How To Shoot a Basketball

Seems sort of trivial to do a “how to” on shooting a basketball, you pick it up and shoot it at the basketball, duh. It may seem like an easy task but if you ask almost any good player today they will tell you that at some point in their life they were taught by someone, either formally, as in a coach or, informally, as in a friend or relative how to shoot a basketball properly.

So how do you shoot a basketball properly? The rest of this article I will try to breakdown the necessary steps to shooting a basketball the proper way, so let’s get right into it.

The first part of this deals with your shot stance and how you hold the ball just prior to taking a shot.

Step 1. Make sure you have a good stance when shooting the basketball. If your stance is week it makes it hard to get a good feeling shot off. If you keep your legs locked you are more prone to becoming off balance, and even though some of these NBA players make off-balance shots look easy, for most people they are not.

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Step 2. Make sure you hold the ball correctly.

Step 3. You want to hold the ball in the correct position before you raise it to shoot it; we call this the “shot pocket”. The proper position to hold the ball is a few inches above the waist on your shooting side, if you are a lefty it is your left side and vice versa for righties, with your elbow directly under the ball.

These next few steps deal with the best part of shooting a basketball, the shot itself!

Step 4. Begin the shooting motion by pushing the ball upwards from your “shot pocket” with your shooting hand. Now where you release the ball is another “feeling” part of the shot.

Step 5. With each shot you are going to want to jump a little bit, the only exception to this is on free throws, which most shooters remain stationary for.

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Step 6. It has all come down to this final step, the release. The release of the basketball should take place right before you reach the height of your jump from the last step.

If all goes according to plan and you follow these 6 rather simple steps you should see the ball touch nothing but net and hear that beautiful sound of the snap of the net.

After you have gotten these steps figured out there is a bonus step for you to follow

Step 7 (Bonus Step). Practice, practice, practice.

I hope you enjoyed this article on how to shoot a basketball and I hope it brings you success in your future basketball endeavors!

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by Clay Taylor-Sanford