Proper Basketball Shooting Technique, Fundamentals, and Form

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It's often said that great shooters have a place on any team.

Even if you aren't blessed with tremendous speed, strength or athleticism, great shooting is one of the surest ways you can stand out on the basketball court.

If you spend the time developing and practicing your shot, it will pay off in:

  • Making the team
  • Getting more playing time
  • Scoring consistently
  • Feeling confident and having fun every time you step on the floor

Now, let me start with some good news!

Yes, you do need very good shooting form and technique to shoot consistently well.

But it does NOT need to be "perfect".

If you watch enough great shooters, you'll see that their form varies quite a bit based on what's comfortable (and what works) for them.

But almost all great shooters follow the principles I'll explain in this article. So keep reading for (all the good stuff)!

Stationary Basketball Shooting Form and Technique

In this section, we give you the raw form and mechanics of stationary shooting.

In other words, this section does NOT address the fundamentals of shooting on the move and more advanced footwork you'll need for game situations.

Here's a quick roadmap of the stationary shooting fundamentals that we'll be covering:

  1. Eyes on Target
  2. Stance and Balance
  3. Shot Pocket
  4. Grip
  5. Balance Hand
  6. Delivery
  7. Upforce and Landing
  8. Follow Through
  9. Correct Shot


shooting-fund-eyes (20K)
  • To improve accuracy, locate the target (rim) as early as possible.

  • Keep your eyes on the target and do not follow the flight of the ball.

  • Keeping your target focus is very important!


shooting-fund-stance (15K)
  • Feet are shoulder width apart for good balance.

  • Feet should be in a slightly staggered stance that is consistent and comfortable for you. Your shooting foot is slightly ahead of the non-shooting foot in a comfortable position.

  • Point your feet in the general direction of the basket, but not necessarily directly at it. We prefer an open stance, but you can also use the closed (squared) stance if that's more comfortable for you. With an open stance, your feet point towards one side of the basket. For example, a right handed shooter will point his or her feet just to the left of the rim for a more natural position and shooting motion.

  • Once you develop a comfortable stance, line up your feet the exact same way on every shot. Whatever stance you use, consistency is critical.

  • Flex/bend your knees on every shot.


shooting-fund-pocket (13K)
  • As you catch the ball, move it quickly into the shot pocket.

  • Line everything up so the ball and your shooting eye form a straight line to the basket. This is VERY important.

  • Position the ball several inches above your waist.

  • Grip the ball properly and be ready to shoot.

  • Position the ball in your shot pocket the SAME way every time you catch it.


  • Place the air hole between the middle and index fingers.

  • Line up your fingertip pads parallel to the long seams of the ball, so you can monitor the back spin.

  • Leave space between the ball and the middle of your palm. You should be able to insert a pencil between the ball and your palm area.

shooting-fund-grip1 (10K)
  • Spread your fingers far enough apart to comfortably balance the ball in one hand.

  • The ball should sit on your finger pads.

shooting-fund-grip2 (13K)


  • Your non-shooting hand should be on the side of the ball.

  • Your balance hand should not add force or spin to the shot.

shooting-fund-balance-hand1 (13K)
  • Your non-shooting hand should not move on delivery and should ALWAYS come off the ball FIRST.

shooting-fund-balance-hand2 (13K)


  • The ball should start motion directly upwards from the shot pocket.
  • Your elbow should be positioned comfortably under the ball.
  • The ball stays in front of you and should not go behind your head.
shooting-fund-delivery1 (13K)
  • Uncoil your body with your legs, core, and arm power all coordinated.
  • Your elbow and wrist should extend in a straight line to the basket.
shooting-fund-delivery2 (22K)
  • Your shooting hand should extend in a straight line to the rim.
  • Hand position on delivery is very important. The ball should come off the hand with perfect symmetrical backspin.
  • As shown in the picture to the right, your guide hand stays to the side and does not influence the flight of the ball.
shooting-fund-delivery3 (12K)


shooting-fund-upforce (15K)
  • Release the ball on the way up, just before the top of your jump.
  • Use your legs to generate upforce.
  • You should land in the same spot that you jumped, which shows that you have good balance on your shot.
shooting-fund-upforce2 (17K)


shooting-fund-follow-through (19K)
  • Your wrists should be floppy (relaxed).
  • Fingers should be pointed at the target (rim).
  • Finish high. You should see your fingers at the top square of the back board.
  • Hold your follow through position until the ball hits the rim.

NOTE: If you’d like specially-designed workouts for shooting and scoring, download our FREE Breakthrough Shooting Workout. It includes over 30 drills you can do by yourself or with a partner — all you need is a ball and a hoop!

Click here to get your FREE Shooting Workout.

Related Products & Helpful Resources

Basketball Shooting Camps

Free Basketball Shooting Workouts

Basketball Workout App - Shooting Workouts, Guard Play Workouts, Post Workouts, etc.


Anonymous says:
10/8/2008 at 11:30:23 AM

I'm already a fundamentally sound shooter
STATS: 16/17
But the intructions does help beginners that need some work

Thomas Browning says:
11/3/2008 at 6:25:14 PM

I am a first time coach of 4th & 5th graders. What do i need to focus on with these boys to give them a good fundamental start. Thanks, any help would be great. TFB

Joe Haefner says:
11/3/2008 at 8:45:52 PM

Hi Thomas,

If you go to this link and scroll to the bottom of the page, it will give you a good idea of what to teach:

Hadi Sherazi says:
11/7/2008 at 7:39:54 AM

Hi, i am a pretty consistent shooter and am considering buying a rim reducer to take my shot to the next level
there are two i cannot decide from
one reduces the rim from 18 to 16 inches and raises it 1 inch
the other reduces the rim from 18 to 12 inches and raises it two inches
i am 15 years old
please advise

Joe Haefner says:
11/7/2008 at 1:50:34 PM

Hi Hadi,

I have never used a rim reducer and I don't think you need one to become a great shooter, but here are some of my thoughts.

A rim reducer will force you to become more accurate when shooting. When you take the rim reducer off, it should feel easier to make the shots.

On the other side, it could decrease shooting confidence if you see yourself miss too much with the rim reducer on the hoop.

So, I would only shoot with a rim reducer part of the workout.

Hadi Sherazi says:
11/8/2008 at 4:43:32 AM

Thank you thats a great help

Nelson says:
12/11/2008 at 9:36:27 PM

I am 13 but i cant get a good form, i either shoot it over my head with a good release or i shoot with my elbow out if im trying to keep it below my head, i cant get in between is there a drill i could do to get it to be in the right spot

Joe Haefner says:
12/12/2008 at 1:00:48 PM

Hi Nelson,

To figure out where your elbow should be:

1. Squat slightly and place your hand on your leg that is on the same side as your shooting hand.

2. Bring your hand up into the shooting position. Let your elbow just folllow where it would go naturally. That should be the placement of your elbow when you shoot. Don't strain your elbow.

The important thing is to have the ball travel from your shot pocket to your release to the hoop in a straight line.

Ania says:
12/14/2008 at 1:43:31 PM

Thanks this helps me alot. I use to have my form shooting but when i was practicing vollyball i losted it. So thanks for you help. This will help me with not only my 2''s but my 3''s too. Go Lady Cards.

R.C. Tayona says:
12/21/2008 at 8:22:59 AM

hi i am very good shooter in practice ..... but when it comes to the actual game why cant i shoot that well...?

Joe Haefner says:
12/22/2008 at 7:54:24 AM

Hi R.C.,

There could be a number of reasons that this happening.

1. Are you taking the same mental approach as you would during practice? Are you rushing your shots?

2. In practice, are you practicing the same type of shots you take during the game? If not, you need to start practicing shots you take during the game

3. In practice, are you practicing at game speed? If not, you need to start practicing shots at game speed.

Jimmy says:
1/2/2009 at 11:24:46 PM

I am 15 and sometimes when i shoot i hyperextend my elbow it hurts so what can i do to stop it from hyperextending.

Joe Haefner says:
1/3/2009 at 4:07:04 PM

Hi Jimmy,

If you are hyperextending your elbow from shooting the ball, my guess would be that you are not using your legs enough. Your legs should generate most of the power to get your shot to the hoop.

Bend your knees and sit your hips back.

Kevin says:
1/11/2009 at 2:20:00 AM

I have pretty good shooting form - sometimes i get like 4-6 shots straight but sometimes i do exactly opposite

i know its a problem with my left hand (im right handed), i keep using it too much and it makes the ball go right but sometimes its too hard to control

also when shooting far shots like threes its really hard to shoot far enough without using my left hand eventhough it goes it sometimes

Johnson says:
1/12/2009 at 9:05:08 AM

Hey Joe...
I'm 16 this year, 184cm tall, 53kg only...
I bring the ball slow and players can just catch me up easily...cant shot well...i jump as high till my fingers touch the rims...
i keep practicing at home when i'm free but when i go on the field, my mind just gone blank...sometimes i can shot perfectly but mostly all just misses...oh ya, i notice that most of my balls always hit the part where the rim connect the just always bounce off over there...
Do u think i should just train my jumps so that i could dunk? Please give me some good advice...I really need it badly plus it is my last year playing for the school team...

