Playing basketball requires you to be skilled in shooting. The skill of shooting is the most critical skill in basketball as this is where players earn points for their teams. However, it is also a lost art and is declining on every level. Nowadays, there are only a few great shooters. This is because it takes a lot of practice to master the art of basketball shooting.
Shooting entails a combination of factors ranging from the proper release of the ball to having the right mindset. It is a basic skill, but without tons of repetition and practice, it is impossible to fine tune it.
To practice, you need to have the tips that will make you a better shooter. Shooting is a skill that any player can improve, and there is no excuse of not doing so. All you need is a ball and a goal, but practice needs dedication. So what are some of the tips that can make you a better shooter?
This article highlights some of the essential tips you can use, which a combination of tactics that will enable you to become the better shooter you’re supposed to be. It also highlights the importance of improving your shooting skills.
What Is Basketball Shooting?
A basketball shot is simply throwing the basketball toward the hoop. Basketball shooting is one of the essential skills in basketball. The other skills include defense, dribbling, passing, and rebounding, and a combination of these allows you to get a high percentage shot, but you will still be required to make the shot.
Basketball shooting depends on your mental attitude. This implies that for you to develop your shooting skills, you need to have confidence in yourself that you’ll shoot well.
However, you also have to take into consideration the mechanical aspect of shooting, which entails body movements for you to make a great shot. Therefore, great shooting involves a combination of mentality and great mechanical coordination.
A great shooter is a pure shooter as he or she has a smooth and free-flowing shot. While some players think that pure shooters are naturally gifted, this is a misconception since shooting skills can be improved over time with the right mindset and practice.
Pure shooters, for example, Ray Allen, can easily dribble around an opponent and effortlessly pull up for a shot. While they may appear to have been born with the talent, they have mastered the skill over time. Their thoughts are not on the mechanics of the shot, but the movement and position of defenders and teammates.
They may at times fake the shot, only to deliver a pass, drive for the basket, or reverse to pull the ball out and reset the offense. However, pure shooters were once beginners, which is why we have compiled several tips that can be handy in improving your shooting skills.
Why You Need to Improve Your Shooting Skills
When you develop great basketball shooting skills, you’ll develop more accuracy. An accurate shot forces defenders to play you tight, which makes them more vulnerable to a fake shot. This allows you to pass and drive and shoot. Lacking an accurate shot makes defenders to play in anticipation that you’ll pass the basketball to a great shooter in your team and are less susceptible to fake shots.
When you are not good in basketball shooting, defenders can play farther off you and be in a better position to give a defensive help to a teammate guarding another player. This implies that for a team to be successful, it needs great shooters who can make an outside shot.
Other reasons you need to improve your shooting skills include:
Improvements in Shooting Will Win You More Games
Teams with great shooters have a competitive advantage as it makes it possible to win more games. This means that if you’re a great shooter, you’ll have more shots in a game, which leads to more points, making it easier for the team to win the game. If there are a couple of you in the team, the better chance the team will have winning. A higher percentage of shooting wins a game easier.
Good Shooting Gets You More Playing Time
If you are a great shooter, you’ll have more time to play since the coach prefers you than the other players. Coaches want great shooters on the court, but still want passers, defensive players, and rebounders. However, great shooters are hard to come by, which is why you’ll be included in many games.
A Great Shooter Changes the Game Dynamics
Offensive minded coaches know having great shooters in the court will do the trick even if they do not score. Having the threat of a good shooter stretches out the defense and causes them to cover more ground. This makes it easier to score as they stretch out the defense.
Great Shooting Can Kick-start Your Basketball Career and Even Get You a Scholarship
History proves that many players have made Division I college teams because they are great in the shooting. Besides many of them have been awarded college scholarships. If you are a great shooter, there is a high likelihood that you’ll play as a professional basketball player. This means you can make a living by playing the sport you love.
20 Tips for Becoming a Better Shooter
If you are ready to transform your basketball shooting skills, we have compiled 20 tips you. However, we have to remind you that practice makes perfect.
1. Always Keep an Eye on Your Target
Many players focus on the flight of the ball, but this is not a good strategy. You should not do so. Rather, find the target as early as possible and keep your eyes focus on that.
2. Footwork is The Base and basis of your Shot
Note that the feet are the base of your shot and form the basis of the way you shoot. When a player gets tired or shoots out of range, the first sign is poor footwork, particularly from being lazy or trying to generate that extra power. This is bad for you since it becomes a habit that is hard to correct as you grow old.
