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21 Easy Ways to Improve Your Basketball Shooting Percentage – The Breakthrough Basketball Blog

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Basketball Coaching Tips, Training Tips, and Strategy

21 Easy Ways to Improve Your Basketball Shooting Percentage


Tip #1 – Locate Your Target (the Rim) Earlier

Getting in the habit of locating your target (the rim) earlier will improve your shooting percentage.  Why?

Locating the rim just a split second earlier gives your brain more time to subconsciously calculate distance and focus on your objective. Your eyes should be on the rim as early as possible. To make this little trick work, you need to develop this habit in practice, which carries over into games.

Tip #2 – Always Hold Your Follow Throughfollow-through-full.jpg

You’ve probably heard this a hundred times but there’s good reason for it.  Holding your follow through solves a multitude of shooting problems.  This simple movement helps you maintain good basketball shooting technique without even thinking about it.

Tip #3 – Finish with a Relaxed Wrist

A common mistake is for players to follow-through with a tense wrist.  Your wrist should be as relaxed as possible.  Your hand should finish on line and even bounce a little during the follow-through.

Tip #4 – Use a Colored Ball to Improve Rotation

To improve the straightness of your shot, try a colored basketball during practice.   This makes it easy to see the rotation and direction of the ball.  The immediate feedback makes it quick and easy for you to adjust and improve your shot.

Tip #5 – Don’t Shoot like Kobe (By Hanging In The Air)

TOO many kids try to copy Kobe and end up with bad shots for the REST OF THEIR LIVES!

Youngsters have no business trying to hang like Kobe and shoot.  Kobe is a freak of nature!  You should shoot as you’re going up (at least 1 inch before you reach the top of your jump).  Trying to mimic Kobe’s shot will just earn you a place on the bench and lots of frustration.

Tip #6 – Stop Thinking about Your Shot During Games

One of the worst things you can do is think about your shooting mechanics during a game.

Thinking about your shot is for practice, NOT for games!  In fact, you should only think during certain parts of your practice.  It’s ok to think during a form shooting session or when learning a new skill, but once you start developing rhythm and get further into practice, don’t think!

During games, train yourself to think about other things or nothing at all.

You’re going to miss a few.  So what!  Don’t think, just shoot the damn ball!!!

If you adopt this mentality, your shooting percentage will go UP.

Tip # 7 – Eliminate Negative Thoughts with this Simple Trick

Eliminating negative thoughts can dramatically improve your basketball shooting percentage.

To stop thinking and eliminate bad thoughts, you can try this little trick…

Before each game, practice, and shooting session, tell yourself that you don’t care if you make any baskets.   Say it out loud or in your head several times.

THEN, when you go to shoot (right as you’re catching the ball), say something to yourself like, “Nice shot. I can do better.”  In other words, try not to care if it goes in or not.

This simple little trick helps you to relax into the process and not think about the result. Using this technique will be enough to break you out of mini slumps and restore your confidence.

Tip #8 – Develop Optimal Arc

DID YOU KNOW that a shot with a flat 35 degree arc only has .6 inches of margin for the ball to clear without hitting the rim?  The shot has to be almost perfect to get a swish.

BUT a shot with a 45 degree medium height arc has a 3 inch margin of error!

That’s right.  Just by increasing the arc of your shot, your margin of error could increase as much as 500%!

How many shots bounce OUT of the basket because you missed by just a fraction?

As a general rule of thumb, finish your follow through with the rim clearly visible beneath the fingers of your shooting hand.  That way you will ensure that you have a decent arc on the shot.  Shots with proper arch have a much better chance of going in.

Just don’t go too high.  Because if your arc gets too high, you’ll loose your distance control.

Tip #9 – Watch DVDs

Simply by watching great shooters groove their shots over and over, you can improve your confidence and form.

The good habits and examples can be contagious.  As you watch, the good form becomes ingrained in your mind.

Not to mention, you should never stop learning.  There are lots of good shooting DVDs and books for you to learn from.

Tip #10 – Use a Partner to Tune your Shot Alignment

Spend a little time during each practice lined up along a court line about 20 feet from a partner, shooting back and forth and trying to have the ball bounce as close to the line as possible. This simple practice technique will help you to fine tune your control of the precision of your shot.

Tip #11 – Land In Front

Balance is a very important aspect of shooting.  You achieve balance primarily through a proper stance and footwork. 

After your shot, you should land in front of where you started.  You can do this by making sure that your momentum is going towards the basket on every catch. You should also establish good balance from your stance.

Tip #12 – Film Your Shot

You’d be amazed at how filming your shot in both games and practices can help you.