Jennifer says:
1/13/2009 at 6:02:30 AM

Hi there,
I'm a first time coach with an all 5 year old team; this is all their first time playing organized basketball. I have played many years in youth, high school and college rec.

Although our rim is only set at 8', many of the kids have a tough time getting the ball to the hoop. Strength and mechanics at this age are hard to come by.

What is the best way to help them strive for making baskets NOW, yet not undermining their form for future years?

Many thanks in advance!

Jeff Haefner says:
1/13/2009 at 1:12:31 PM

Hi Jennifer,

Getting 5 year olds to play basketball can be tough. They're not physically and mentally ready for the demands of basketball. Like you said, they can't even shoot the ball on a 8' rim. Sports like swimming, gymnastics, soccer, and martial arts are excellent for really young kids. These sports are tremendous for their athletic development.

In any case, lots of organizations start basketball at this age and kids want to try. So you need to make the best of it.

For basketball practice with 5 years olds, you can do...
- lots of ballhandling drills/games
- use the real small mini balls for shooting at 7' baskets
- do lots of games that teach movement, spatial awareness, rhythm, and develop them athletically. examples of this would include tag, basketball tag, hopscotch, jump rope games, relay races, obstacle courses, copy the coach (they try to do whatever movement you do), skipping, jump stops,etc, etc.
- passing drills/games
- keep things fun! make basketball, sports, and physical activity something the kids learn to love -- so they don't end up getting fat in front of the play station. it needs to be lots of fun.

Good luck and let us know if you have more questions.

Joe Haefner says:
1/13/2009 at 2:11:24 PM

Hi Johnson,

If I were you, I would not worry about dunking. First off, you need to improve your basketball skills. You can visit this page to learn more about improving your skills:

You can also visit our player's page to find some our best drills and article that will help you improve as a player:

Part of the reason, you could freeze when you enter the game is that your skills are not as developed as they need to be. Therefore, you lack the confidence needed to succeed during the game. I would advise to work very hard on your ball handling, passing, and shooting. As you become better, you will be more comfortable on the court.

lol says:
1/14/2009 at 9:38:40 AM


G says:
1/23/2009 at 5:04:09 PM


I can dribble and do everything i need to in basketball but I practice and Practice and I cant make a shot as much as i would want to.

any advise?

MikeL says:
2/9/2009 at 7:16:35 PM

Hi Joe:

We see lots of 12-13 year olds who learned to shoot with two hands (starting on 10-foot rims at age 7 or so) and then have trouble when we teach them to align the ball w/ one hand. What are some "re-training" ideas that worked for you?

Joe Haefner says:
2/10/2009 at 7:11:03 AM

Hi Mike,

I would take a look at this link:

Dan says:
2/28/2009 at 4:19:48 PM

Hi Joe,

I'm 15 years old and I've been struggling with consistently getting a fluid motion in my shot. I've done a lot of strength and plyometric training and try to do as much ball handling as i can in my spare time. But my shot is the one thing it seems i cant get down, Over the summer my shot felt pretty good but this whole season I've bbeen struggling. I've watched a bunch of DVDs and stuff and know a lot about shooting and have even video taped myself. I see what im doing wrong but cant seem to fix it. It can get frustrating, but right now It seems like i just cant go straight up from the shot pocket and get the coordination of my shot down. Do u have any advice on form shooting drills or just some tips?

Joe Haefner says:
3/1/2009 at 4:40:07 PM

Hi Dan,

It's hard to know because I have not seen you shoot, but I think I have ran into this same problem myself. If you can, just start with the ball a little bit higher. That helped me, because that means there's less movement from my release point. If you can't, continue to shoot from your shot pocket.

Also, try practicing your shot hundreds of times away from the basket. First, without your legs. Just the motion of the upper body. Then, incorporate legs after you feel comfortable doing that.

After a few thousands shots, move to the basket. Start extremely close to the basket. I would highly advise to stay within 15 feet for the first 3 to 4 weeks. Remember, we are trying to develop your shot over the LONG-TERM.

After you feel comfortable shooting from that distance, gradually move out. If you take the long-term approach, you'll be much better off than somebody who changes their shot and tries to jack up 3-pointers right away. It just doesn't work.

You need to take thousands and thousands of shots with the correct form close to the basket.

Dan says:
3/1/2009 at 8:12:36 PM

Thank you so much. I really appreciate it sir. I will start doing this right away. Thanks

Kyle says:
3/1/2009 at 10:44:06 PM

I have no problem shooting short to mid-range but my outside range is terrible all the sudden. I recently changed my shot to a more fundamental and more successful shot, but only from the field. Any advice on shooting the long ball? Thanks

Joe Haefner says:
3/2/2009 at 7:16:46 AM

Hi Kyle,

Take a look a this page on our website:

Kevin says:
3/8/2009 at 9:05:33 PM

Hello Joe,

I was wondering if you had any tips on how to keep your guide hand wrist from moving. My shooting stroke is pretty good, but the only knock-off is my guide hand. Whenever I go up for a shot, my guide hand's wrist turns towards the basket therefore the fingers point the basket. Any tips on how to keep the guide hand wrist from turning and keeping those fingers pointed up?

Joe Haefner says:
3/9/2009 at 8:40:57 AM

Hi Kevin,

I would take a look at this article:

Chris says:
3/15/2009 at 11:15:38 PM

Hey Joe,
Just a couple of questions. When I release the basketball for the shot, which part of my hand should be exerting force on it(which fingers)? Also, when I am squaring up for the shot, where should the ball be rested on my palm? Thanks a bunch.

Joe Haefner says:
3/16/2009 at 11:28:53 AM

Hi Chris,

When shooting I exert force from all of the fingers. However, I prefer to have the ball come off my index and middle finger last. I also produce power from my legs and upper body as I bring the ball up.

I always have the ball on my finger pads. You dont' want to palm the ball.

Zach says:
3/23/2009 at 4:15:06 PM

Does it matter that i dont get a whole lot of jump when i shoot? surprisingly it seems that i get more power when i dont jump than when i do, its kinda wierd, got any advice you can give me?

Pots says:
3/24/2009 at 2:04:05 AM

Great techniques!

Hi Joe,
I am shooting well on the court but im not that consistent. Is there a way to improve my consitency?
and I prefer shooting with my index(only) lastly touching the ball. Is that okay?
and how can I improve may range? I find it hard making 3s.:D

Joe Haefner says:
3/24/2009 at 10:18:26 AM

Hi Zach,

It could be happening, because you're shooting too late. As soon as you jump, shoot the ball. Most players shoot too late and lose all the power generated by their legs.

To learn more about improving range, you can check out this article:

Joe Haefner says:
3/24/2009 at 10:21:06 AM

Hi Pots,

Consistency will come with deliberate practice. Make sure to practice shooting form everyday.

Shooting with the ball leaving the infex finger is fine. That is not a major mechanical issue to worry about.

Check out this link to learn about improving range:

Harman says:
3/24/2009 at 3:34:24 PM

Sup Joe,

I have a problem with my backspin and following through with my supporting hand. I am 15 and right handed. When I shoot sometimes the ball goes spinning awkwardly but it goes in sometimes but the form is not right and I want to fix it. Also when I shoot the ball off my right hand I also let go of my supporting hand but I have a habit of following through with my left hand as well.

Joe Haefner says:
3/24/2009 at 6:14:25 PM

Hi Harman,

I would take a look at this page:

Pots says:
3/25/2009 at 9:45:39 AM

Thanks a lot for the advice! It really helped.

but I seem to be shooting the ball with only my index finger. I mean i apply the force mostly in my index finger since my middle finger and the other fingers are slightly a degree to the right. (so if i use all my fingers, it means the ball would go to the right.)

I believe that affects my range and my accuracy. Sorry for the silly question. Just can't help it!:D

archie borlongan says:
4/9/2009 at 12:45:48 AM

i love basketball,my position is center
i'm a 6 footer but my body are slim that's why i alway practice my shooting bcause i want to improve it.sometimes i make shot in critical position some are counted but more are not.i want to be a three pointer can you please give me more tips to improve my shooting skills?thank you

CJ says:
4/14/2009 at 2:27:04 PM

im 12 5 ft 7 and i cant get my pousture right or my release. i dont want a quick release and sometime i sometimes get my shot above my head can u help me.

Joe Haefner says:
4/15/2009 at 10:05:13 AM

Hi CJ,

Without being there to visually see what is happening, it's hard to instruct you on what to do. There could be many factors affecting your release such as your knee bend and hip position, feet position, shoulder position, follow through, etc.

I would advise to read our tips on the shooting section:

We also have a Breakthrough Basketball Shooting Guide that takes you step by step developing your own shot:

Another piece of advice would be to shoot hundreds and hundreds of shots away from the basket perfecting your form. Once you have done so, go to a basket and shoot tons of shots close to the basket. Then, GRADUALLY move out over time. This could months and years.

