Here I will discuss all the tips for improving your 3-point shooting that I learned playing basketball. It took me 3 or 4 years to understand basic things that answer the question of how to shoot three-pointers.
Shoot 3 Pointers Tips By Rob Willemse
You probably have heard that proper shooting mechanics is very important. For example, Ray Allen shoots a basketball with the same form every time.
So it is important to develop the 3-point shooting form that you will constantly use in the game and practice. You should not copy one or another player’s condition but rather work on your current state and try to improve it.
When launching a 3-pointer, there are a few main body parts that more or less contribute to shooting form. You need to evaluate them to see if you can improve.
Feet & Legs
Let’s start with feet. Feet position can be straight (||) (facing the basket), slightly turned (// or \\), or sideways (/ \). Only recently, I found that if you place your feet sideways like that / \ and elevate with your legs, you will get much more stability in the air.
It would help if you tried all three feet’ positions to boost from and see which works better for you. Different situations require different actions; for example, you could use a sideways feet position for spot-up shooting and slightly turned for shooting off dribbling.
Always use dipping while shooting a three-pointer; legs have the strongest muscles in the human body, so you can transfer that power to your hands while releasing the basketball.
This is especially important when you’re tired in late-game situations, and energy from your hands and wrist will not be enough to shoot. Another advantage of shooting a 3-pointer using legs is that you release the ball at a higher level, so the defender will have more trouble blocking your shot.
The last thing about legs is to monitor the final stage of the shot. Do you land in the same spot where you started? Unless you’re shooting a game-winner buzzer-beater in the last second of the game while being closely guarded, you have to land in the same spot.
If you land to the left or right, you try to correct the shot at the final stage and have problems with the hand position. Many players, including Ray Allen, land further from the starting position after 3 pt. Shot, it’s not bad; make sure you land straight and not to the left or right side.
Elbow & Hands
Keep your elbow straight, and do not flare it while making the shot. It is much more complicated to compensate for the ball trajectory with the left hand in the final release stages than to shoot just with one hand.
Practice shooting with one hand inside the arc to get used to keeping a straight elbow. When the ball leaves your right hand, the left hand must not touch the ball (the opposite if you’re left-handed). The last fingers that touch the ball are the index and middle fingers.
Palm the ball with all fingers before shot, and roll your wrist until it finally ball leaves your hand. Keep hanging your arms after shooting for a moment, and you can even try to wave goodbye for the ball or imagine grabbing the rim.
This will create a softer shooter touch. A higher shooting arch increases the chances for the ball to enter the hole but is harder to control, so aim for an angle to be not too high but also not too sharp. The ball should spin its way to the rim.
Some players swing the ball down to the waist level and then elevate. Remember to keep the ball high because you lose precious time for the defense to recover.
As with the feet, your head must be stable and not swing while shooting three-pointers. Think about the sniper looking through a rear sight; does he move it? So keep your head steady.
The longer you look at the target (the rim), the more accurate your shot will be. Of course, we’re talking about logical time; half a second could be your breaking point if you shoot like Kobe Bryant (catapult style) and continue to target your eyes on the rim when you have the ball overhead.
Your mind also plays a great role in making that three-pointer. Always believe in making it. Your confidence in crucial game situations is very important. If you do not think you can make it, better pass it.
The situation dictates how you shoot. Spot-up 3-point shooting is the easiest because you always fire with the same technique. If you hit a running or dribble three-pointer, slight adjustments are needed, like better release timing and feet position.
As you can see, shooting three-pointers in basketball involves many different things. You should practice and perfect your shooting form. Do not expect to double your percentage overnight, but one month of motivated practice can make the difference.
Great 3-point shooters like Ray Allen, Gilbert Arenas, and Reggie Miller made countless shots before the game. They built confidence by practicing, and so should you.