The most common response from players is… “That’s how I shoot!!??”

That’s right.  Most players haven’t seen their own shot before. Seeing your shot on film can help you to detect poor mechanics and motivate you to make commitments for improvement.  Bottom line– it’s a great way to refine your shot.

Tip #13 – Get a Partner

When possible, try to shoot with a partner.  Because when you’re alone, you end up chasing the rebound before following through properly.

This is important.  Think about how you practice…

You shoot and then you start following the shot immediately so you can get lots of reps.  Guess what?  This can mess up your follow-through.  You need to FINISH each shot and hold your follow-through.  That’s why we recommend getting a partner to rebound for you.  Now just because you can’t find a partner you can (and should) still practice by yourself.  Just be aware of holding your follow through.

Tip #14 – Fix Bad Habits by Immediately Correcting Your Shot

This is one of the easiest ways to break bad shooting habits.  For example, let’s say you forgot to hold your follow-through.  Well, immediately after you shoot, raise your hand back up and put your hand in the correct follow-through position.  This simple technique will help you quickly correct the bad habit

Tip #15 – Use a Return Device

Using basketball rebounding and return devices can literally double the number of shots you can take in practice.  Just think how much time you spend chasing the ball when you practice.  A return device solves that problem and lets you take more shots in less time.

Tip #16 – Get To Set

When you catch the ball, you should get the ball to your set position as quickly as possible. This will speed up your shot. Your set point can be anywhere between your hip and your shoulder.

Tip #17 – Don’t Fall for Gimmicks

Too many players spend their hard earned money on shooting gloves and gimmicks, thinking this will make them great shooters.

You can’t use these devices during a game so it really doesn’t do you much good.  You need to learn how to shoot effectively without these devices.  There is NO magic pill.

Tip # 18 – Keep Your Shot Motion Balanced, Fluid, and Consistent

A fluid motion means that there are no jerky movements or stopping points, just one constant flow from start to finish.

Consistency can’t be stressed enough.  Your feet, arms, set point, and jump height should use a consistent motion every time you shoot.  All the greatest shooters in the world have amazingly consistent movements.

Tip #19 – Groove 50 Shots Before Every Game

Before every practice and game, face the basket and shoot 50 EASY shots about four to ten feet from the basket.

Not only does this improve your shooting form, but it helps to develop phenomenal confidence.

You’ll quickly become very good at grooving these shots over and over.  You’ll see the ball going in the basket over and over.  You’ll swish the ball repeatedly and probably shoot 60%, 70%, 80%, or more, which is great for your psyche.

Why do you think that NBA players do this before games?  Why do you think that Tiger Woods starts all of his practice sessions by making 100 three-foot putts?

Because it works!  Don’t overlook this powerful strategy.

Tip #20 – Quickly Chart Your Shot to Determine Tendencies

Head to the gym and shoot a bare minimum of 50 shots.  Ask your partner to chart your shots.  The KEY is to chart the detailed results of each shot.  You will track how many shots fell short, too long, to the left, and to the right.  This information will help you to determine what you need to work on.

For example, if you consistently miss short (like many players do), you’ll need to work on your power and distance control.  If you consistently miss to the right and the left, you need to fix the mechanics of your foot and/or arm alignment.

Tip #21 – Work Game-Like Movement into Your Practice

To make game shots, you need to practice game shots.  You should use good shooting drills and practice movement off screens, cuts, chairs, and pivoting in both directions.


Get to the Gym and Apply What You’ve Learned

There ya go… 21 simple ways for you to improve your basketball shooting percentage.  Now get to the gym, apply what you’ve learned, and knock down more shots!!


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194 thoughts on “21 Easy Ways to Improve Your Basketball Shooting Percentage

  1. pls i need u help me get to a b ball camp abroad i always have the dream of becoming a pro baller

  2. hI GREAT JOB YOU GUYS ARE DOING…THE WEBSITE IS A LIFE SAVER AND JUST HOPE YOUR DRILL WILL GET ANIMATED FOR EASY COMPREHENSION AND BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE MOVEMENTS IN PLAYS AND DRILLS…THANKS AND KEEP UP THE GOOD JOB

  3. #22 Shoot better shots. If you use the charting concept, you should know where you shoot well from and where you shoot poorly. Shoot good shots and your percentage will increase. Even better, if your coach charts your shots during games, see where you shoot well during games and shoot more of those shots and see where you shoot poorly and practice those shots.

    This is a huge key to success. Few people actually track their own shooting in games or practice. How do you improve if you don’t know how you are doing?

