Basketball Shooting: 3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Shot

IMG_9197_1.jpgIf you watch a professional basketball game, you will notice that almost every player has a style to their jump shot that is unique to them. Many players have different basketball shooting pockets, jump heights, and release times. It is easy to wonder how all of these players made it to the highest level of their sport without compromising the style that makes them unique. While all of those pros you’re watching may seem to be shooting the ball very differently, they all built their style of play off of the fundamentals they learned at a very early age.

Below are three simple tips that you can use to improve the fundamentals of your jump shot that coaches of all levels teach today.


1. Stay Balanced

"The key to being a good shooter is balance. Everything follows balance." - Larry Bird

A good shot starts at your feet and the energy is transferred up through your body. So it is important to have a good base when shooting. Some coaches prefer shooter's feet to be square with the basket, and some prefer the feet to be slightly angled. But no matter the angle of the feet, one thing is the same with both styles. A shooter’s feet must be shoulder-width apart in order to stay balanced and deliver the most power to your legs as you jump. By keeping your feet shoulder-width apart you are giving yourself a solid base to build your shot from.


2. Control your Shot with the Pads of your Fingers

When releasing the ball, shooters should guide the ball with the pads of their fingers. This is the part of your fingers where fingerprints are located. Some players tend to release the ball by pushing it with the palm of their hand. This has a tendency to create a flat shot with a much smaller margin of error, due to the low arch of the shot. Another common mistake is to release the ball with your fingertips. This can lead to shots falling short due to a lack of power behind the shot.   By releasing the ball off the pads of your fingers, you will be able to have the most control of the ball throughout your release without compromising your ball security or power of your shot.


3. Hold your Follow Through

If there is one thing that coaches talk about consistently, it is the importance of holding your follow through. It is necessary for developing a fluid shot and building muscle memory. Holding your follow through also ensures that your shooting motion does not end early. If your shot ends early it can slow down your shooting motion, which can negatively affect your range, ball rotation, and accuracy. By holding your follow through, your elbow becomes fully extended, which allows for a more accurate and consistent shot release. Consistency is key - hold your follow through every time and you'll become more comfortable than ever with your jump shot.  


Part of what makes basketball so great is the level of personal style that everyone can incorporate into their game. Just make sure to build off of these three fundamental tips and you’ll be watching your shooting percentage rise in no time!

Check out the article below for more shooting tips from Trainer Mike Lee.

Q&A with Pro Skills Trainer Mike Lee



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