Shooting a basketball is hard especially if you haven’t played ball since you were a kid. Learning the mechanics as a teenager or an adult means that you have to practice even harder because kids learn easily while adults don’t. In this article, I will mention the most important elements needed to become a great shooter.
Basketball is all about repetition. You will be doing the same thing every time you shoot and if you aren’t chances are you will be an inconsistent shooter. That is why players shoot differently than others. That form is more natural than what works for someone else. Make sure however you shoot, it feels natural.
The first thing you need to do is find your pocket. This is the start of the shot. It is usually in front of the waist. Make sure you practice catching passes while you are in your pocket form. This helps get the shot off faster and less likely to get blocked.
After establishing the pocket, make sure your shoulders, elbow and hips are aligned. This is important because this will control the accuracy of your shot. Making sure your feet are parallel while you are in your pocket will give you more control of your shot. Players that don’t align shoulders, hips or feet will miss a few feet right or left of the rim.
The next part differs based on what you are comfortable with. Getting off the ground when you shoot it. Your legs give you the power to shoot the ball from distance. That means jumping higher when farther. However, from near the three you don’t need to jump that high. That’s because you aren’t too far away and can jump just a little to get off the ground. This will be determined by the arc of your shot.
If you have a low arc, you will use your legs more. If you have a high arc, you don’t need to jump much. Your height might also determine your preference. If you are short and want to shoot over people, a high arc is a must. You also need a quick release. Most importantly, add a hesitation before you shoot so the defender hesitates before contesting.
Lastly, practice a lot. I don’t mean shoot five hundred shots a day type of practice. If you aren’t an NBA player, that isn’t realistic. What you need to do is practice three-four times a week. Make sure you play games so you can see how you fare with defense. Some shots will feel good but may take too long and you won’t realize that until someone guards you.
A bonus tip that has worked for me is that your jumpshot may need a tuneup from time to time. The reason for that is that when you shoot, you are doing a bunch of things at once. You don’t realize you do all those things when you shoot. And over time, some of them might change and your shot will struggle. That is why you should have an idea of how your shot works and go back to the basics when you are off.