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The Overlooked Importance
Of Arm & Wrist Angles

How They Affect the Shooting Process

- By Shooting Coach Rick Penny

When it comes to shooting a basketball, arm & wrist angles are more important than you might think! More than likely you’ve never given this topic much thought.

In fact, arm & wrist angles determine the following:

  1. Ball location at SET
  2. Type of shot … One-Piece or Two-Piece
  3. Efficiency of the Shooting Curve (S-Curve)
  4. Speed of the release

Three techniques will be analyzed in this discussion:


Each method creates its own unique set of arm & wrist angles resulting in “Cause and Effect” throughout the entire shooting process.

Knowing “How” and “Why” different techniques work can be very valuable to coaches, parents, and players giving them the ability to make adjustments when needed.

In the basketball world, too many blindly accept the “status quo” when it comes to shooting. Making your own decisions based on sound principles is much better than sheepishly following Conventional Wisdom!

Our eyes are trained to focus on how the shot finishes (arm extension and follow through) because that particular aspect seems to garner the most attention. But in reality, it’s the beginning of the shot that determines the finish and that is where this discussion will focus.

Topic 1 - Ball Location at SET

All techniques have a starting point called SET and it is defined as:

  • Position of the body and ball right before the shooting motion begins (ball rising)

SET is where the all-important arm & wrist angles are created prior to the onset of the shooting process. It’s the foundation of any shot and the critical component in determining how the shooting motion operates.

Shooters that consistently arrive at a good SET tend to have more success making baskets when compared to those that don’t … short and long term. Depending on the technique, the ball generally starts in one of these areas:

  • Waist
  • Thighs
  • Chest

The following illustrations/pictures demonstrate the ball location at SET and the resulting angles created by the upper arm, forearm, and wrist:

Kyrie Irving at SET

  • Upper arm angled behind
  • Forearm angled below parallel
  • Wrist/hand slightly cocked (blue)
  • Ball at or below waist level

Kevin Durant at SET

  • Upper arm angled near
  • Forearm angled down
  • Wrist/hand is straight(blue)
  • Ball at thigh area

Rick Penny at SET

  • Upper arm angled past
  • Forearm angled up
  • Wrist/hand fully cocked(blue)
  • Ball at chest level

As you can see, the arm & wrist angles at SET are different with each technique. These angles determine the entire shooting process including the type of shot each player utilizes.

Topic 2 - Type of Shot

When breaking down the mechanics of various techniques, a detailed analysis shows all shooting forms can be classified as either a One-Piece shot or a Two-Piece shot. They are defined as:

  • ONE-PIECE - has one distinct movement throughout the shooting process with no stops or pauses from start to finish
  • TWO-PIECE - has two distinct movements in which the ball pauses or stops at some point during the shooting process

HEAD PAUSE … Two-piece

  • Starting at or below waist level (SET), the ball loops up and back to a point near the forehead (First Distinct Movement), pauses slightly, and then changes direction toward the basket (Second Distinct Movement)
  • Momentum travels up the Shot Line in this manner: START / PAUSE / START

CATAPULT … Two-piece

  • Starting at the thigh area (SET), the ball loops up and back to a point somewhere above the head (First Distinct Movement), stops, and then changes direction toward the basket (Second Distinct Movement)
  • Momentum travels up the Shot Line in this manner: START / STOP / START

ONE MOTION … One-piece

  • Starting at chest level (SET), the ball rises straight up and then begins to curve toward the basket (One Distinct Movement)
  • Momentum travels up the Shot Line in this manner: NON-STOP

At some point during the shooting process, the wrist must fully cock in order to maximize power. ONE MOTION accomplishes this at SET while the HEAD PAUSE waits until the ball pauses near the forehead and the CATAPULT waits until the ball stops above the head.

This delay in fully cocking the wrist is what causes the ball to loop up & back causing movement away from the basket … Negative Motion.

Topic 3 - Efficiency of the Shooting Curve (S-Curve)

The Shooting Curve or S-Curve is the essence of the shooting process. It is defined as:

  • Ball path during the shooting motion as seen from the shooting hand side … determines efficiency of the shot

Once the ball begins to rise up the Shot Line, the Shooting Process begins. As stated earlier, arm & wrist angles affect the shooting motion and pre-determine the path of the ball up the Shot Line.