Neil says:
4/29/2009 at 4:59:41 AM

hi, im 15 and im right handed and everytime i shoot my left hand always gets in the way it always moves i cant help it and when i to shoot without letting my left hand interrupt it lacks strength so it cant make the basket... why?

Joe Haefner says:
4/29/2009 at 8:46:13 AM


It could be a number of things and it's too difficult to determine without being there. I would advise that you have a coach analyze your shooting.

Are you bending your knees and pushing your hips back to generate leg power?

Are you following through properly?

Are you holding the ball properly?

Is the arc appropriate?

Could some weight training with a professional help you?

These are a few things that you would need to determine.

I would focus on the technique and not even look at the hoop. Do some wall shooting everyday. Then, do some form shooting close the basket. Gradually, work your way out. It's perfectly fine if you do not shoot outside 15 feet within the first 6 months. Your goal is develop your shot close to the basket and eventually be able to shoot from further out. Remember, shooting is a long-term practice. It's nothing you fix in one or two days.

N/A says:
4/29/2009 at 5:06:17 PM

Hey Joe,

N/A says:
4/29/2009 at 5:15:47 PM

Hey Joe,

I was wondering if you could give me a little advise on shooting. When I shoot, people tell me that I always shoot one-handed, something I am really trying to work on. They say I take my guide hand off too soon and that it is partially in front of the ball, which is really hurting my shooting accuracy. Although I realize that my guide hand is partially in front of the ball, I am strugging to fix that problem. Also, is my guide hand supposed to follow my shooting hand and the ball until it leaves my hand?

Next, people tell me that I don't get high enough when I shoot the ball, something that I have come to notice. Also, I believe I am having trouble with my release, but someone has yet to comment on it. However, many of my shots have been falling short or move to the side. It could possibly be due to the fact that whenever I shoot I worry about my form, but could you give me a few tips just in case, please?

I would also appreciate if you go into the steps of a jump shot in great detail, as although the shooting guide helped me somewhat, I am still having trouble converting to a better form even though I shoot very often every day.

Thank you for the guide and I am sorry for such a long comment, but I really want to improve.

Joe Haefner says:
4/30/2009 at 12:33:16 PM

With your guide hand, your grip should be similar to the pictures above. If your guide hand is too far in front of the ball, it can affect your shooting accuracy.

I don't think it matters too much if you take your guide hand off early, it matters HOW you're taking your guide hand off. Are you bringing your guide hand down to the side of your body immediately? Are you moving the ball as your bring down your guide hand?

If you bring your guide hand down too early, it can cause you to twist your body which will make the basketball miss to the left and to the right. You want to have zero twisting or turning of the body during your shot. Most importantly your shoulders, make sure your shoulders do not twist or move.

If the ball is moving around in your shooting hand, because you do not have it properly balanced, it will make your shot go everywhere except at the hoop. Make sure to have your shooting hand underneath the ball, so it does move around as you take your guide hand off the ball.

The guide hand should be in the same spot as your set position. Look above if needed to see picture of set position. Once, you start to move your shooting hand forward to shoot the ball, you guide hand should stay in the same position. When you start to shoot, the guide hand should not touch the ball. We do not want the guide hand affecting the path of the shot.

The height of your jump is not very important when it comes to shooting. Only very few people can or need to jump over people to shoot. If somebody is in your face when you shoot a jump shot, it is not likely a good shot. However, you do need to include your legs to generate power for your shot. You should bend your knees and push your hips (butt) back. A lot of players shoot straight-legged and it does NOT allow them to get to generate enough power or get as high on their jump shot.

As for practicing, start away from the basket. Do thousands of wall shots to engrain the good form. Once you do that, take your shot to the rim. Reference our shooting guide. It takes you through step by step on how to rebuild your shot.

Joe Haefner says:
4/30/2009 at 12:35:34 PM

Also, your shot should become automatic. The more you think about your shooting form, the more it will mess you up. It's okay to concentrate on a thing or two, but if you worry about everything, your shot will be a mess.

For example, if you do not feel like you are getting proper lift on our shot, think hips back before you shoot. I actually am naturally a straight-legged shooter and this has helped me tremendously.

caitie says:
4/30/2009 at 6:52:26 PM

hi i suck at bball how do i get better ive gone thru 2 years of private training 4 hours night how do i get better?

Pots says:
5/9/2009 at 10:19:07 AM


I've been practcing alot lately and I've improved ALOT. I really don't know if my form is picture perfect. I just followed the guide here and practiced alot. now my shots are more consistent and I can shoot 90% when no one is guarding me.

Im 16 yrs old.
What should i practice next? A quicker release? Fade away?..etc..

Joe Haefner says:
5/11/2009 at 1:46:17 PM

Hi Pots,

I'm glad to hear about your improvement. Some hard work and deliberate practice can get you a long ways.

Can you shoot shots from left to right, baseline to the top, curling off a screen, fading to the corner, etc.? Can you shoot those shots at game speed?

Plenty of players can shoot the ball great while standing still, but when they have to move, their form falls apart.

Can you shoot well during games? How do you do when a defender is in your face?

Take what you do in practice and play a few games to practice your game-shots.

I wouldn't worry about a fade away. Continue to refine your shot off the catch and off the dribble. Can you shoot as well going to the right as the left?

It never hurts to try to develop a quicker release, either. Most of that deals with getting set as you catch the ball.

Aaron says:
5/15/2009 at 2:28:43 PM

my name is aaron how do you get the perfect shooting release

Jeff Haefner says:
5/15/2009 at 3:12:09 PM


First I should mention that there is no such things as "perfect" shooting release or technique. In other words, your mechanics will never be 100%, and you don't want to be robotic.

With that said, you'll never be a great shooter unless you have "satisfactory" mechanics. It's very common for players to have fatal flaws in their approach, and frankly they have no chance of becoming consistent shooters.

The key is to develop solid mechanics (not perfect) and unwavering consistency. Your shot should be the same every time.

The trick is to work on your mechanics AWAY from the basket and/or up close to the basket. Then after getting some repetitions, just shoot "game shots" without thinking about your mechanics! You need thousands of practice repetitions to develop the proper "muscle memory" and so you can shoot properly without thinking.

We have a step by step shot development plan in one of our eBooks, but it won't fit in this post. If you want to learn more, check out our shooting guide with the step by step workouts:

raymon says:
5/19/2009 at 4:02:03 AM

why are my shot falling short and sometimes it fall so hard

raymon says:
5/20/2009 at 12:06:44 AM

plzz help me what form of shot will i do im only 13 years old?

Patrick says:
5/22/2009 at 11:40:38 AM

Hey Joe. I'm 16 years old. Some people say I have an awkward shot. But I have a good mid range game. My shots usually go in. Does your shooting form really matter? Some of the players in the NBA have akward shooting forms, like for example Shawn Marion but he is a good 3 pointer.

I have a good mid range game, but I want to inrease my range and hit the 23 foot three point range. I have been practicing, but I don't see any huge improvements. Should I change my shooting form? or stick to my normal shot were I am comfortable?

Victor says:
6/9/2009 at 5:35:52 PM

I have really bad form, but I make a lot of shots. I was thinking about changing it and I was wondering how to get my set point like the picture that goes with the delivery section of this article?

RJ Mango says:
6/11/2009 at 9:44:08 PM

Hey Bballers,

For the past week, I have come to notice that the thumb of my balancing hand seems to influence the flight path of the ball everytime I shoot. I was wondering if anyone had simillar problems, and how they were able to rectify this.


Zach says:
6/29/2009 at 3:18:59 PM

Hey Joe,

I'm 15, and I love ur website, it gives great advice, I just have a few personal questions. One is more personal than fundamental and that is, well i've been practicing and practicing ALOT. As a determined player as urself I'm sure u know what i mean. My parents think I'm playing too much basketball and need to focus on other things. They dont mind that i play basketball, but they do mind when I play it all the time. But you see Joe, I'm really happy when I'm playing basketball, and I've always had this thought that when I'm not practicing somebody else out there is, and is getting better than me. I just don't see how I can get better if I don't put a lot of time into it. How much do you think i should practice daily? And my last question is, I had an ok form that would be going in most of the time, but I saw that you said that I should be looking for something that should help me in the long run. So I've been doing that. The only problem is that I've been working on my fundamentals for awhile now, and i cant help but get impatient, my other question to you is, how long should i expect to wait until i can be good again, with truly sound fundamentals, and how can i stop myself from going insane and staying more patient and have a peace of mind that will allow me to work effieciantly and with the same motivation, when trying to develop these new techniques? I hope this doesn't confuse you Joe, but I'm sure u know exactly what I mean. Thanks Joe, keep doing what you do best!

ramon says:
7/3/2009 at 5:00:34 AM

i want to be a long range shooter but air ball it alot any tips

Mac says:
7/6/2009 at 1:57:45 AM

Hey great board.

