guide to shoot basketball better

How To Shoot a Basketball Better In 2023 – Step by Step Guide

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Shooting a perfect basketball for beginners is possible as long as they have the right mindset and a passion for learning.

Basketball is no doubt a dynamic sport, which tests a player’s patience, fitness, and of course, cognitive skills. However, there comes the point in this game when you require more than game play tactics, that is, the act of shooting the basketball. Some might say it is not the most difficult moment of the game as no one is guarding you, and you have ample time to aim your basket.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean everyone should be able to shoot a basketball and make it every time. Even the top 1% of players can archive carrier averages of not more than 85%, and that’s after hours of practice and dedication. This is why today, we will go through an in-depth guide on how to shoot a basketball better. We will also talk about tips on jump shot form, so in the end, you can archive perfection. Let’s get straight into it!

Step By Step Guide on Shooting a Basketball Like a Pro 

Shooting a basketball properly ultimately boils down to your mechanics and techniques. The more you focus on your form, the more you will be closer to scoring three-pointers consistently. The following guide will help you in this regard but keep in mind that learning about things like Michael Jordan shooting form takes time and effort, and there is no easy way out of it. With that said, these are some useful steps for beginners;

Step #1: Start with your Hand-placement

Hand placement in basketball
Hand position for better shooting

If you want to hone your mechanics that will allow you to shoot the basketball better in a straight line with the least amount of effort, then you definitely want to start from the hand placement. As a rule of thumb, place your shooting hand in the center or just near the area where you pump the ball. It shouldn’t be facing on either side such that your elbow pops out. When you get the hand placement near the center, the ball will have a better arc by the time you shoot it.

Once your hand placement is defined, split your index finger at the basketball center to get extremely good control of your move.

Keep in mind that the split should be even on both sides. The optimal zone is in the middle for some players, but you can decide what works best for your body.

Now, move your guide hand on either side of the basketball to support your aim.

Sliding the basketball at a bit on top is also considered great. This will secure your grip so you can jump shot from all the way. Also, when your hands are close together, there is a chance that you will push it rather than skim it. So, avoid that and get the correct hand position as you shoot a basketball like a pro.

Step #2: Stabilize your foundation for a decent shot-path 

The following steps in shooting a basketball are to optimize your shot path. It is basically how the ball is supposed to go from the ground and up and how a player can build a rhythm or transfer the energy in beef shooting form.

Foundation position in shooting training
Foundation position to shoot basketball

Start by bending your hips such that the ball and your lower-back work together rather than against each other.

When both your hip and ball placement is low, it will provide you with a decent set-back to throw the ball from a distance. If the ball and hip are not positioned in the same manner, you won’t have a good transfer of energy, won’t be able to shoot with range, and won’t be able to build a strong, consistent three-point jumper.

It should not be coming from behind your head or towards your ears, but from the quads, chest, and finally through your eyes. As long as you keep it in a straight line, your jump shot form will be perfect.

Step #3: Move to the RELEASE 

As you get up in your shot, it’s time to work on your release. So, you want to ensure that you are releasing the ball with the first two fingers. This will provide you with an optimal rotation on the ball and a nice-soft touch off the basket. If you hit the rim, the likelihood of shooting the basketball and making it every time is high.

Please keep your hands underneath the ball and release it such that the guiding hand along with the wrist is pointed to the floor.

It is not correct to shoot a basketball if the guiding hand is turned to face the rim. So, you should avoid the short push and maintain the flick. As there is a flick, you’ll have a soft touch, the ball will travel through the air cleanly, and if it does hit the rim, it will fall nice and steady.

Tips On How to Shoot a Basketball for Beginners 

So, the beef shooting form for everyone can be a bit different, but for beginners, there are a few key things right off the bat that will help you throw properly. Some of them are under as;

Tip #1; Try to lift your feet slightly as you prepare for a jump shot 

If you can tilt your feet off to the side just slightly, that will provide you with a much better arc. It will unlock your shoulder muscles at the top so that you come up and give a perfect release every single time. Depending on your body form, some players might need a small tilt while others have something in between, but the basic idea here is the same, so the results are unchanged.

Tip #2; Make sure to land forward on a given shot

Many basketball coaches will tell you to land on the same spot, but you will find that’s not the case when you follow the elite-level shooters. They tend to land closer to the hoop where they took off. And the reason because its importance is that it can optimize your overall mechanics.

So, if you land forward, it will automatically pull your release up just slightly because your shoulders are more relaxed. You don’t need to change anything and will be able to shoot the basketball a bit farther.

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Tip #3; Keep your elbow above your eye

Another important tip that will drastically improve your shot is maintaining the elbow above the eye. It means that if you were to draw a straight line away from your eyes, you want your elbow to break that path. The problem related to the beginners, when they get ready to shoot, they start pushing the ball towards the basket while their elbow stays too low.

This will make the arc or trajectory minute and make the target area small, so you have fewer chances of error. So, every basketball player should prevent that.

Tip #4; Plant your heels off the ground

The correct way to shoot a basketball is to keep your heels off the ground. This means when you are ready to shoot the basket off the catch or the dribble; you want to keep the heel or toe of your shoe distanced from the court. As your heels are up, you get a natural or almost springy motion so your joints can flex together and load without the ground taking away all the energy. This could also be seen jumping off a diving board, where athletes plant their feet on the board rather than heels.

Tip #5; Aim for the rim hooks in the basket 

Lastly, try to aim for the side hooks rather than the whole rim of the basket. This will help you feel confident and enhance your shooting percentages right off the bat. Although if you only aim for the rim, then the chances are you will eventually miss your shot and only the backboard. Many pro-basketball players use this technique and get the most out of their games.

Final Verdict 

This concludes our guide on how to shoot a basketball for beginners. So now that you have an idea on shooting the basketball perfectly and what your shot is supposed to look like. A good way is to see if you are shooting the right way is to set your phone up or have a friend record you. That way, when you’re throwing the basketball, you know you are avoiding all the dis-balance and following your form with the utmost attention.


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