  4. I AM FROM GREECE AND I PLAY BASKET FRO 6 YEARS.I AM A GOOD PLAYER AND I WANT TO BECOME BETTER IN ORDER TO PLAY IN A PROFESIONAL TEAM.EVERY COACH HOW WANTS TO COACHING ME CAN SEND ME AN EMAIL.

  5. i am a good thrower as it is but i want more i want ot be better i can all ready make threes. i have a 80% but i am not satisfied i want even MORE…

  6. Thank you for the great advice. I’ve tried most of it and can already see some improvement. What it’s mostly improved is my psyche.

  7. hey id like to say that tip 19 the shoot the 50 shots be4 a game works every time for confidance i do it all the tym and knock down 28 points for 85 % shooting i am lookin to incrreasee my range as i can play all positions but im truely a center any tips for improveing your range???.

  8. thanks a whole lot 4 the simple tips for any1 im doin sooo much better.
    I’ve tried most of it and can already see some improvement. W

  9. thanks a whole lot 4 the simple tips for any1 im doin sooo much better.
    I’ve tried most of it and can already see some improvement.

  10. Never underestimate the power of the mind. If you think you can you will. If you think cant you will. If you think you can dunk it from the free throw line you will do that too. Just think it and do it. Some times jumping higher and further can be achieved by doing 19 consecutive summersaults beore a game. Give it a shot and see how you glide!

  11. This was some good and helpful information. I will try to remember these techniques when I play basketball.

  12. Always good to have a check list of things to consider. Thanks for putting it into such a logical list.

    (and to Marcela Zaldivar from April 09… “you do need professional help; but it’s not from a basketball pro! Learn to chill! I pity your team”

  13. thnx dude i hope this worx i can already handle the ball well and i average six steals per game its just im only averaging 14 poiints a game hope this helps

  14. am really going to be a great basketball player after all this tips i hope. please continue to make us great heros of the basketball game

  15. wow!!!it helps me in my shooting…at least i still can survive to play 4 my clooege…

  16. yo this helped me inprove my shot more than jj redicks dvd. I cant believe the advancement of my jumper

  17. I find it easier to shoot when I have the chance of looking at the backboard a second earlier, but it is difficult for me to shoot when I keep looking at the backboard. In short my reaction time is great. What should I do?

  18. I am a current college basketball player and a pretty good shooter and even I could practice some of these things to perfect my shot or get as close as possible

  19. all of you are all jokes your just a bunch of posers i live in waynesville nc i play basketball everday and i go to the waynesville recreation if you think your good try me punks i go everday ill show you who the next kobe is punks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. u can try to do this bt the simple fact is some people have a god givin talent and they work that into skill bye following these steps. i have seen contless people train for months on end following these exact methods it dosn’t mean it dosn’s work some peaople are just gifted

  21. hi iam a coach @ a small school in WI i have done it for 3 years now and would like to thank you so much for your e mails .its helped me through alot. the drills and the way to approach the youth girls and how to get them out of bad habits 4th 5th and now 6th grade my biggest problem is the drama and tudes now!!!!!!! but i hope they will grow out of that could go on and on but bottom line is thanks!!!!!!!

  22. I’m going to do it all because people say I’m a great basketball player but I don’t want to stop untill I can be the best I can so thanks for the help

  23. My favorite tip of this post is about watching DVDS. I know for a fact that watching dvds of great players helped me become the great player I am today. Nice article

  24. thanks for this, just read it and got a semi final tomorrow and hopefully it will help me. my shooting lately has been really bad, and may i ask, is there any other way to get to the NBA other than going to districs and getting picked ?

  25. This stuff is completely true! I’ve tried a lot of these tips and my shot keeps getting better and better. Thanks man!

    p.s. the best one is filming your shot because it allows you to see flaws in your form

  26. I was doing my science fair project and I used this site for my research and I got 1st place in the science fair. THANK YOU!!!

  27. I love this this is awesome and super helpful. my daughter made her very first three pointer last night in her game and she is only in 4th grade!!!

  28. Last year I would make 90 % of my shots &’ somehow this year I can’t make ONE but after reading this I tried all these techniques &’ it worked I improved , thanks a bunch!

  29. Swish 3 dvd by Tom Nordland suggests that dipping the ball then bringing up (which is done by many great players including Ray Allen and Dwayne Wade) helps create upward momentum (ball mass moving up) – often to about shoulder height about the time the leg push kicks in. The ball is then already moving upward. I figure shooters do this because they find it easier to elevate and deliver the shot from set point.

