When I teach how to shoot a basketball at clinics that I host, the first question I ask my students is, "What's more important, the make or the mechanics?" Most coaches and athletes give me a puzzled look, but it isn't a trick question. Some say, "I don't care how it looks, as long as it goes in."
Well, I care how it looks. The simpler, the better.
How to Shoot a Basketball More Cleanly
So how do you clean up your shooting mechanics? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Your foundation is the key to your shot and balance. Position your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing toward the rim. Your power comes from your legs, and this position ensures that your power is moving in the right direction. From this position, sit your glutes back and load your legs. The end result should look similar to a standard athletic stance.
- As you raise the ball, keep your elbows in. This allows you to control the ball and lets you shoot straight.
- Raise the ball so the bottom of the ball is just above eye level. This creates the perfect release point to put power into your shot in the optimal trajectory.
- When you shoot the ball, fully extend your elbows. Flip the wrist of your dominant hand down with your fingers pointing to the ground on the release. This motion creates the backspin on the ball that you want.
4 More Basketball Shooting Tips That are Just Plain Helpful
Here are a few more tips I offer to all of the athletes I coach:
- Your shot should be one flowing motion with no hitches or hesitation. The verbal cue I give my athletes is "low to high," meaning catch the ball low and be prepared to shoot.
- When you work on your mechanics, shoot "game shots from game spots."
- Always warm up before beginning a shooting session.
- Becoming a better shooter won't happen overnight, but with a concentrated effort and proper mechanics, you will improve.
Take a look at my other articles on how to shoot a basketball. Remember, practice makes perfect only if what you are practicing has a proper foundation.