How can I develop rhythm? Any drills, books, mental techniques I can utilize?


trevin says:
7/22/2009 at 1:26:59 AM

hi im going to be a 10th and starter on jv next year and i have trouble with my guide hand when shooting. sometimes it moves sometimes it doesn't. which is more likely to help the the consistent when shooting and how do i corrct it

Ben says:
8/4/2009 at 1:10:19 PM

Hey Joe

My shot is horrible when i get further away than about the freethrow line mostly past that point i always fall short i try to use my legs and all that but i just dont understand how to use the legs to get force into the shot

chito says:
8/28/2009 at 6:47:46 PM

my son is 11 yrs.old and he shoots the ball from the waist up,everytime i corrected him from a jump shot or practice he gets the right form but come in real game or if he gets an instant pass he shoots the ball again from the waist,thats why he got block easily by small guys,it seems like a habit to him and he's also a flatfooted cause he rarely jump when he shoots the do i correct it

Dan says:
9/16/2009 at 3:14:28 PM

We coach youth basketball, what about inside pivot vs strong foot pivot all the time. Is there really a better way for shooting consistently. What is your theory on this? Which do you think is better?

Joe Haefner says:
9/16/2009 at 4:11:40 PM


Your question was moved here:

gjh says:
9/24/2009 at 4:33:14 AM

hey Joe,

im 13 years old and have a pretty good shot, even more so when i dont actually jump, just going up on my toes, but i want to work on my left hand shot and layup, that hand is obviously not as strong and form will be really hard to get but i want to work on it, thanks

Ugo Nwosu says:
10/8/2009 at 3:29:32 PM

Hey Joe,

I'm 15 years old and I have decent ball handling, quickness, and court vision. I'm 6 foot 2 and trying to play college basketball. My problem is shooting consistently. I can't seem to get the rhythm of my shot right when I jump or or a smooth release. I always seem to stop the ball on my forehead and end up pushing the ball. My form is less than satisfactory and I continue to practice, but I can't seem to get a consistent shot with good form. What are your thoughts?

nick says:
10/21/2009 at 8:21:04 PM

i became interested in basketball this year, i really want to play this year but i don't know any of the rules of the game, or even the game in general. The rules published on this web page don't help with what im looking for.I know basic things like number of players per team and fouls but since ive never played before im just looking for a place to learn.

paul says:
10/23/2009 at 10:29:26 AM

i bend elbow in follow through and cannot break habit please help

Merlloyd says:
11/21/2009 at 11:29:30 AM

How do you learn to shoot dead straight into the basket. How do you aim the shot? I've learn from someone that i should shoot with the ball coming off the index and middle fingers last. Is it correct? How do i acheive a good aiming of my shot. Pls explain it to me. Thx!

renoir says:
11/22/2009 at 11:35:28 PM

Tnx!!!!now I can cope up with my friends in playing basketball^_^

Mike says:
12/13/2009 at 9:36:59 PM

Hey when i shoot my coaches say my elbow does not form that L shape and that I bring the ball back to my shoulder. I have noticed this when i hav had my brother take pictures of my shot. How can i fix this. I bought the Bandits shooting machine it is still in the mail as well as the Star shooting strap how can i make my elbow make that L shape? also when i looked at ur preview video for Better Shooting 2 JJ Reddicks arm dips a little back but not as dramatic as mine. What can i do to make that L shape or near L shape. Also when I air shoot in the mirror my shot is how i think a perfect shot is. Any advice or help would be appreciated

Joshua Taylor says:
12/17/2009 at 2:01:22 PM

HI my name is Joshua Taylor and i have been playing basketball for 2 years now i'm 15 years old and i'm having the most difficult time working on my jump shot because of bad habits from shooting by pushing the ball and people have been telling me that i have no proper mechanics...and i have been working on my fundamentals and mechanics but just seem to cant get it down and cant seem to shoot the same every time i have listened and read but i just seem to cant get it....could you PLEASE Help me your HELP is needed

Joe Haefner says:
1/7/2010 at 10:58:03 AM

Mike, take hundreds and thousands of shots with good form close to the basket. I do wall shooting, because you don't worry if the ball goes in the hoop or not. You just use good form. Gradually move out. I'm not talking one or two days. It might take 2 or 3 months to get to 15 feet. Don't rush too quickly to take outside shots. Otherwise, you'll go back to your old habits. It's going to be frustrating and time-consuming, but the hard work and persistence is well worth it.

Joe Haefner says:
1/7/2010 at 11:06:42 AM

Josh, in the comment above to Mike. I would recommend the same thing to you.

coledon says:
1/14/2010 at 8:10:14 AM

yah men,yesterday 10 /13/10 we played basketball
i scored over 8pts (4/7) consicutively and ihelp my team win,yah men.

jabber says:
1/14/2010 at 8:15:15 AM

yo,i guess this technique you've got there wasn't too comfortable to techniques were better,because of your technique i scored (0)pt 7 attemps all of it got missed.

jordan says:
1/14/2010 at 10:49:25 PM

hey i have always struggled with pushing with my balance hand an messing up my rotation i think its from shooting with two hands when i was younger can u help me stop using that hand an only use it to balance like im suppose to?

Michael says:
1/17/2010 at 12:14:07 PM

Hey Joe,
Ive got 2 questions. The first one involves the guide hand. When you shoot is the guide hand supposed to be straight up, vertical, or at a small angle. I have noticed if you literally move it out of the way when shooting, the guide hand is vertical, but if you dont move it out of the way, but the guide is still down like you let it slide off, the guide hand is still at an angle, what do you think because when I look at the pros, Kobe's is straight up but Ray Allens is at an angle. Next question is I am in 9th grade, how do I elevate the release point so it is higher up like the example pictures from above instead of shooting at a lower release point. What are your suggestions. Thanks

Bo says:
1/26/2010 at 10:12:24 AM

I am coaching a 6 and under team so I am very limited on what I can coach. I really appreciate your website because it helps me with ideas and fundamental drills. We are focusing on very basic stuff (shoot, pass, rebound). If you have any advice for this age I would appreciate it greatly. My biggest challenge is making the drills fun to keep them focused. Thanks

Joe Haefner says:
1/26/2010 at 5:24:20 PM

Hi Bo,

Since at this age level, they are still very much in the “guided discovery” learning stage which usually occurs between ages 6 to 10, I would make everything very “outcome-based” and focus very little on teaching them technique. For example, rather than saying dribble the ball exactly like this, say try to dribble the ball between the cones as fast as possible. This will help with their learning curve.

Also, since very little will stick from a shooting technique standpoint, I would spend a lot of time on dribbling, passing, and lay ups. I would also spend a lot of time developing athletic skills. Play games like tag, dribble relays, obstacle courses, red-light yellow-light, hopscotch, and any other games you can think of. This article will explain it in more detail:

We also have a ton of helpful information in our youth basketball coaching section:

Joe Haefner says:
1/26/2010 at 6:07:14 PM

Jabber, that's part of changing your shot. In order to be great, you may have to take two steps backwards before things get better than the old way you were shooting.

Joe Haefner says:
1/26/2010 at 6:08:23 PM


Do plenty of one-hand form shooting. We also have more tips in this article that could help with your problem:

Joe Haefner says:
1/26/2010 at 6:11:27 PM

Michael, I think you are concentrating too much on the specifics of the guide hand. As long as it is not affecting your shot, who cares. If it is affecting your shot, you may want to adjust it. Everybody is different and it's hard to give you advice without watching you shoot in person.

As for elevating your release point, take plenty of shots away from the basket. I would shoot against the wall. Then, after you've done hundreds of these shots. I would move to the basket and shoot hundreds of shots from 2 feet away. After a few days, gradually move back.

Aim to have your elbow above your eyes on the follow through.

The only way to get better is through lots of hard work and repetition.

Michael says:
1/26/2010 at 10:44:09 PM

Ok thanks you sound just like my trainer. One last question is when I begin to shoot higher up like the one in the pictures above and college players when does the guide hand come off. If you could post a link to a video or a video itself i would be very grateful. Also who do you suggest players of current times to look at to study their shot. So far i am looking at JJ Redick and Rotnei Clark of Arkansaw who has the fastest release in college as of rite now (.6seconds). Since I have never shot high up (release point wise) i am very unsure about when to take the guide hand off

Joe Haefner says:
1/27/2010 at 10:48:44 AM

That's funny, Michael. He must be a good trainer. :)

As for the guide hand, I think that is going to take some experimentation from you. You are going to have to shoot and see how it feels. I can't get you an exact moment when your body is moving or timed second. I've seen some people take the guide hand off extremely early and I've seen some people take it off as the ball is moving forward.

Caleb McCaughan says:
2/6/2010 at 1:55:25 PM

I am 13 and my schools team is very competive as we got 4th in state last year. I play good in practice, but going into a game I get nervous and mess up, is there any advice for this?