Sound footwork provides you with the stability, alignment, and rhythm you need to take a shot after you’ve dribbled past a defender. When the feet are aligned, the rest of the body will be aligned too for the shot. Essentially, a focus on the feet, hips, and shoulders follows suit if your footwork is stable and aligned.
3. Practice Fast and Not Out of Control
This is essential for continuous improvement. You need to practice at a speed that is comfortable and learn to improve that constantly by challenging yourself. Note that you cannot have continuity in improvement if you don’t try something different.
Once you get comfy with the basketball shooting drill you’ve been practicing, strive to do it faster, quicker, and harder, but make sure you are not out of control. You can make mistakes as it is a sign that you’re pushing yourself, but once your good habits fade or start faltering, slow down.
4. Pay Attention to Your Stance and balance
You need to keep your feet shoulder-width apart, and knees slightly bent. If you like a stance that is more open, your shooting foot should be forward, and non-shooting foot should trail behind. For a squarer stance, ensure that the feet face the basket.
5. Low Man Wins
Keeping a center of gravity will let you get your shot off quicker while having greater control. Stability and strength come from the core and kegs. So when making a shot, ensure that you keep a low center of gravity to improve stability, agility, and responsiveness. Some exercises you can adopt in your training routine include lunges, deadlifts, and squats to enable you to become a “lower” man.
6. Give Smooth Delivery
When shooting, the ball should go up with no dipping. Your elbow needs should be under the ball, and your shooting hand should be in a direct line to the rim. The ball should be in front of you but should not go behind your head.
You need to coordinate all the body for the shot, including your arm, core, and legs for one graceful movement. Your wrist and elbow should expand in a straight line with the basket.
7. Analyze Your Grip
Spread your fingers apart, so you balance the ball in just one hand. The ball should sit on your finger pads. Leave some space between the ball and your palm.
8. Improve your Follow Through
You need to keep your wrists relaxed, and fingers should be pointed at where you shot the ball. Ensure that you see your fingers at the top of the backboard and hold the position until the ball hits the target.
9. Pay Attention to Your Upforce
Ensure that the ball is released before reaching the top of your jump. Use your legs since they generate the upforce and always land on the same spot you left.
10. Correct Your Shots
As a player, it is easy to slip into bad habits, which ingrains your mechanics. If you note any issues with your mechanics, fix them immediately since it is the only way of stopping it from becoming a habit.
11. Finish with a Relaxed Wrist
It is common for players to make the mistake of following through with a tense wrist. The good practice here is ensuring that your wrists are relaxed and your hand should finish in line and bounce a little if possible during the follow through.
12. Keep the Shot Balanced, Consistent, and Fluid
Fluid motion means eliminating jerky movements for a constant flow from start to finish. Consistency is vital when moving your arms, feet, set point, and jump height.
13. Don’t Fall for Gimmicks
Players spend a lot of money buying shooting gloves and gimmicks thinking they’ll shoot better. You don’t use these devices in games, and it doesn’t matter whether you use them when practicing. Learn to shoot without these devices.
14. Get to Set
Once you catch the ball, get it to your set position as quickly as possible, which will speed up the shot.
15. Use a Return Device
Using rebounding and return devices doubles the number of shots you can take in practice. This way, you don’t have to spend a lot of time chasing the ball.
16. Use a Partner to Fine Tune Your Shot Alignment
Spend time during each practice lined up the court about 20 ft. from a partner. Shoot back and forth and try to have the ball bounce as close to the line as possible. This allows you to fine-tune your control of the shot’s precision.
17. Use a Colored Ball to Improve Rotation
This improves the straightness of the shot and makes it easy to see the rotation and direction of the ball.
18. Film Your Shot
You’ll be able to see how you shoot and help in detecting poor mechanics and make the necessary improvements. This helps you refine the shot.
19. Learn to Shoot Accurately in the 50-55% Bracket
This allows you to know whether you’re making any improvements. The higher the accuracy, the better you improve your basketball shooting.
20. Be Patient
For you to be a great shooter, you must have patience. It takes time to master and improve your skills.
You can practice and improve your shooting by yourself, but it takes patience and dedication. Once you understand the mechanics, you will only need a ball and a basket, as well as an eager to improve your skills. However, you also need to practice shooting in a game, which includes parameters like the pressure that occurs when playing the game.
You can practice with another person or a partner who will provide the defensive pressure of an opponent. Just remember that through practice you’ll be able to shoot with confidence. You can also benefit from having an observer who has been trained for basketball, such as a teacher, coach, or even a skilled player who’ll watch you as you shoot and provide you with corrective feedback.
We hope this article has adequately addressed the importance of basketball shooting skills and some of the best tips for becoming a great shooter.