Shooting is the Most Important Skill in Basketball | Training Tips
Basketball success is measured by the number of points scored. Though other aspects of the game such as defense and rebounding are important, there is nothing more essential to on-court success than putting the ball through the hoop. However, plenty of people who play basketball struggle with their shot. Even some professional ballers such as Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz have plenty of room for improvement in terms of shooting technique and field goal percentage. Shooting a basketball is an art form few have perfected. Our basketball gurus are here with some training tips to help you reach your shooting potential and ultimately take your game to the next level.
Focus on the Target
When you rise to shoot your jump shot, your eyes should be locked on the target. Do not look at the backboard or the bottom of the net; set your sights on the front portion of the rim as this is where the ball must go. Zero in on this target as early as possible, do not concern yourself with the flight of the basketball and you will maximize your chances of putting the ball through the hoop. Keep your eyes locked on the hoop until the ball moves through the net.
Mind Your Stance and Balance
Shooting a basketball involves much more than hand-eye coordination. The entirety of your body matters. Ideally, your feet will align with your shoulders. Slightly bend your knees so you can spring upward into your jump shot. However, some players prefer more of a square stance while others are partial to an open stance. If you prefer an open stance, the foot on your dominant side (the side you shoot from) should be slightly forward while the other foot trails behind. If you are partial to a more squared stance, both feet should face directly at the basket. The moral of this story is to be hyper-aware of your footwork and balance as these subtleties really do matter a great deal in the context of successfully shooting a basketball.
Your Grip on the Basketball Matters a Great Deal
If your fingers are too close to one another on the basketball, your shooting accuracy will be lower than it should be. Your fingers should be spread apart just enough so that you can easily hold the basketball in that shooting hand. The basketball should rest on the fingertips as opposed to the entirety of the fingers. There should be a small amount of space between your shooting hand’s palm and the basketball.
Be Conscious of the Nuances of Your Shot Delivery
The shooting motion should send the basketball straight up without any sort of dip. Your elbow should be directly below the ball. Your shooting hand must be directly in line with the rim. Keep the basketball out in front of you. Do not let the basketball even slightly move behind your head. Ideally, your entire body will release in unison with the shot. This means your legs, your midsection, and your shooting arm should be in full coordination for a single elegant movement. Allow your elbow and wrist to extend outward toward the basket during your shooting motion to maximize your chances of making the shot.
Follow Through Toward the Target
Baseball pitchers and football quarterbacks are taught to follow through toward their target. This advice holds true for basketball as well. Additional training tips are to follow through with your shooting arm toward the rim/net and you really will hike your field goal percentage. The proper shooting form ensures you can see your fingers as they move toward the top portion of the backboard. Follow through with your shooting arm and hold this outward extension until the ball goes through the hoop.
Mind Your Upward Momentum
The basketball should be released prior to the point at which you reach the peak of your jump. Your legs are responsible for generating the force necessary to move upward so be sure to push up with all your might. When done properly, you will land exactly where you initially jumped from.
Master Your Mid-range Jump shot Before the 3-point Shot
Nowadays, just about everyone models their game after Steph Curry and James Harden and their training tips. After all, these amazing shooters have become the face of the sport. However, it is important to resist the temptation to shoot long-range shots just because you see your favorite players launching threes from beyond the arc on a nightly basis. Do not attempt to master your 3-point shot until you have perfected your mid-range jumper.
Begin shooting a couple of feet away from the hoop. Do not move farther away from the basket until you hit five straight shots. Move back toward the middle portion of the lane and practice shooting until you hit five straight shots from this distance. Continue working on these training tips and your way toward the 3-point line in such an incremental fashion and you will have an entire arsenal of shots in your repertoire rather than just a 3-point shot.