Efficiency of movement is determined by the manner in which they operate during the shooting process. The following illustrations/pictures represent each technique’s S-Curve which starts at SET and ends at the wrist snap … Release Point.

At some point during the shooting process, the wrist will fully cock.

The HEAD PAUSE starts with a slight wrist cock at SET. This causes the ball to loop up & back as the shot begins... Red

The wrist fully cocks near the forehead and the ball starts toward the basket ... Green

1. SET
Ball starts below waist level with
wrist slightly cocked

2. Shooting Process
Ball loops up & back to forehead
and pauses / wrist fully cocks
First Distinct Movement

3. Shooting Process
Ball starts toward basket ending
with wrist snap … Release Point
Second Distinct Movement

At some point during the shooting process, the wrist will fully cock.

The CATAPULT starts with a straight wrist at SET. This causes the ball to loop up & back as the shot begins... Red

The wrist fully cocks above the head and the ball starts toward the basket... Green

1. SET
Ball starts at thigh level with wrist straight

2. Shooting Process
Ball loops up & back above the head
and stops / wrist fully cocks
First Distinct Movement

3. Shooting Process
Ball starts toward basket ending
with wrist snap... Release Point
Second Distinct Movement

At some point during the shooting process, the wrist will fully cock.

ONE MOTION starts with a fully cocked wrist at SET. This allows the ball to rise straight up as the shot begins and then curve toward the basket...Green

1. SET
Ball starts at chest level / wrist fully cocked

2A. Shooting Process
Ball travels straight up the Shot Line

2B. Shooting Process
Ball starts curving toward the basket
ending with wrist snap... Release Point
One Distinct Movement

Topic 4 - Speed of the Release

When comparing each technique, it is clear which has the most efficient S-Curve. From start to finish, the ONE MOTION technique is more efficient than the other two making for a quicker release!

With a fully cocked wrist at SET, the ball is able to travel straight up the Shot Line and gradually curve toward the basket. This is done in a non-stop manner throughout the entire Shooting Process with One Distinct Movement!

Starting the ball at waist or thigh level creates arm & wrist angles that require a looping action (up & back) in order to fully cock the wrist. This Negative Motion takes the ball away from the basket making the Shooting Process slower than it needs to be.


If you look at each technique, they all end at the same place... the Release Point. The arm is extended at an approximate 45 degree angle with the wrist snapped. How they get to that point is the real issue.

The S-Curve never lies! It tells the story of the Shooting Process and how the ball gets from Point A to Point B (SET to Release Point). Less movement makes for a quicker & smoother release... every time!

And what controls the S-Curve? It’s those all-important Arm & Wrist angles created at SET!

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...

jssocials alternate:


Most Likes First   Oldest First   Newest First

Andrew Smith says:
1/27/2016 at 6:10:59 PM

What is your opinion on the DIP. Most top shooters do dip the ball. After the dip the ball can be raised in one smooth motion going through the set position and continue the one motion method. What do you think?

  1 reply  

Rick Penny says:
1/29/2016 at 3:49:58 PM


Personally, I'm not a fan of the DIP even though it is used by the majority of shooters playing basketball. I believe it slows the Shooting Process down and in terms of movement, decreases efficiency.

You stated, "After the dip the ball can be raised in one smooth motion going through the set position and continue the one motion method."

The only player I've studied that dips the ball and yet still has a nonstop one-piece shot is Steph Curry...there may be a few others I'm not aware of.

He loops the ball up and back, after dipping it to his waist area, but has found a way to keep from pausing or stopping it during his shooting motion. (* Side note - in some his YouTube clips, he avoids the dip and takes the ball directly to the SET position I teach. He's just an extremely gifted shooter!)

Everyone else either pauses the ball near their forehead or stops it above their head. By dipping the ball, shooters automatically predetermine their shooting motion to be a two-piece shot. That's because of the arm & wrist angles created by the dip at SET. In order to cock their wrist, they must either loop the ball up & back to their forehead or above their head and then start the ball in the direction of the basket.