John Stiles says:
2/9/2010 at 6:00:00 PM

My daughter is 11 and has finally hit that growth spurt. On the positive side she has become a very good ball hangler to allow her to get to the basket because she struggled to get it to the basket from any distance, and it took her two hands to do that. Now we are working on getting away from the "2" handed shot. Getting a lot of shots not even close to target during the transition. Any suggestions?

Bruce says:
2/9/2010 at 8:51:43 PM

Hi Joe,
2 questions.
First, how I stop having to take 2 steps when I shoot because if i don't, my shot feels unnatural.
The second thing is where should my release point be? By that I mean I sometimes shoot with a really big arc and the ball get's really high above the basket and (kind of)goes straight down and sometimes I shoot with little arc and the ball doesn't travel very high above the basket.

Zack says:
2/13/2010 at 12:22:50 AM

Hey Joe,

Do you have any tips about shooting jump shots? Cause whenever i shoot them its feels unnatural, and my shot gets messed up.

Zack W. says:
2/13/2010 at 5:07:50 AM


I consider myself pretty athletic multi athlete but developing my basketball shot has always been difficult for me. I never really practiced a lot before college, but not correcting my shot is more important. At one point I developed myself so much I was hitting every shot I took. But once I went on fall break and didn’t pick up a basketball for a week it was as if I forgot how to shoot. Now that I''m back at school I have done everything to correct it but nothing is working. Every now and then I will see glimpse of my old shot, but I cannot figure out what is wrong. I definitely feel confidence is apart of it, but I feel my rotation on the ball is also a large component.

Thanks, Zack

Pete Donaldson says:
2/16/2010 at 1:19:02 AM

Hi Joe

This is an awesome site for beginning and advanced basketball players. I think the advice that you are offering on a daily basis is to be commended. I began playing basketball when I was a teenager and began playing again when I was 34. Your guidance here is on point. Basketball is an incredible game and the discipline and enjoyment that comes from playing it benefits a person for all their life. Kudos to you sir.

Thanks Pete

james says:
2/23/2010 at 10:54:24 PM

im 12 and i am in the 8 grade so i havnt hit my growth spurt yet so i asking how can i get better at finishing layups with a taller defender guarding me without getting my shot blocked

james says:
2/23/2010 at 11:00:05 PM

also can u get 2 me as soon as possible thanks

Mike says:
2/24/2010 at 4:25:45 PM

I may not be the person who answers the questions on this site, but james u have to increase your range past the ther 3 pt line like 3-4 feet then defenders wont know what to do because out their they dont bother guarding u. Look at Erving Walker of UF hes shorter than 6 ft and can shoot past 3pt line. Increase ur speed so u r faster and can go by him and then pull up and he wont block u without fouling. Also little guys like me have to increase the speed of ur shot. Guys like Rotnei Clarke of Arkansaw are excellent shooters he goes 90-99 out of 100 from the 3pt line and his release is less than .6 seconds which is really fast and harder to block hope i helped while u wait for Joe

james says:
2/24/2010 at 5:41:50 PM

thanks how can i extend my range because i do ha a quck realease an a decent shooter

Mike says:
2/25/2010 at 9:59:04 PM

U gotta sweat in the gym (court and weights) get a wrist roller to increase fore arm. Practice form shooting with one hand to perfect form and then with gide hand to perfect shots. ur first 20 at least should be no farther than free thro. Wen u start to shoot farther out shoot the same shot but add more legs. I found that if u increase speed of ur shot u get more power into it. ANd wen u make one shoot the EXACT same shot. dont think about it while u shoot feel it come off the same way. then u will build muscle memory after a while (not in a few days) and ur shot in a game wil become the shot u use wen u practice and it will become second nature.

james says:
2/25/2010 at 10:43:36 PM

thanks for the good advice

Braydan says:
2/26/2010 at 7:03:10 PM

Hey joe

your web site is the best i have looked at so far but i really wanted to know i am 13 years old and i have a basketball championship in about five days and every game i go and play in, and i shoot jumpshots and miss them for no reason and in practice i drain my jump shot. I just wanted know if you could give me some tips on my jump shot so i will be able to make my shots in my game. thans joe

Coleman says:
3/2/2010 at 7:26:29 PM

I"m 14 years old and im having trouble shooting the ball. I shoot one day with one form but the next day I shoot with another form and its like I forget my last form. I can''''t find a shot that goes in the basket. Any tips?

Joe Haefner says:
3/3/2010 at 9:38:04 PM

Hello everybody,

I would love to answer all of your questions. However, time is a big issue. We have a committee of coaches at our forum that can help answer your questions. Please visit our forum to ask your questions:

Guyvin says:
3/5/2010 at 6:32:15 PM

Im 15 and my shot has changed over the years, but the shot is going in but i do not remember how to shoot of the dribble quick enough like my friend says. How can i make my release more quicker?

Michael says:
3/7/2010 at 9:47:58 PM

practice warm up ur usual way shoot at ur pace. JJ Reddick says his first 50 shots are 5-7 feet away from the hoop. This way he his shooting his muscle memory shot and is not missing any parts when he does his intense shooting workouts. Then start up close and speed ur shot up after it has become comfortable then move to off the dribble and and picks

Dominic says:
3/7/2010 at 9:51:23 PM

Hi Guyvin,

I used to have the same difficulty of having a quick release point but to make it better I used a 5lb ball laid on my back and shot it up in the air for 5 minutes then when I picked the basketball release was quicker. The next day it processed in my mind that the ball is light, so therefore, it made my release very quick and my percentage went from 40% to 62%.

Hope it helps!

Alex says:
3/7/2010 at 10:11:11 PM

Hi, I recently changed my form and am shooting much better, but I am a very bad 3 point shooter. How can I improve this?

Mike says:
3/8/2010 at 4:22:04 PM

Just cuz u change ur form doesnt make it good, but it may be but since unless u put it up on youtube no one but the ppl u kno will be able to tell. First mk sure its good form elbow in, ball not flat on hand, etc.... Then start close for a while dont start shooting strenous shots where ur almost pushing it untill ur shot is muscle memory, utherwise it will mess up ur shot and gradually work back, shoot with a heavy bball up close and then work back a little bit. Do exercises or lifts that strengten ur wrist and forearm and legs. As u shoot farther back ur shot is the exact same just more leg power is used

Matt says:
3/17/2010 at 10:25:08 PM

I am 13 and I shoot kinda of in the middle between lefty and righty

Mike says:
3/18/2010 at 2:41:10 PM

r u trying to say u shoot with both hands or the positioning of the ball is somewhere in the middle of ur body. Cuz if the 1st one is the case then i would recommend form shooting and the shooting strap by if its the second one then form shoot off ur right eye. Ur dominant foot should line up to the bball. ur feet should be shoulder width with ur non shooting foot .5-3 inches behind the dominant foot (staggard stance). Ur shooting arm should line up with the dominant foot (right hand with rite arm and left with left) thus shooting off ur eye

De'Andre says:
3/26/2010 at 3:49:17 PM

Hey Joe

I have a real good form when shooting, but my feet are usually not shoulder width apart, how can i get more squared up to the basket?

Mike says:
4/4/2010 at 9:24:27 PM

wat i suggest is practice ur shot standing still except ur legs r bent shooting. prety much shooting but taking ur time to square up. then practice throwing the ball to ur self stepping into the shot not shooting just working on footwork. after those feel comfortable peice it togethr to ur shot. it may feel strange at first dont worry. i just changd my shot to improve it and now my old shot feels weird after 4 days and shooting 120-500 shots a day and form shooting

Ryan says:
4/16/2010 at 3:12:24 PM

When I Shoot I always shoot differently and How do i get a perfect form and also when I shoot i don't follow through and How do i practice follow through.

Brian says:
4/17/2010 at 1:09:42 PM

i shoot with my right hand what should my left hand do and how should it be placed on the ball.?

Ronnie says:
4/28/2010 at 2:01:49 AM

Hey Joe,
when I shoot, my shooting arm on the release somehow ends up going diagonal blocking a bit of my view from my right eye. I've tried to fix this but it keeps reverting back to my old shot or it doesn't feel right and my shots are always not in line, any help?

Also, will lowering my release point provide a quicker release(I've watched stephen curry's release, not of a full jump, but releases ball at around forehead)


Darryl R says:
5/27/2010 at 12:46:59 AM

Ryan i used to shoot different every time too. i just studied a good players shot, i used carmelo anthony, just get ur guys shot down good study it hard and practice it alot, i year ago i was horrible, now im pretty good, my handles still suck, but im a very good shooter and defender.

Sean says:
7/1/2010 at 2:01:16 PM

Hey Joe, I have two shooting techniques i use for basketball games. An over the head shot used for medium to close range, and your style (thank you by the way for teaching me) for long and 3 pt range. Is it a good idea to use two shooting tecniques?