  30. hello 21 tips oswom.. its vry gd ….ill try do this … i requst 4 u can u tell me how to improve jump in basketball……i wanna improve my jump .. i wanna do dunk. my hight 6 fet pls tell me abt this 🙂

  31. helu,.i just want to thanks for this 21 tips,because it improve my shooting ability……….

  32. Hi, thanks so much, not just for these 21 tips or this page, but for all of this website and the tips. I read all of the “5 tips for shooting in basketball” pages before I went to training everyday for about a month, you’ve helped me so much its unbelievable! I owe you so much. This is the greatest basketball site there is.

    Regards,
    Frank

  33. gabriel-uv

    Everytime i read about development of skills and talent,ive feel like im learning and enjoying with these multi tips.Most importantly it answers my question or problems on improving my playing skills and overcoming my weaknesses.

    tyvm,God is good & god bless!

    cp3-phils

  34. Great tips! Can’t wait to put these into practice. I used to shoot hoops a lot when I was younger and was a much better shot in those days. I’ve recently gotten back into the game and now that I’m able to actually play without losing my wind, I’m trying to improve my shot again. You definitely forget good technique with years of not playing. I recently started with Tip #1 here and my shots improved tremendously the first time out! Awesome stuff! Thanks!

  35. great tips !! it helps me a lot during the practice and game….please give some more tips for lay-ups and drills.This will help a lot.thanks once again

  36. Thank you for the great advice. I’ve tried most of it and can already see some improvement.

  37. This website is an absolute lifesaver. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. Definitely going to use these to help with my game. Wish me luck for Tryouts Monday, I’ll keep these tips in mind!

  38. Is it really important to keep your elbow tucked in and pointing to the basket before u shoot? I’m used to placing the ball directly on top of my head before I shoot but then my elbow is sticking out slightly. If I tuck in my elbow it is natural for me to place the ball on the side of my head before I shoot which feels really weird because I’m not used to it. So does it really make a big difference where I place the ball before I shoot and if I should tuck in my elbow with it pointing to the basket? Thanks!

  39. hey Jeff! i am 13 and i have a video of me shooting the three point shot. i was wondering if you can tell me your email so i can send the video and judge my form. thanks in advance

  40. Oh yeah i always try to think im pro and pretend to shoot like kobe hoping i look cool this really woke me up and told me what I had to work on. Thank you very much!

  41. I have a fadaway shot like kobe and have developed a lebron style step back jumper. I started ona AAU team and played in high school with college offers. The reason i developed this was im 6ft and my high school coach played me at a 4 spot where i was undersized, however i did not study how to play like kobe i began watching Lebron James and started to watch how he was able to get inside and got to the rim. Basically shooting doesnt have to be a first option get better at ball handling in traffic and keeping the ball from ball hawking defenders, free throws, and finishing at the rim. dont let anyone tell you that the way you shoot is wrong everyone has a different shooting style but the key is to develope your shooting style keep working on it until you can knock down shots. also if you get comfortalbe at shooting squared up to the basket why not try to get better with harder shot that dont come easy. If you can develope these shot you will be unstoppable.

  42. I need help on my shooting . Every time I shoot my 3s they sometimes don’t hit rim , I’m trying to make the basketball team in my school & I think it’s a great idea to start practicing now !

  43. No matter how much I practiced on my shot every year it seems like there is no progress. I try, I try, I try, I try, I try but it always seems to fail. I feel like a young Walcon Beacon…Awful, awful, awful, awful.

  44. hw can have a place in any basketball team abroad so can become a pro player

  45. good this website can help people to improve on their basketball skills

  46. I came on this website to make me a good point guard. I needed help on my game so I decided to go here because I didn’t find much on youtube so I was just searching hope this really help me. I didn’t make my 9th grade year time but I did the best I could the varsity coach ask me what my name was I felt good but it didn’t help so I decided I go try to push my the summer to make it next year

  47. Great site! I’m an old guy, as you can tell by my handle, and knew nothing of basketball and all it’s clever rules. This site has definitely enlightened me about this awesome sport!

  48. i’m 13 yrs. old going to the junior high in marshall,tx in the 8th grade and i’m hoping to improve my shot.Therefore by time i’m a freshmen in high school i would have gained more shooting percentage(BECAUSE I JUST LOVE BASKETBALL AND THATS NOT EVEN MY FUTURE, MY FUTURE IS TO BECOME A RAPER.BUT,I JUST HAVE A PASSION FOR BOTH).All i have to say if you gone do some in life succsede at it forget them(HATERS).

  49. Great tips. I coach 6th grade girls and this is good stuff to share with them as they work on their shot in the offseason.