Back to Curry...the point where two-piece shooters fully cock their wrist (forehead for this example) is where Curry rounds off his S-Curve instead of having an abrupt direction change like Kyrie Irving's in the above article.

Hope this answered your question.

Rick Penny
Shooting Coach

  1 reply  

Jane Wellington says:
6/17/2018 at 12:50:50 PM

Curry has POOR form with bad habits-especially his off hand.....

  1 reply  

Rambo says:
12/17/2018 at 9:47:46 PM

Steph form is true art u dont know what ur talking about


Bob Topp says:
2/1/2016 at 1:48:06 PM

How soon do you think that the wrist should flex back? What is the ideal angle of the elbow at "set"? To me, the answers are immediately and 90-degrees or "L" shaped.
What do you see in the elbow angle of Deandre Jordan, for example?

  1 reply  

Rick Penny says:
2/3/2016 at 9:45:38 PM


If at all possible, I teach students to catch the ball with their hands in the exact position used when shooting. This means the wrist is fully cocked upon catching the pass. The ball then moves to the SET position in preparation for the shot to begin.

Where you describe the arm being at 90 degrees or "L" shaped is not where I define the location of SET. To me, SET is the position of the body & ball just prior to the onset of the actual shooting motion (where the ball first begins to rise).

One Motion achieves the "L" shape position after the ball rises straight up from SET. Other techniques achieve this position after the ball loops up & back, pauses or stops, and the forearm then starts moving toward the basket. During the forearm forward action, the "L" shaped position is achieved.

The ideal angle of the elbow at SET can be seen in the picture of me in the above article. Not sure of the exact angle in terms of degrees, but somewhere in that neighborhood works very well.

When watching Deandre Jordan shoot a free throw on YouTube, I see an arm angle close to that of Kyrie Irving at SET. From there all bets are off as he loops the ball up & back above his head to the point where his arm is almost straight. That leaves only his wrist snap as the power source for propelling the ball to the basket.

Rick Penny
Shooting Coach

  1 reply  

Jane Wellington says:
6/17/2018 at 12:51:57 PM

None of these players do it correctly. Kobe had great form.


James says:
2/4/2016 at 3:34:52 AM

I completely understand and agree that having one smooth motion is a much better way to have a consistent shot. I try to teach proper shot preparation by being down in an athletic stance, catching the ball with the hand cocked and squaring up to the rim. One of the biggest problems that I've seen is kids aren't taught at an early enough age proper shooting mechanics which in turn creates a bad habit that is very hard to break. Most kids that I see keep the palm flat on the ball which creates not having control of the ball thru the shot process. I emphasize catching the ball in the shot pocket with wrist cocked and ball on the back of the hand by the finger and with fingers spread wide and for the shot to be smooth from the floor thru the finish. I also can see where the "Pause" can create a variable in the process. What I'd like to know, what is the best way to try to get kids to change their shot? I understand that it takes a lot of time and reps to change but is their any things that coaches can do to speed up the process? Thanks for the time and for the article.

  1 reply  

Mark says:
6/20/2018 at 8:19:50 AM

I believe James is spot on - especially if he means what I think he means when he says "ball on the back of the hand by the finger ..."

I think he says "ball on the back of hand" he means the bottom/palm side of the hand. I also think he means the pad just below the index/pointer finger when he says "by the finger.". When you spread your fingers and cock the wrist (forming wrinkles at the wrist) this pad (below the index finger) is pressed forward and forms the most contact/pressure with the ball. The ball is thrust forward off this pad and then the fingers provide the proper touch/speed.

I agree with the one motion theory. Kids emulate Lebron's spinning the ball to the side and KD's fingers down on the ball. However, these things cause extra motion and lessen chances of being able to repeat the same straight release. (Kids also emulate KD standing with his hips and feet to left and this does not help).

The fact that the world's greatest players have their own idiosyncrasies does not mean their techniques are best for all especially young kids just getting enough strength to shoot properly. In baseball, kids have not been taught to flap their elbow like Joe Morgan or step high with their front foot like Sadaharu Oh and Mel Ott.

