Basketball Shooting Techniques

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Basketball shooting techniques vary according to your placement on the court and, hence, the type of shot you're taking. You may find yourself right beneath the basket, in which case a layup (or dunk) is your best bet, or you might end up somewhere on the perimeter, which calls for a jump shot. Make it to the free-throw line, and it's perfect foul-shot form you'll need. You may, on occasion, even opt for a jump hook.

Each of these shots comes with its own "textbook" form, which eludes even many of the most gifted players. The fact is, sheer athleticism accounts for such a large part of on-court success that a lot of players never learn the basics of shooting and still manage to score 20 points a game. Unless you're a member of this rare breed, your best bet is to master the fundamentals and leave the acrobatics to the pros.

Basketball Shooting Techniques for Beginners

Coaches and "shot doctors" who teach basketball shooting techniques always emphasize the importance of a player's body position, and for good reason. Your orientation toward the basket is one of the largest determinants of your shot's accuracy and, by extension, its likelihood of success. It's always best to square your shoulders to the basket if possible, opening up your body and providing you the best look at the goal. Of course, this isn't always feasible, especially if your defender is right on top of you.

Should you manage to shake free from your man, take a second to prepare your body and the ball for your jump shot. This means squaring your feet to the net, getting a comfortable grip on the leather, aligning your body, and elevating from a grounded, powerful stance. These basketball shooting techniques will serve you well from the outside, the short corners, and even parts of the lane, but aren't applicable to layups or foul shots.


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