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How to shoot a basketball for beginners

by | Jul 15, 2020

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These four tips for how to shoot a basketball for beginners will give you the blue print for a lethal jump shot.

Trying to be an elite shooter?

Learning the basic keys will help you before you get to shooting from deep like Steph Curry. (Even though that’s way cooler)

For a full in-depth guide on shooting, click here.

Hands

Let’s start with how you hold the ball.

Keep your dominant hand at the bottom of the ball when shooting.

Remember, to spread out your fingers for more control and flick your wrist to apply backspin to the ball.

This will help with that ‘friendly roll’.

Basically, the ball will be more likely to go in if it hits the rim first with the added backspin.

Use the other hand as a guide hand.

It shouldn’t be contributing much power to shot, but should just serve to help guid the ball towards the basket.

Elbow

Good news! You don’t really have to worry about your elbow for your non-dominant hand.

For your dominant hand’s elbow, try to make sure it points at the basket when you bring the ball up just above your head to shoot.

Often your elbow can flare out when shooting, and that’s okay.

Just try to keep it in as much as possible to point at the basket, for a consistent shot.

how to shoot a basketball for beginners

Eyes

Everyone has a different opinion on “where to look” for learning how to shoot a basketball.

Some people focus on the front of the rim, others on the back of the rim.

A lot of people just look at the basket in general.

Experiment with this to see what works best for you.

BUT, the following tip can be a game changer:

When you’re getting ready to shoot, get your eyes up and look at your target ASAP. This will greatly improve your aim.

If somebody is guarding you closely, be careful with this.

(You don’t want your shot to be too obvious)

But, for an open shot, this can only make your shot better.

Feet

When learning how to shoot a basketball, some coaches will preach that your feet must point directly at the basket.

Others will encourage them to be slightly slanted, as this can be more comfortable. (Pointing slightly right, if you’re left-handed and vice versa).

Again, I’d encourage you to experiment and see what works best for you.

But, you should MAKE SURE, that you are on balance.

For most, this means “feet shoulder-width apart”, but a wider stance can sometimes be useful.

Leaning forward or to a particular side will make shots a lot more difficult and so balance is key.

(A slight backwards lean is sometimes helpful to relax the shoulders)

Bonus: Some shooters’ advice

When trying to change and improve your shot, focus on one thing at a time.

This will boost your progress and help the changes become natural.

Repetition is key for improvement, so make sure to stay consistent with practicing good technique in your shooting workouts.

Also, although technique is important don’t worry about having the perfect “textbook jumpshot”.

In my opinion, if you have a shot with good technique, that is effective FOR YOU and you’re comfortable with it, you’re good to go.

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