When I started coaching CYO 12 10 years ago I spoke to the late Ernie Hobbie about shooting because I wanted to teach the kids correctly. I started doing what Ernie said and realized it worked for me. I start with my fingers up and use one motion. I was never more than a CYO bench warmer but I routinely make at least 90 of 100 free throws. I recently hit 98 out of 100. I will be 60 this year The one motion works.


Rick Penny says:
2/4/2016 at 7:54:44 PM


Time and reps are critical when working to change a player's shot. I've found that to be true during my years as a shooting coach.

To speed the process up, during our first session together, I spend most of the hour session getting the student to "feel" the new shooting motion. It has a certain rhythm so I ask them frequently, "How did that feel?" Words like smooth and effortless is what you want to hear. Usually if the shot looked quick and smooth to me, it felt that way to them.

Doing this gets their mind off thinking about the suggested changes and more in tune with their body and how the shot "felt".

It's the whole shooting process that's most important at first and not the little steps involved. Too much concentration on the latter causes thinking to occur and that's counter productive.

The less they think; the quicker they pick up the new changes. It's about "feel" vs. thinking. To me, that speeds up the learning curve even though there is no substitute for time and reps.

Rick Penny
Shooting Coach


Coach Abner says:
3/2/2016 at 9:01:23 AM

Have a lot of respect for Mr. Penny and I agree with a lot of what he says here but it's also important to understand that there are so many respected shooting teachers that teach completely different methods.

Dick Baumgartner has been coaching shooting for literally decades and he stresses that the wrist should be level or just slightly cocked upon receiving the pass, for example. He also teaches using the shooting pocket (near waist level).

A lot of coaches now stress the hop over the 1-2 step. Some coaches teach the dip, others don't. Many coaches teach BEEF and 10 toes to the rim, others are now adopting the shoulder/hip turn method. It's a confusing mess if you try to take all of thaqt info in.

You have to find what methods works for you (and offers the best feel and comfort level) and then rep the hell out of it.

  2 replies  

Joe Haefner says:
3/2/2016 at 10:13:44 AM

Great points, Coach Abner. Your points are actually something we talk about at our shooting camps.

Find a shooting method that fits you. One that helps you shoot the ball straight with proper arc.

Make it repeatable and consistent.

Develop confidence and reduce fear of failure.

"then rep the hell out of it" :)


Rick Penny says:
3/2/2016 at 2:22:58 PM

Coach Abner,

Deciding on a shooting method that best fits the individual can be very confusing, especially with all the different techniques taught today.

My goal is to educate players, parents, and coaches on the finer points of "how" and "why" each technique works. At that point, they can decide what best aligns with their shooting philosophy.

Personally, I believe the One Motion Technique is the best, but realize it would be arrogant to tell everyone they have to shoot my way.

Curious as to what you would teach or think is the best route to go?

Rick Penny


Marc Changnon says:
3/2/2016 at 9:18:18 AM

Coach, as I look and read about each of the three shooting motions, some are illustrated with shooting a free throw and some are actual jump shots. How would you take 8th grade boys, who most have developed bad habits, and start training them to use the proper shooting method? In addition, which of the three shooting methods do you feel I should use in teaching my 8th graders how to shoot?

  1 reply  

Rick says:
3/2/2016 at 9:33:40 PM


Full disclosure...I'm totally biased toward the One Motion Technique so that is my recommendation for your eighth grade boys.

It would be impossible to explain in this forum what and how I'd start teaching them One Motion. My One Motion Shooting Technique Video, sold on Breakthrough Basketball's website, fully details how to teach/learn the technique.

The eighth grade boys are a great age to learn the concepts of a One Motion shot.

Rick Penny


Coach Ben says:
3/2/2016 at 10:22:26 AM

Thanks for a nice article. Adding to Marc's question, it would be good to understand if you feel the variable of whether the player (especially a youth player) is jumping first creates yet more variations of shot types, or if these are still just nuances of the 3 types you mentioned. It seems that Steph and others that use the one motion approach start in more of a set position and then come off the ground as they are releasing the ball, while the other 2 methods can be done with either a "jump off the ground early as part of the first motion" like Ray Allen's classic jump shot, or "come off the ground as you are releasing the ball as part of the 2nd motion" (more like a traditional set shot).