  50. this might help but do you have any tips for younger kids like 10, 11, and 12 year old kids. if u do could u put some up because ive been trying to get a good shot and in practice make lots of shots but when it comes to games i air ball all my shot i make like 1 out of 20. i get so many chances to score in games but how come all my balls are air balls!!!!!!!!! 🙁

  51. im gale Bernhardt this is all crap go to my wonderful site “The real reason you should warm up

  52. My friends are now liking my stance and confidence…especially wth d jump shot,I hear d..SWISSSSSSSH

  53. Man helped me alot!!! The swoosh and dribbling skills got improved. Thx for the tips Never copy K.Bryant

  54. I disagree because for anybody to get to a pro league you have to be able to shoot some what like kobe because he made it and im pretty sure whoever made up this lame and immature steps is not in a pro league like kobi is so get you opinions straight before you type and post and no I am not a pro but I bet you that kobe will make more layups free throws threes if you know what that mean than you so don’t share your opinion unless you own the world but you don’t I am not showing an opinion I am just being honest with you no hard feelings but keep your opinions to yourself because people do get offended……..thank you so much

  55. Start with follow thru. It cleans up a whole ton of other mistakes and if you can’t convince yourself to follow thru on every shot (including airballs) then you won’t be able to be able to integrate the above changes. Love some of the tips and I highly recommend filming yourself from different angles. Simple Ipad or iphone does the trick.

  56. Some awesome tips here. Really enjoyed reading this article. one thing that newbies should now is that after reading this 21 tips go to gym and apply them. the more the better!

  57. Thank u guys for helping me out with my shot and can I get help in some high school for playing the sport am from Jamaica

  58. I don’t know if this is going to work or not but I hope because I am soon having a match so lets hope for the best 🙂

  59. Dear Breakthrough bball,
    I need a real help.Everytime I made a perfect shot.After my exam I play and my shot aren’t strong enough to score.So can u show a tips.I am 13 years old.

  60. Thanks for the tips bro now I nearly score every goal I shoot. I learn fast so I try to keep all my skills close together so I can be the best I can be in b/ball . So far I’ve been lucky in my shots but I don’t want to take the risk of missing a shot in a game.in practice that is okay but it is still bad missing a shot please make up some more tips for me to try and do with all these tips hopefully I get in the nba.if I do I will give lots of money to my friends

  61. I will use this. Because i need to work on my shot a little even though my 3 point percentage is 49 percent. there is always room for improvement.

  62. Using this for a school project and my shots were maybe 2 for 10. This greatly improved my shot.

  63. THANKYOU!!!! Thanks for giving me these tips- I needed them!!!!! Who ever made this website, I want to thank you for giving me these tips. Here is my own: try to add a tip for being agressive. This saved my life!!!! – Jack

  64. The “don’t shoot like Kobe” one was GOLD. But something else I learned to do is shoot with your triceps, not your biceps for more height and long ranged shooting. Hand-eye coordination and your wrist is also crucial. Use your bicep for passing, generally.

  65. Awesome!! thanks. im doing a project for basketball tips and this is good info!! So once again thank you this will help me a lot on my project.

  66. Thanks for these great tips! Shooting doesn’t have to be the first option when playing basketball. The first step is to master the art of ball handling under pressure, keeping the ball safe from ball hawking defenders. Once you have mastered this, work on your shooting style. Once you are skilled at shooting too, you’ll be unstoppable.

  67. I know that the raptors will go to the finals against the warriors. They will lose the first two games, then win the third and lose the rest. They will lose game five by 21 points.

  68. thank u for that true honnored speech it was very much the baller now I’m gonna paly basket ball and become an baller and become an all star basketball player thank you very much

  69. hi my name is jayden and my shot percentage went from 25 to 64 i am totally not lieng if you dont believe me check my youtube channel i get teased alot but now i start jv

  70. i have been playing basketball for 8 years and i would say im descent, i average 16 points a game 4-5 rebounds and 7 assists. lately tho i have been struggling to keep my shot form, this was very helpful.

  71. hii bro
    i just start my basketball
    practice from this month and i just saw your post and get some very impotent tips and i am sure it will hep me a lot thanks again.

  72. in point 3 you suggested about finish with a relax wrist. How to keep a wrist relax while the whole body is in tense to throw the ball in the basket. 🙂

  73. Thanks, This is really helping me to keep a wrist relax while the whole body is in tense to throw the ball in the [url=https://google.com]google[/url].

  74. Im already a PRO basketball player, BUT thnx!

    Just joking, thank you very much iz helped me a lot cuz i breaked my filter so i couldn’ t play basket. But i could SHOOT. Is there Any basketball Camp in Croatia?

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