In basketball, your shooting technique is one of the most important elements that you can perfect. After all, how do you score? By shooting! That’s why it’s crucial that basketball players perfect their shooting techniques. But, how do you do that? Improving your shooting technique can be complex, especially if you’re not a coach or, you’re just starting out in basketball. There are many elements to a great shot and thus, each one can be perfected in order to comprehensively improve your overall shooting technique.
How to improve your basketball shooting
- Keep your eyes on the prize
Keeping your eyes on the hoop is key. Many people make the mistake of keeping their eyes on the ball, however, that’s not the goal! The goal is to get the ball into the hoop and thus, you should stay focused on the hoop and then try to direct your ball into it. To improve your hand-eye coordination and ultimately, your chances of getting the ball into the hoop, try focusing on the hoop’s front rim.
- Pay attention to your balance and how you stand
Your balance and stance can ultimately affect your shot. You must ensure that you are standing shoulder-width apart (even when shooting from around the court, not just for a free throw) and with your knees slightly bent. The latter is not just important for your shooting technique, but also for preventing injury. There are slight variations to stances, so you may adjust accordingly. If you like a wider stance, then place your non-shooting foot a little behind the other foot. If you like a more square stance then ensure that both feet are pointed towards the basket.
- Ensure your grip is accurate
There is a right way and a wrong way to hold the basketball. Your fingers must be spread apart wide enough for the ball to be able to balance on one hand. Remember, the ball should sit on your finger pads and not on your fingernails or flat in the palm of your hand. Leave a bit of space between your palms and the ball. If you are right-handed, keep your left hand on the side of the line and let your right hand hold the back of the ball firmly in place. Always use the hand that you write with, or your dominant hand, to shoot with and the other to guide.
- Shoot smoothly
When you shoot the ball, it should soar straight up, with no dipping. Your elbow should be under the ball with your shooting hand parallel to the rim.
The ball should stay in front of you and not go behind your head. Release the ball with your entire body, ensuring that your legs, core and arm are all moving in one smooth and graceful movement. Your elbow and wrist should expand in a straight line to the basket.
- Use your upforce
When shooting, ensure that you release the ball before you reach the top of your jump. Your legs generate an upward force that can propel the ball and make your shot stronger, so use it! When landing, ensure that it’s in the same spot as any movement in the air can affect the result of your shot.
- Improve your follow-through
Your follow-through ensures that your shooting motion does not end early. Early termination can slow your shooting motion and negatively affect your range, ball rotation, and accuracy. To improve your follow-through, your wrists need to be relaxed, and your fingers should be pointed at where you shot the ball. Hold this position until the ball hits the target.
What you should NOT do
- Do not let the ball sit on your thumb
It’s easy for players to let the ball rest on their thumb when preparing to shoot. This habit is awkward and puts your body in a strained position. In order to pull off a great shot, you must be comfortable.
- Do not twist your body when shooting
Twisting your body while you are preparing to shoot or in the process of shooting can cause you to be inconsistent. To fix this, check your foot alignment or figure out if you are bringing your guide hands down too early.
- Do not fling your wrist when shooting
Flinging your wrist when shooting can cause you to lose height and arching in the air which results in a flat shot. This may be the reason why you are missing a lot of shots.
N1DP’s basketball training for kids and youths can help them master their skills–including their shooting technique. We have brought together some of the most innovative and skilled basketball minds in Australia to train Sydney’s basketball-loving youth.
Do you want to join the N1DP family? Enquire today on 1300 33 N1DP.