Why Shoot With An Arc?

By Don Kelbick

Is the hole in the rim the same size all the time?

Do you think that’s a strange question?

When I was in pilot training, I learned that the outer end of a propeller moves faster than the inner end. I could not figure out how that could be. They are all connected to the same hub and it only spins at one speed.

Well, when you look at the definition of speed, it is the time it takes to move a mass over a prescribed distance (e. g. miles per hour). Since the far end of a prop has to travel a longer distance than the part near the hub, but must complete its trip in the same amount of time, it must be moving faster.

So, I ask again, is the hole in the rim the same size all the time?

I would argue “No!”

Try this experiment. Get a round trash pail. Put it on the floor and look down on it. How big is the hole, how much do you see? Now, pick up the pail and put the rim of the pail at eye level. How big is the hole, how much do you see now?

Same pail, same hole, different situations. Looking at the hole with the pail on the ground you can see a big hole. Looking at it at eye level, the amount of the hole you can see is very small.

Now imagine your eyes are the ball when you are shooting a basketball. Which angle gives you the best chance to put the ball in the basket? The answer is obviously the angle in which it can see the most hole.

The ball has the best chance to go through the hole when it enters from above. We have all heard that 2 basketballs can go through the hole at the same time. But that is only true when the balls enter from directly above, when the hole is bigger. In fact, when putting balls in the hole from directly above, you can fit 5 balls in the hole at once (I said in the hole, not through).

When shooting a low trajectory shot, if the ball hits the rim, the forward momentum will overpower the downward momentum and probably skip forward off the rim. With a higher trajectory, a larger hole, more downward momentum, the ball hits the rim and rolls through the hole.

The optimum arc is different for everyone because there is a comfort level here. There is a point where too much arc also adds more distance to the shot and it could turn a 20 foot shot into a 25 foot shot and now you are out of your range, but I would say use as much arc as you can comfortably use.

So, is the hole the same size all the time?

For more information on Don Kelbick go to http://www.DonKelbickBasketball.com.