Macie says:
7/6/2010 at 9:11:24 PM

I am 14 years old and i have a vertical of 24. i can jump over people and make the close up shots. But when it comes to outer shots i miss by going slightly to the side of the rim and it hits the edge of the connection of the rim and backboard. Have and advice on how i can straighten my shot up? I need to figure it out so when i get fouled i can make my free throws.

michael cane says:
7/27/2010 at 4:36:24 AM

hi my name is michael crane i play basket ball for a middle school team and i think im pretty good but i have a few small problems
1. I snap my wrist down but the ball doesnt spin back wards
2. when i dribble im not sure if ive got complete control
3. how do i judge my arc on the ball
4. when i shoot a free throw in a game i get really nervous
please send back want to play in nba sooooooo bad but not as good as the nba players were in middle school

Shane says:
8/7/2010 at 9:27:24 PM

Dear Joe,
When i shoot a basketball i usually shoot with the ball in front of my face, how can i be able to move the ball over to the side so when i shoot from my shotpocket it will be much easier.Thank you if you can answer.

Jeff says:
8/7/2010 at 9:34:12 PM

Shane - If you feel that you need to make a change to your shooting mechanics, then you need to get lots of repetitions away from the basket. Shoot with the new form against the wall. Shoot to a partner. Shoot to a spot on the floor. Get tons of reps and you'll eventually develop new muscle memory. Then you can slowly go to a basket. It takes time and you shouldn't practice at the basket because that will only discourage you.

Good luck.

jimmy says:
8/8/2010 at 2:37:49 PM

Yeah. This is an awesome guide. My shooting has improved dramatically since reading this article. Now I'm heading for the NBA with the likes of Kobe. Cheers.

Shane says:
8/8/2010 at 7:57:14 PM

thank you joe

Bobby says:
8/9/2010 at 8:27:17 PM

Dear Joe,
Two more quick questions. When i shoot to the hoop my shooting arm tends to go to the left in front of my face instead of just forward.Does this mean i have a bad habit, and if so how can i break it?Also, when I shoot a basketball should my index finger and middle finger be the last two fingers to leave the ball? If you could answer these questions i would appreciate it.

Joe Haefner says:
8/10/2010 at 8:22:23 AM

Bobby, I don't think you would want your follow through to cross in front of your face. However, if you shoot a high percentage and quickly get off your shot, I wouldn't change it. Think... Reggie Miller. I would need to see how you shoot during games and practices to determine if you should adjust your shot.

When shooting the ball, you should aim to have the ball roll off of your index & middle fingers. However, I've known great shooters where this doesn't exactly happen.

Bobby says:
8/10/2010 at 5:01:16 PM

Thank Joe this will help me

lamyn csay says:
8/17/2010 at 2:00:19 PM

oh i am young boy with the height of 2.7m and i want basket to be my career, but am lack of experience.
so i will like help from people to help me about my career. i am definitely interest about the support to help me.
i am living gambia

Kristen says:
8/17/2010 at 6:12:27 PM

How do I brake the habit of pushing the ball with 2 hands ?
Any tips or hints

Joe Haefner says:
8/18/2010 at 8:09:17 AM

Kristen, try some one-hand shooting.

Also, read this article:

Jeff says:
8/18/2010 at 11:14:13 AM

Kristen - Shoot with 1 hand away from the basket. You need thousands of repetitions to break a habit. You can shoot away from the basket by shooting at a wall, shooting to a spot on the floor, etc. Then once you get the form down you can slowly start shooting at the basket. It takes lots of practice (reps) to break a habit and develop a new good one.

Bayaka says:
8/21/2010 at 12:15:43 AM

In middle school I was a terrific scorer and shooter but every since freshmen year I haven't been able to shoot very well. What can I do?

Todd says:
8/21/2010 at 3:31:13 PM

i struggle to keep shooting consistancy up and keep the ball palm up and elbow at 90 degrees

John says:
8/22/2010 at 3:55:06 PM

Dear Joe,
When i shoot the ball i pay too much attention on getting enough backspin on the ball. Therefore i end up flinging my wrist instead of just shooting and having my wrist floppy and relaxed. What can i do to stop this?

Joe Haefner says:
8/23/2010 at 3:11:02 PM


Shoot over and over and over. You need lots of repetitions to become a good shooter. You also need to take game shots at game speed. Otherwise, when you're in a game, the shots are new to you because you've never taken them at that speed during practice.

And don't worry about the miss. Check out these articles for mental tips:

Joe Haefner says:
8/23/2010 at 3:12:47 PM


Rather than rolling the ball off of your fingers, try to push through the ball with your fingers and keep a relaxed wrist. If you tense up, you will lose the soft touch.

Practice this thousands of times close to the basket. As you get better, start working off the dribble and taking game-like shots.

John says:
8/23/2010 at 7:36:19 PM

Thank you Joe i will try this and see if it works

Ron says:
8/27/2010 at 8:38:43 PM

Dear Joe,
When i shoot the basketball it seems as is i have a hitch in my shot. This meaning that I go through the motion stop a little before i jump and continue to go through with my shot. How can i change this so it could just be a fluid shot with no pauses? Would form shooting help this cause? If you could answer this I would be very greatful.

Kevin says:
9/8/2010 at 1:25:08 AM

Dear Joe,
I wanted to know if it is really neccessary to to point your feet directly at the rim. Also, do you have any suggestions for me to become a better scorer in the games?

Joe Haefner says:
9/8/2010 at 11:07:39 AM

Just it's going to take thousands of repetitions to make your shot fluid without thinking about it. As our friend, Don Kelbick likes to say, "Don't think. Just shoot." You may want to start shooting against a wall, so you don't get discouraged with misses and makes. Actually, even when you go to a hoop, don't worry about makes or misses. Concentrate on having a fluid shot. You can always adjust.

I don't think it's necessary to point your feet directly at the rim. Your shooting foot should be pointing at some part of the rim. I prefer a staggered stance.

However, your shot needs to look the same every single time. If you are constantly adjusting your footwork or your form, it'll be hard to develop consistency.

Nikki says:
9/25/2010 at 6:40:35 PM


I am a 16 year old girl training for the upcoming season. I recently broke my right (shooting) wrist and I was in a cast for 8 weeks. Before the cast, I had a very nice shot and I am working to get it back. Should I expect to have the same shot that I did before the cast or will my form be slightly different?
Also, does it matter if the ball rolls of my ring/pinky finger last or should it roll off my pointer finger?
Lastly, how high up should my release be? For example, should it be chin level, or eye level, or above the head?

Joe Haefner says:
9/27/2010 at 2:35:46 PM


I can't give you advice on the broken wrist, because I am not a doctor and I have never broken my wrist.

However, I do think with some repetition and shooting close to the basket, you'll quickly gain your previous form.

A lot of shooting coaches teach players to have the ball leave the index and middle finger. I'm not as picky as long as the shot is consistent and accurate. Some players may need to tweak their shot, while others may be just fine. It would take some training sessions together to figure that out.

When you release the ball, it's good to have your elbow around your eye level, so you should be releasing the ball above your head. Some coaches also say "elbow to ear."

Hope that helps.

Nuno says:
10/2/2010 at 1:19:55 PM


I''''m a 13 years old boy, and i''''m trying to change my shoot. I always wanted to know a thing.
Normally when i see nba, or other leagues, i see that most of the best shooters, have got their shooting form divided in 2 positions. First they got the ball in their chest, then they raise the ball up, and they stop for a split second and only then they shoot. I want to know if it''''s correct to do that or if the best way to shoot is a continuous movement. thanks.

Joe Haefner says:
10/3/2010 at 8:55:16 PM

Hi Nuno,

I've seen players that are extremely effective using both methods. I prefer the continuous fluid motion that Stephen Curry uses. I think you develop better rhythm and a quicker shot.

michael says:
10/7/2010 at 8:18:43 PM

hi joe i need some tips on how to shoot from midrange to the 3-point line better

Joe Haefner says:
10/8/2010 at 11:31:00 AM


How old are you? Younger players typically under the age of 15 shouldn't worry about 3-pointers. Younger players often don't have the strength or coordination to shoot from that far out with proper mechanics. Often, players may make some long-range shots with bad mechanics and have to completely change when they get to high school which is very difficult to do.

Here are some tips to increase your shooting range:

Guyvin says:
10/14/2010 at 1:07:03 PM

Hi Joe I need help on my shoot i just want to know how to make my shot quicker off the dribble because I often get my shot block because im shorter than my opponent.

Joe Haefner says:
10/19/2010 at 3:15:30 PM

Hi Guyvin,

This may sound simple, but don't shoot it if you are closely guarded. If they can block your shot, it's likely that you're taking a difficult shot.

You can read this article on ways to get your shot off quicker.

Also, make sure that you are releasing the high enough. Your elbow should be around your eyes when you follow through.

John says:
11/1/2010 at 10:07:56 AM

Hi Joe,

I need some help on my shot and i just wanna know how to prevent the ball from going behind my head because that often happens when im in a rush to pull up for a shot. Thank you!

