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Three basketball shooting mistakes you might be making

by | Oct 21, 2020


Wondering why your shot is broke? Struggling to shoot well consistently? It could be because you’re making one of these three basketball shooting mistakes.

(Here’s a quick breakdown of good basketball shooting form explaining the more basic techniques)

A narrow shooting stance

If your feet are too close together when shooting, this could be killing your chances of scoring.

With a narrow stance, it’s much more likely that you lack balance on your shot.

To prove how important balance is, try jumping sideways and shooting next time you’re playing.

Even when you feel like you’ve got a lock on the rim, the shot will often feel so difficult.

Although this is an extreme example, the point still stands.

When your feet are close together, you’re less stable and it’s more likely that you lean slightly to one side.

This could be why you’re missing shots, even when you feel like you’ve aimed the shot perfectly.

Keeping your feet at least shoulder-width apart is recommended.

But, feel free to keep them slightly further apart for some extra stability/balance on your shot.

basketball shooting mistakes you could be making

Guide Hand

The use of your guide hand is so important when shooting.

For a long while, I was one of those hoopers who shot one-handedly.

I don’t just mean that all the upper body shot power was coming from one arm (that’s how you SHOULD shoot).

I mean that my guide hand would let go of the ball so early, that it looked like I was barely holding the ball with one hand to shoot.

This led to my shot being streaky and inconsistent. I still played a lot, so some days my shot was on fire. But… other days it would be straight bricks.

Until I recorded myself shooting (which I highly recommend), I had no clue why this was happening.

Then, I realised that it was because I wasn’t using my guide hand enough when shooting.

This explained why (as a right-handed shooter) I missed the majority of my shots to the left.

Make sure you aren’t overusing OR underusing your guide hand. Practice applying it only to lead the ball towards the basket.

Too little guide hand could lead to your shot missing to the opposite side of your shooting hand (like it did for me).

Too much, and your shot could be missing to the same side as your shooting hand.

Shooting arc

Last, but DEFINITELY not least, is shooting arc.

It’s been mathematically proven that a higher shooting arc makes your shot more likely to go in. (as long as you don’t go crazy with it)

Of course, this requires a little more power on the shot, but it’s worth it for sure.

Often, players will “shoot forwards”, leading to a flat shot. (Obviously the ball is meant to go forwards, but not like this)

Instead, try to “shoot upwards” and flick your wrist as if you were trying to reach into the basket.

After practicing and experimenting with this, you’ll eventually hit that sweet spot for your shooting arc.


Remember, when correcting basketball shooting mistakes, it may get worse before it gets better.

Sometimes, you have to take a step back before you take two steps forward.

Practice and stick with the process; you’ll reap the rewards time.

Here’s how to structure your shooting workouts, for when it’s time train.



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