball. It should stay in your front and not behind your head.
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    Coordinate the uncoiling motion of your legs, core and arms.
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    Extend your elbow and wrist in a straight line to the hoop.
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    Extend your shooting hand in a straight line to the rim, too.

You have to be aware of hand position, too. Your hand should deliver the right power so that the ball comes off with a symmetrical backspin.


Release on the Upforce and Landing

Your landing should be such that you will land on the same spot where you jumped. This shows your good balance on the shot.


You should also release the ball on its way up. This is usually just before you reach the top of your jump. You must also use your legs in generating the upforce, yet another proof that power is in your legs.


Follow on the Follow-through

Even after the ball has been released, you should still be aware of the follow-through.

  • Keep your wrists relaxed.
  • Point your fingers at the target.
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    Hold your follow-through position until you make the shot.
Follow on the Follow-through

Of course, plenty of practice is a must to perfect the stationary shooting position. You can add your dribbling skills at different speeds to your shooting skills during the game.

Final Words

Becoming a great shooter in basketball demands raw talent and skills development. You have to spend hours on perfecting your shooting stance and style. You can build muscle memory in this manner and, thus, make more effective shots.

Artis Gilmore and Wilt Chamberlain didn’t achieve their place in the NBA as the top shooters for nothing. They had to practice their shots from all angles, directions and speeds – and so should you!

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Walter Kalb

Walter Kalb is the Editor of TheSportsUp.com. He is a sports enthusiast and love to share what he know about sports. In personal life he is a father of two cute kids and loving husband of a beautiful wife. He love foods and nothing is more important than reading book in his spare time.

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