Joe Haefner says:
11/2/2010 at 10:56:19 AM


Take a look at this article:

Nic says:
11/17/2010 at 8:06:07 PM

Hey Joe,
I find that I don't use my wrist when i shoot. I just push the ball like a pass. I'm not a bad shooter like this but my form is holding me back. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

Joe Haefner says:
11/21/2010 at 11:19:45 AM

Nic, I have seen great shooters that use little flick in the wrist. Actually, Tom Nordland claims the greatest shooters use a relaxed wrist when they shoot.

I would do what's comfortable and get really good at it by shooting thousands of reps.

anonymous says:
12/1/2010 at 10:31:05 PM

so I'm 16 years old, I'm trying to get a good basketball form not for playing on our school team, but just to be decent when me and friends are playing around. I can hit a 3 point shot kind of often, but I don't have much of a set form so I'm pretty inconsistent. I have a few questions about certain things I'm not sure on.

1) When I'm shooting the ball, how much under the ball should my shooting hand be (like pushing the ball forward vs. getting under the ball and pushing it up)?

2) I've seen a lot of really good basketball players here jump forward a few inches during their shot, is that good or bad form?

3) How high up do I want to hold the ball before I shoot, compared to my face level?

If someone has good answers to those that would be SOOO helpful thanks

Joe Haefner says:
12/2/2010 at 10:21:11 AM

1) A good reference is to finish your shot with your elbow above your eyes.

2) I prefer players to jump straight up, because it makes the shot more difficult to block and provides consistency to your shot.

3) Every player is different. As players get stronger, the point usually rises. Have the ball start somewhere from your shoulder to your eye level depending on your comfort level.

The key is to have a quick, high release.

D'angelo says:
12/2/2010 at 12:37:52 PM

why when i play basketball one day im good and the next day im doing bad and im 15 and 6'0, am i suppose to be shooting 3's or no?

Joe Haefner says:
12/4/2010 at 3:17:36 PM

That's tough, D'Angelo. It could be all in your head. You should have the same mental approach if you've missed 10 shots or made 10 shots in a row. Shooters always think they're going to make their shot. If you miss a shot, you should think "big deal." If you get down on yourself, you're only going to underperform.

Felipe Olave And Marcelo Celis , Talca Chile says:
12/15/2010 at 10:01:41 PM

Hello my name is felipe , I`m from Chile and this website its very important for the technique ,in order to be able to improve the launch periods, the best thing of the page is that it has different types from strategies to be able to learn things that one wants to progress , thank you for this page its a since it has an excellent material so a trainer looks for, them desire the best thing and than has Merry Christmas

Professional Sports Fan says:
12/16/2010 at 12:56:50 AM

Good coaches will always involve the parents of the players in their training routines. Many good players have progressed thanks to the positive influences of their parents.

Noah says:
12/30/2010 at 11:37:34 AM

Hi Joe
I am 13 and i have all of the correct shooting fundamentals listed above in my shot. But sometimes my shot will still go wide right or left and i dont''t know why. Can ypu please help?

Joe Haefner says:
1/3/2011 at 9:11:56 AM

Noah, are you rotating your body? Is your guide hand affecting your shot? Are your feet lined up properly before you shoot? Is your follow through consistent?

I would video tape your shot from the front, behind, and the sides to see if you notice anything in your shot.

john says:
1/12/2011 at 7:23:25 AM

hey joe. I im 14 and im an ok shooter, but i usually find myself missing alot for my first couple of shots, then i get into the rythme. Probably because i dont have a consistent shooting form, it get quite frustrating, any suggestions? Thanx

Joe Haefner says:
1/12/2011 at 8:21:59 AM

John, most complicate this too much. I know I did as a player. It's actually pretty simple. Shoot lots of reps with the same form and rhythm every time. Whether you hop or 1-2 step (don't try to do both), do the same thing every time. Same placement of your feet, same shooting motion, and same release.

Noah says:
1/12/2011 at 9:50:12 PM

Thank you sir. I will try this as soon as I can to see if your tips work

john says:
1/14/2011 at 12:44:48 AM

hey joe, wat does cocked /loaded wrist mean exactly, and where should my hand be wen i bring it up. My head or the side? the ball is usually wobbly in my hands wen i bring it up to shoot, thanks for ur helpp

Ryan says:
1/29/2011 at 12:29:51 AM

Hey Joe,
I'm a fairly profficient high school shooter, but I struggle to gain a consistent grip on the basketball (after receiving a pass or dibbling) consistently and quickly enough to maximize my shooting opportunities. Any suggestions.

Aren.B says:
1/31/2011 at 10:31:17 PM

If you do not have anyjump on your shot woll that lower the chance of it going in?

Logan says:
2/2/2011 at 10:13:03 PM

hey i hit rim almost every shot but i can never get the right bounces. any helpful advice.thanx
by the way im 12

BBall Enthusiast says:
2/18/2011 at 11:31:06 AM


There are two things that can should help you. The first is additional shooting arc and the second is ball rotation when it leaves your hands. Being 12 years old it may be hard to add additional arc, so concentrate on the ball rotation. This helps the basketball "grab" the rim better.

Logan says:
2/27/2011 at 10:17:01 AM

Thanks BBall Enthusiast I'll try it when spring finnaly comes.

Brandon White says:
2/27/2011 at 8:19:48 PM


I need help with my jumper..I went to a church and some guy came up to me and talked to me about joining his team,{( 2 teams )}..he knows Dywayne Wade and lots of athletes so this is important..I am normally a great shooter but I switch up my shooting form too there a consistent form I should follow..If it's the form you posted then that's fine but I sometimes tense my wrist and in vise~versa..please help'!

Thomas says:
3/3/2011 at 1:39:17 AM

I'm Thomas Marsh and i play for my highschool freshman team. When i am doing shooting drills my form is right but when we do scrimmages or shootin on the run i tend to use my left hand to shoot the ball to. Also i have no arc as a result. Do i need to strengthen my shooting arm.

ryan says:
3/5/2011 at 3:37:13 AM

i am ryan in missouri i am 15 i flick my thumb on my guide hand i shoot good but right now its turning the ball so i cant get a strait and arched shot i didnt notice that it was the problem till my coach said it was it and it was because i have been paying attention more closely how do i fix this problem?

PLEASE ANSWER! i think ur my chance to getting a good shot i dont know where else to get help srry if it was a dumb question

ryan says:
3/5/2011 at 3:38:47 AM

oh the arh is well i meant the flicking

basketball dad says:
3/18/2011 at 11:39:11 AM

My son is in 6th grade and is a good shooter, however his form he begins his shot low. I would like to see him begin to learn to shoot above his head like high school and college age kids. What is the best way to help him to begin to do this without impacting his confidence.

Mitchell says:
3/18/2011 at 9:17:09 PM

I have a habit of shooting with 2 hands and my guide hand ( when ball released ) goes across my body (left to right) and i never get enough arc, i shoot very flat.

I was wondering if there was a drill i could do to work on shooting with just 1 hand im 13 years old if age makes a differnce.
I really want to become a better shooter

molly says:
4/2/2011 at 8:22:27 PM

When i follow through my shooting hand finish sideways.... I dont know how to fix it. Tips?

david says:
4/7/2011 at 12:02:58 PM

hi i'm David i'm 11 years old and my shots always have good power but go off target. What can i do to make sure they stay on target?

Anon says:
4/13/2011 at 2:11:10 AM

Hey, I need some advice. My shots are really inconsistent. Some days I'm swishing every shot I take and the next I'm missing everything. Everything falls short or just bounces off the rim. I don't know what's happening.

Daiton says:
4/14/2011 at 1:55:12 PM

Hey I need some advice Im An Excellent Mid Range Shooter Im 13 14 tomorrow My Jumper Can Hit From Midrange But Not Enough Power To Get It To Hot From 3 Any Advice??????

evan hole says:
4/23/2011 at 4:31:06 PM

hi i work on my game alot and its very frustrating when i get up 200 shots a day and not have the results im looking for. My shot always falls to the left (im a righty) it almost feels like I hve to push the ball strait with my guide hand. ill take any advice thanks.

Billy says:
5/15/2011 at 1:03:37 PM

2 weeks agos I was 20 for 20 when it came to shooting but now I keep missing and an only make 3 of 10 shots. I think it has to do with me either releasing the ball of my hand too ealry or too late. Do you know something i can do to fix this

anthony says:
5/16/2011 at 3:04:21 PM

im a 15 year old,i am 5'5" and 170ibs,my coach says i have a talent in running with the ball and manuvering,but i i cant make a shot to save my lifeive tried the technique,but i cant seem to get it right,what should i do?

Jerald says:
5/24/2011 at 8:14:10 AM

For the guys in Breakthrough Basketball and anyone who can help me, I need some advice regarding the backspin and generating enough force. When I take a shot, the ball spins in an awkward way but before the shot I make sure the ball is aligned correctly. What should I do to have a better backspin? Also, I' am having trouble generating enough force from my shooting hand. What should I do?