Do you consider these 3 methods as the methods for just perimeter shooting only? I have players that shoot with the "Head Pause" method from the perimeter, but when they drive the lane and pull up they are releasing the ball from well over their head so it doesn't get blocked - would you just call that a catapult shot or is that a different shot type altogether...

  1 reply  

Rick says:
3/2/2016 at 10:03:18 PM

Coach Ben,

Hopefully this answers your question, if not let me know.

I don't believe the jump has anything to do with what type of shot a player has because every technique incorporates a jumping action.

What creates the nuances of each shooting method is the ball location at what I call SET. Where the shot starts is the determining factor for everything that follows.

I can only speak for One Motion when you ask if the three techniques are for the perimeter only. One Motion can be used anywhere on the floor with the same principles each time.

The closer a player gets to the basket, the higher the release is because the defender is much closer. SET position is a bit higher (face level vs chest level), but the shooting motion is the same just more arc is used. It's the same principle used by guards penetrating and using the Tear Drop over taller defenders.

This is tough to describe in written form. If you could see it demonstrated, you'd better understand the concept.

Rick Penny


Tom says:
3/2/2016 at 3:18:19 PM

Totally agree with Coach Ben that the point of release with the legs is a neglected topic in general with shooting instruction, but it's really important. Having the wrong rhythm can make even a good shot fail, but I'm unclear on exactly what to teach. You know it when you feel it, but there has to be an exact point. For the set shot, it's probably related to the knee position, and for a jump shot, it's somewhere between leaving the floor and the moment of hangtime at the top of the jump.

  2 replies  

Joe Haefner says:
3/5/2016 at 11:55:09 AM

Tom, I wrote my thoughts on this topic in some detail.. at least, I think it's the same thing you're referencing:


Rick Penny says:
3/7/2016 at 10:31:12 AM


When talking about rhythm, your statement, "You know it when you feel it", is exactly right.

I can only speak for One Motion, but that "feeling" you mentioned is obtained by this principle: Ball starts up as knees begin to fully flex...onset of the Shooting Process. This of course is tied to the location of your SET Position which is mentioned in the article above.

Rick Penny


Stepan says:
3/3/2016 at 11:00:53 AM

Hi everybody,

I'm a fan of One Motion as a concept and even retaught myself to shoot this way well into my thirties, after many years of shooting Two Motion in practices and competitive basketball games at various amateur levels. It took around two years to bury (if not completely) old habits but yielded great results; I'm definitely a much better shooter now though my training time reduced significantly as compared to what it used to be some ten-fifteen years ago.

My only concern is the initial wrist position, at SET, as Coach Penny calls it. Logically, it only makes sense that your wrist assumes the best position (fully cocked) right at the start of the movement, as the whole idea of One Motion is to minimize variables and strip the motion for maximum efficiency. And I tried it a lot. The problem is when I start with my wrist cocked, it becomes a bit stiff. I failed to find a way to overcome it. On the other hand, when cocking my wrist somewhere in the process (and maybe even at the cost of a slight pause around my forehead) I'm able to relax my hand while still maintaining a reliable grip on the ball.

I'm far from thinking it is a universal problem, but this is my experience.

  2 replies  

Joe Haefner says:
3/5/2016 at 11:55:59 AM

I prefer a SLIGHTLY cocked, relaxed wrist.

Also, I believe you need to do what works best for you.


Rick Penny says:
3/7/2016 at 10:38:55 AM


Thanks for sharing your experience.

Like Joe stated, you have to find what works best for you.

Try the following:

1. At SET, you may be cocking your wrist too much. If you feel tightness anywhere, then lessen the wrist angle until it feels relaxed.
2. Your forearm angle may be too low at SET and when you try to fully cock your wrist, it feels tight. Raise your forearm angle and see if that eases the tightness...look at my SET in the above article and compare your forearm angle to mine.

My universal teaching point is to eliminate any tightness during the Shooting Process...from start to finish.

Rick Penny


IJ says:
3/3/2016 at 11:46:44 AM

Who is a one piece shooter in the NBA? and could you show pictures and videos?

