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How to perfect your basketball shooting technique
Make sure you’re the MVP of the match...
Whatever your age or experience, every basketball player wants to improve their shooting skills. Up your chances of getting the ball in the basketball net with our straight-forward guide to standing, holding, scoring and landing just right.
Setting up your basketball shot
First thing’s first, set your eyes on the prize. That means locating the rim of the basketball hoop as early as possible, so your brain can figure out how far away you’re going to be from the standing or wall-mounted basketball hoop and the angle you’ll need to come at it from. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart pointing in the general direction of the basketball post with your shooting foot slightly in front. Once you’ve found your footing, are comfortable and making more successful shots from this position, remember it and repeat it every time you’re taking a shot. More than anything, when you’re trying to shoot in basketball, consistency is key.
Tips for holding a basketball
Hold the ball so your fingers are spread wide and parallel to the seams, with a space between your palm and the ball. You should be able to balance it in one hand, basically on your fingertips, so the grip needs to be strong there, but while you’re moving towards the basketball post, place your other hand lightly on the other side of the ball to help it stay put. Make sure your ‘balance hand’ is the first one to come off the ball without changing the ball’s trajectory. If you’re teaching kids how to play basketball, it’s worth investing in a smaller ball and a specially designed kids’ basketball hoop, just so they’re not starting on the backfoot with balls they can’t grip and a hoop they can’t reach.
Shooting and landing in basketball
When you shoot, remember to bend your knees - the ball will come off your hand at the very top of the jump and if you’ve executed it properly, you’ll land in the exact spot you left. Bring the ball up from your waist to your chest and above your head so it’s moving in a straight line with your elbow underneath. The ball should be in front of you the whole time, don’t let it go behind your head, that’s a sure-fire way to failure. As your feet push off the floor, stretch your body out so that your legs, middle and arms are all co-ordinated and your elbow and wrist reach out (still in a straight line!) towards the net. You want the ball to come off your hand smoothly and once it’s left your hand, your wrist should flop down so your fingers are pointed at the basketball net. Hold this position until the ball finds the net.