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How to Shoot a Basketball

Learn how to shoot a basketball here. I’m sure you have heard the term, “defenses win championships?” While that is very true, an outstanding defense will eventually tire and lose strength if a substantial offense does not support it.

Shooting the basketball, and shooting it properly, is one of the biggest fundamentals in basketball behind dribbling and passing. Teams that do not shoot the ball well generally do not see a lot of success.

A great defense will only last when surrounded by an effective and adequate offense.

While many players have succeeded in the NBA with unconventional shooting strokes, the majority of great shooters use a similar technique and motion. Take Ray Allen for example. Ray Allen is undoubtedly on of the greatest shooters of all-time. And basically what he does are so called rituals or warm up drills in his mind before he sets himself on the path of making good shots.

Anybody looking to learn how to shoot or improve their shot should watch Ray Allen play. Allen displays all the correct mechanics needed to give the ball the greatest chance of going through the basket. He’s a great demonstration if you are more of a visual learner.

How to shoot a basketball

Shooting a basketball begins first with the position of both your hands and body. A great shooter is always ready to shoot. This may sound like common sense, but it’s surprising how many players are not ready to shoot when they receive the ball wide open.

Being ready to shoot entitles the knees bent and the arms extended ready to receive the ball. Players who are ready to shoot automatically cut half of the preparation away.

When you receive the ball and are ready to shoot, keep your knees bent, your arms extended with the ball in front of you, and your eyes at the rim. Where should your eyes look at? That’s a great question, because different people have different answers.

First off, if you are in great position to bank the ball off the glass, your eyes should remain focused on the top of the square. However, if you’re not facing the square, the most popular concept is to focus your eyes on the back of the rim and not front. This may sound odd, but if you keep your eyes on the back of the rim and shoot the ball short, it still has a chance to drop in.

The placement of your arms and hands should go as such: Your shooting hand (whether right or left) should make a 90 degree angle at the elbow. The elbow should tuck into your body so your forearm is directly vertical in front of your chest and face.

The shooting wrist should cock back towards your face, so you can firmly support the ball in the hand. However the ball should not rest directly on the hand. There should be a small pocket of air between the palm and ball. This will make sure you use more of your wrist and fingers when shooting the ball and not your palm. The reason you want to do this is you get more of a rotation on the ball.

The opposite hand, your non-shooting hand, only needs to support the ball. A lot of beginners make the mistake of using the support hand as an additional shooting hand. Never do this! Part of the problem begins with the young shooter trying to make a shot out of his range.

A good test for this is to see how far you can launch the ball, as directed above, with only the shooting hand. Take two steps in and do not shoot past that point until you build up strength. The support hand should rest on the side of the ball and never help push the ball forward. Again it’s only for support!

When shooting, you extend your forearm back, flick your wrist forward, and let the ball roll off your fingertips. This will allow the ball to rotate and increase the odds of making the shot. Always follow through on a shot.

Following through, means you follow your forearm forward until it’s directly straight with the bicep above your head. Allow the wrist to continue its motion until a conclusion of it dropping down towards the court.

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