Also, I would like to understand the concept of one motion because when I look at Curry he seems to have a two motion shot like in the picture below, but he just does it so quick that you can't see it clearly like when Duran or James are shooting.

What are your thoughts?

  2 replies  

Joe Haefner says:
3/5/2016 at 11:58:50 AM

I don't think there are many true "one-piece" shooters if any. I tend to focus on fluidity and rhythm. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't do the one-piece shot.

Curry is about as close as you get.

NBA players are just different than the normal athlete. They're tall, long, and super athletic. Even Steph Curry who many wouldn't look at as an exceptional NBA athlete tested around a 40-inch vert and is 6'3.

I think it also might have to do with the height of their release point. For many of these NBA guys shooting, it's like a normal person shooting at a 8.5 foot hoop.


Rick Penny says:
3/7/2016 at 11:01:10 AM


My concept of a One Motion shot and what I teach students is defined in the article above.

Curry would be as close as it gets when it comes to NBA players. The majority of the time, Curry has a two-piece shot because he loops it up & back to around his forehead (first distinct movement) and then starts the ball toward the basket (second distinct movement).

What makes his shot so quick is there is no pause or stopping between the first and second distinct movement. Pretty much the rest of the NBA players pause or stop there or above their head.

I've seen Curry do an exact One Motion shot off the dribble with no looping up & back action, just straight up.

Destiny Williams (WNBA player/Baylor Bear) and Melissa Dixon (former Iowa Lady Hawkeye) are two standout players that use a One Motion shot.

The S-Curves shown in the article point out the differences between a one-piece (One Motion) and a two-piece shot.

Rick Penny


Logan Good says:
3/3/2016 at 12:58:02 PM

Yeah I had the same question. Are they saying he has a two motion shot? I''m confused

  1 reply  

Rick Penny says:
3/7/2016 at 11:04:45 AM


Curry has a two-piece shot the majority of the time, but I have seen him do a One Motion shot...mostly off the dribble.

Rick Penny


Logan Good says:
3/3/2016 at 1:07:24 PM

I thought guys had an article where you immediately position the ball at TUCK? Because the article stated you should start to extend your legs when you arrive at SET. Also, Curry loops the ball to his forehead, so does he have a two-piece shot? Well I read that article about the components of a quicker release. I suppose that his loop creates a flater arc than a shooter like Kyrie.

  3 replies  

Joe Haefner says:
3/5/2016 at 12:01:59 PM

You are correct, Logan. I actually wrote those articles that you can reference. Those were based on my experiences. Rick might have slightly different beliefs and approaches. But we generally agree on most... there is more than one way to be successful.

As I have progressed with the Tuck since writing the article, I believe you should focus on bringing to your chest region.

As players move further beyond the FT line or maybe farther, you might start to drop the ball a little bit to your waist/stomach, but you keep the same wrist & arm angles with the tuck.

At the same time, some players don't drop the ball from the chest region. ultimately, you need to do what's best for you.


Joe Haefner says:
3/5/2016 at 12:04:04 PM

Also, to answer your question about Steph, I think he has a two-piece shot.

Personally, as long as players can shoot the ball quickly, shoot the ball straight, shoot the ball with proper arc, be consistent and repeatable, I don't get too caught up on the one-piece and two-piece argument. However, I do focus on rhythm, fluidity, and coordination.


Rick Penny says:
3/7/2016 at 11:13:24 AM


The Tuck is only used when stepping into the shot which means there is a trail leg. It's then used as a transition to SET helping to create rhythm and power.

If you catch the pass with both feet already in the shooting position, the ball goes directly to SET and no Tuck action is necessary because there is no trail leg.

At SET, the knees begin to fully flex (bend) in preparation for the jump and while this takes place the ball is rising.

