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Basketball Shooting Instruction – Champs Hoops

Becoming a great shooter is not something that just happens overnight. It takes time and effort in the gym to work on your shot, but it also requires the proper basketball training. We have all heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect” but that isn’t true.

The correct statement should be, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” So before you go to the gym and spend hours upon hours working on your shot, you need to first be taught the correct way to shoot the basketball.

Basketball Shooting Instruction Myths

Before we get into the technique of basketball shooting and some different tips for becoming a better shooter I am going to cover a couple of common misconceptions or myths about learning to shoot.

basketball shooting instruction

  • Myth # 1 Every good shooter shoots the same way. This is not true and the quickest way to prove that is to look at the NBA. Some great shooters have all different kinds of forms. However, all of them have a few key shooting fundamentals locked down that make them great.
  • Myth # 2 Shooting percentage is only affected when the ball is in the shooter’s hands. This is completely untrue, and I would argue that a lot of the time a shot is made or missed before the shooter ever receives the ball for the shot. Your footwork, hands, and getting squared up to the basket have a huge impact on your shot.

Basketball Shooting Instruction Tips

As I mentioned before there are certain fundamental things that every great shooter does on their shot. These shooting fundamentals give the shooters a strong foundation and help them become great shooters.

Here are several tips for improving your shooting percentage and becoming a better shooter.

  1. Shot preparation – Before the ball ever gets to you on the pass you need to be down-ready, showing your hands, and stepping into your shot as you receive the pass. This affects being able to get your body squared up to the basket on the shot, and not drifting or fading away. It also makes your shot a lot quicker.
  2. Stay in your shot– Too many players shoot the ball and don’t hold they’re following through, kick their leg out, drift on their shot, etc. Great shooters though stay in their shot until they see the ball go in or miss. The goal should be to land in the same general area that you jumped from (slightly forward).
  3. Confidence – If you want to be a good or even great shooter you must have confidence in your shot. Whether you missed the last few shots or made the last few, you need to be ready to shoot the next good shot that comes your way. Great shooters have a short memory.

Here are Five Steps to the Perfect Shot

  • STEP 1

    Catch the ball with the feet and hands ready to shoot.

Hands: Wrist cocked

  • Two shooting fingers pointing up and in the middle of the ball
  • Offhand at 9 o’clock (right-hand shooter) or 3 o’clock (left-hand shooter)
  • The ball is not touching the palm of the shooting hand

Feet: Pointing toward the basket

  • The shooting foot is positioned ahead of the non-shooting foot. The toe of a non-shooting foot is even with the instep of the shooting foot.

Body: Flexed at the knees and hips as if in a defensive stance

  • This provides balance and improved range.
  • STEP 2

    Vertical Alignment – Elbow in & ball out (Move the ball into and up the “elevator”)

  • All parts of the shooting arm – upper, lower, hand, and two shooting fingers (index and middle) – are in a vertical plane to the side of the face, out in front of the shoulder. This is the shooting pocket – where the shot begins.

The ball then moves straight up. It is much like an elevator. If feet or arms are extending into the doorway, the doors will not close. Once inside, the elevator moves straight up and down. It should be noted that the ball is started from different heights depending on distance and a player’s strength.

Those with less strength must start the ball lower in the pocket. Key phrases for this step are: “Elbow in – ball out” and “Into & Up the elevator”

  • STEP 3

One hand release

  • When both hands are above the height of the head (NOT ABOVE THE HEAD), the ball is sent on its way with a one-hand release. The one-hand release is the most important shooting skill to master because it produces the greatest accuracy.

The ball should move up the elevator and be released in one smooth motion. Be aware of keeping the ball in front of the body. Allowing it to go back behind the head and then forward reduces range and arc.

  • STEP 4

Freeze the release

  • When the ball is sent on its way, freeze both hands for two seconds. This produces greater accuracy and form. The shooting hand should end up high above and in line with the basket.
  • STEP 5


  • Learning to concentrate on your target – blocking out all distractions – is an absolute necessity to be a great shooter. Keep your eyes on a small area on the front of the rim – about two inches wide. The focus point is not for distance but for left/right accuracy.

Great shooters are not born, but they can be made if the player is willing to learn and then put in the time to develop their shot. Hopefully, you will be able to use this shooting instruction article to help you get started on the path to becoming a great shooter.

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