Rick Penny


Jay Conner says:
8/29/2016 at 2:09:27 PM

Good article and info! As an "old guy" who shot with poor form way too long (think Jamal Wilkes behind head) whose trying to reconstruct shot, I've had a lot of up's and downs in this process. My issue perhaps you could help with -
I'm totally sold on the "one month", although to get more power and arc on shot, I seem to do better around stomach area, my issue with hand/wristed cocked is grip on ball, i.e. it simply takes me too long to get my hand/fingers with proper grip consistently, especially if cross over from left to right and shooting (I'm right handed). Any tips an catching, grabbing, dribbling etc the ball into the 'right grip' each time? I think part of my issue maybe smaller hands...

  1 reply  

Rick says:
9/29/2016 at 2:35:38 PM


When attempting to make major changes in your shooting form ups and downs are to be expected...just have to work through them with patience.

Regarding more arc and power - You stated the need to lower the ball around your stomach for power. Try hopping quicker from the SET position vs. lowering the ball. This will provide the necessary power plus create better timing between your legs/arms/ball. Your arc is a byproduct of how much you take the ball up before propelling it toward the a bit more up along with the quicker hop for better results.

Regarding grip - It takes practice to be able to catch the ball correctly off the pass and dribble. The quicker a shooter gets to SET, the quicker they can release the ball. This involves having your wrist creased or cocked plus having your hands in a good position.

Spin the ball to yourself and practice catching it with your hands positioned correctly including the wrist crease. Do it over and over until it becomes natural. Next, spin to yourself and step to SET and freeze. Concentrate on being able to arrive at SET without having to take time to adjust your had position. Again, do this over and over. Also, do the same drills for catching the ball off the dribble and then stepping to SET.

These drills will pay dividends. You'll arrive at SET without having to waste time adjusting your hand position and then by hopping quicker you'll achieve the needed power without having to lower the ball to your stomach area.

Hope this helps.

Rick Penny


Emmanuel says:
10/10/2016 at 3:51:04 PM

Is there any way I can send a video of my shot to get a quick evaluation on my shot?


Rick Penny says:
10/11/2016 at 11:52:13 AM


I use an app from UpMyGame to analyze shooting form.
Email me at the address below and we'll discuss evaluating your shot.

Rick Penny


Adam says:
12/30/2016 at 3:28:22 PM

Hey coach Penny I know this comment is late in response to your article about shooting motions etc. but it would be a great help to me if you could try to answer my questions regarding my shot.
After detailed analyzation of my shot I have recognized that my problem in making shots comes from my hand placement on the ball. When I shoot I make my elbow and my wrist in a 90 degree angle but when I bring the ball into my shooters pocket and create a 90 degree angle with my elbow my hand becomes crooked and cannont become straight with my elbow therefore slightly facing my fingers away from the basket to the left. This crooked hand alignment creates a twitch in my follow through where my hand wants to follow through to the left therefore throwing off a straight follow through and a 90 degree angel alignment between my elbow and wrist. I do not know how this came to be in my shooting form and I do not know how to fix my wrist to be able to straighten it where it creates a 90 degree angle with my elbow I was wondering if you could help me figure out what is wrong with my wrist alignment, it used to not be like this. Thank you for your time.

Freshman basketball player Adam Bearden


Adam says:
12/30/2016 at 10:40:12 PM

P.S. my wrist isn't broken


Rick Penny says:
2/16/2017 at 11:22:21 PM


Sorry, just seeing your post. What you''re describing is very hard to visualize so any response would be a wild guess.

Email me at and we''ll figure out a way to address your situation.

Rick Penny


OVN says:
2/22/2017 at 12:12:54 AM

My shot''s problem is movement in my legs witch effects accuracy and speed of the ball when i release. I have one motion shot.

  1 reply  

Rick Penny says:
2/25/2017 at 11:10:35 PM


Without seeing you shoot, I don't know exactly what your legs are doing to affect accuracy.

Let me suggest making your "leg action" quicker. That means down & up quickly vs. too low & too slow.

A quick down & up causes the ball/arms to be quick as well which creates good rhythm and timing, especially with a One Motion shot.

Hope this helps!

Rick Penny


Ty says:
10/16/2017 at 1:42:21 PM

I have studied KD and Steph shooting and have realized that both of them attach their left and right elbows to the their hips before they shoot.I have tried this and it really works. I also made a research and found out that elite golfers tuck in both elbows to give the ball a chance to follow a straight path. what do you think abt this?


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