Jerald says:
5/24/2011 at 8:20:51 AM

For the guys in breakthrough basketball or anyone who can help me, I need some advice. When I take a shot, the ball has an awkward backspin. I don't know what the problem is. I make sure that the ball is aligned and placed correctly before I take the shot. What should i do to have a nice backspin?

cody milford says:
5/24/2011 at 4:03:08 PM

I am a JV basketball SF. I play excellent defense, which is why i made the team, but i am a very inconsistent shooter due to my shooting mechanics (think Shaun Marion style) The Varsity coach wants to put me on his team, but says i need to improve my shot before that happens. I now have good form when im just shooting around or i have a lot of time to shoot, but when im rushed or i have a guy in my face i always revert back to my old shot mechanics. Is there anything at all that i can do to fix that?

Reginald Norfleet says:
5/26/2011 at 12:51:41 AM

Thanks hope this helps

Jeff Haefner says:
5/26/2011 at 7:27:25 AM

Jerald - To fix your backspin try shooting away from the basket. You can lay on the floor, sit in a chair, or stand up. It doesn't matter. But just practicing shooting the ball up in the air and let the ball roll off your fingers. Practice different ways to shoot the ball until you can get it to roll off your fingers with good back spin. Once you get that "feeling" you can start practicing your form shooting at a wall. Take 4000 form shots with perfect form, then you can go to the basket and start practicing. I also suggest filming your own shot and try watching it in slow motion on the computer. And if you can get help from a shooting coach that would be even better.

Cody - To fix your mechanics you need to do something similar. You need to practice perfect form away from that basket (shoot to a spot on the wall, to a partner, or to a spot on the floor). Once you take about 4000 form shots you should have developed muscle memory by then so you don't revert back to your old shot in games. If that doesn't work, take a couple thousand more.

Jerald says:
5/27/2011 at 9:21:15 PM

Thanks Jeff for the advice. I will try it out next time. I have another problem.First, in shooting the basketball, do you use all of your fingers to flick your wrist or just the middle and index finger? I read a few articles on shooting and they gave me those two answers. I do not know which one I should follow.

Second, how can I extend my shooting range without sacrificing good basketball form. I am a good mid range shooter but, when it comes to three pointers, I unconsciously shoot in an awkward and different way than my mid range jumper. What can I do to fix it?

Thanks again for the previous advice!

Jeff Haefner says:
5/28/2011 at 4:20:34 PM

Gerald - You should only shoot one way no matter where you are on the floor. If you have two different shots you need to pick on and then practice that way over and over (thousands of times) until you habitually use that technique. It's essentially the same advice I gave before. Generally you want the ball rolling off your index and middle finger (resulting in back spin) but the most important thing is that you shoot the ball straight and shoot the SAME WAY every time.

dylan curless says:
5/29/2011 at 9:26:55 PM

hi, im having trouble keeping the same shot form for more than a day how can i fix this?

Jake says:
6/5/2011 at 6:13:00 PM

Hi Jeff,

When I practice form shooting near the basket, I have the same form. But whenever I move out and add a jump, my form always changes. any help?

Jeff Haefner says:
6/5/2011 at 8:15:55 PM

You probably need to have someone watch your shot. But it's probably because you are trying to jump and shoot at the top of your shot like Kobe. Try getting your legs into the shot. Try shooting the ball over the back board. That will require you to use your legs and give you a feeling of how to incorporate your legs into your shot and shoot before you get to the top of your jump. In other words, don't hang and shoot.

Stuart says:
6/13/2011 at 8:21:47 PM

I am not very good and don't get to practice much. I figured I would lead off with that before I ask the question. I can stay in a stationary place and maybe hit 50% of my shots. Shooting when coming off of a dribble makes the percentage go down. I have noticed that have really have no consistency in my shot. Are there any tips for learning a constant, proper shooting motion that will work in these situations?

Erick says:
6/14/2011 at 2:38:13 AM

For some reason I like to pause at the top of my jump before I release the ball for the shot. Any suggestions on how i can reduce that so that my shot flows easier? Thanks

Annonymous says:
6/16/2011 at 5:13:02 PM

I am a very good and accurate shooter but my form is all messed up.
I shoot with both of my hands on the sides of the ball.
Any help on how I can get the right form displayed in your tips?

Annonymous says:
6/17/2011 at 5:05:56 PM

Oh yea and when I use the correct form it feels awkward and I usually airball.
Any help on that?

Neo says:
6/18/2011 at 7:06:06 PM

Im having trouble shooting properly like i kind of shot like shawn marion but i follow through how can i get my shot to be at like my chin so i can form the 90 degree angle with my hand i shot like underneath my chin an my shotting percentage is terrible

any help on that? thank u

Jeff Haefner says:
6/20/2011 at 10:37:38 AM

It seems the answer to almost all your questions is almost always the same.

If your shooting mechanics are messed up (whether you pause at the top of your jump, your shot feels awkward, or what ever), you need to....

1 - Practice thousands of "form" repetitions away from the basket and/or 1 foot from the basket. You must take your time and be very focused on your technique. If you do it wrong, correct it on the next rep. Be very mindful on doing it correctly. You might not be accurate at first. But you are training your muscles and developing new muscle memory. You need to get 1000-5000 repetitions with perfect form. Then you should have developed new habits.

2 - Now you can start shooting about 4 feet away from the basket. Once you can make at least 60% of those shots, move another 4 feet back. Keep doing that and moving back as you are able to shoot accurately from each spot. Keep in mind these are game speed shots, unlike the slow "form" shots from before. If you did enough form shooting before, you shouldn't need to think about your form any more and you should be able to just shoot with out thinking.

It's as simple as that. This is how you make adjustments to your shot. It's hard work but that's the only way to do it.

Annonymous says:
6/20/2011 at 11:06:02 PM

Thank you very much Jeff.
I look forward to the hard work.
I don't want anything to come easy,I want to work for it.

7/11/2011 at 12:38:08 PM

I think shooting is a habbit and in grows gradually in you.. So just keep up the good work like i do.

Marcus Jordan says:
7/17/2011 at 1:52:04 PM

how does a follow through look like? can any1 send a link if u know how a correct follow through looks like

Jeff Haefner says:
7/18/2011 at 12:51:06 PM


There are lots of good pictures above that show you good follow through. If you look at the 10th picture and the very last picture, those are good examples of what a good follow through looks like.

Marcus Jordan says:
7/18/2011 at 3:46:55 PM

I am writing this because of two reasons:
1:i dont understand how a correct follow through looks like.
2:i cant understand why i cant shoot far enough on 10 feet rim , oh btw im 10 years old

Marcus Jordan says:
7/18/2011 at 3:50:36 PM

Oh btw (the pictur of the follow through is blury (i cant c it write))
just take a pic from on top of your hand without having to jump or do anything .. just take a pic of the positioning of your finggers

Jeff Haefner says:
7/18/2011 at 4:27:12 PM

Marcus - The reason you can't shoot at a 10 foot rim is because you are too young. With time you will grow and get stronger. For now just use a smaller basketball and a lower rim. Otherwise you'll develop bad shooting habits. Those are the only pictures we have. If you're not sure how to follow through, ask a local coach to help you.

rachel says:
7/21/2011 at 5:16:04 PM

Hi! im 11 yrs old and people say that im pretty good at bball but the one thing that i need to do better is stay in one place while i shoot . example : my dad says that i jump forward and i dont how to control it . my dad says that i need to work on that!any tips?

Jeff Haefner says:
7/21/2011 at 5:43:37 PM


You just need to practice away from the basket and then close to the basket. You can start at a wall and just focus on jumping straight up and down when you shoot. You can just shoot to a spot on the wall. Double check to make sure you land in the same spot. This way you're not worried about making the shot, just the jump.

After you do it correctly about a hundreds times you can go back to the basket (real close). Stand a few feet from the basket and shoot, pay very close attention to your jump and don't worry too much if you miss.

Do this 200 times every day for 2 weeks. Hopefully by then you have enough reps doing it right and have developed a new habit / muscle memory.

brian says:
7/21/2011 at 7:43:47 PM

I haven't touched a basketball in a longgg time. I was always a good defender and a pretty decent athlete. Im about to go to wvu. I want to try out for the team.. But I need my shooting to improve big time.. I tried these tips.. Do u have a video I can watch about shooting.. When am I suppose to follow through? When my elbow is higher then my eye.? Please help me and give me great details. Thanks

Jeff Haefner says:
7/22/2011 at 8:48:13 AM

Brian - As much as I want to help we can't get into that level of detail through comments. The best way for you to learn those things is to get a shooting coach to work with you. The next best thing would be to get some books and dvds about shooting. You just won't find that level of detail for free and you'll need some good products. Here are some good resources for you:

Derrick says:
7/22/2011 at 11:38:34 PM

I'm generally a pretty consistent shooter but i've noticed that the ball rotation slightly rotates diagonally. I have my elbow right underneath the ball but when i do my follow through my hand slightly points inwards... should my arm be more in front of my head or slightly to the left? (i'm left handed)

Jeff Haefner says:
7/24/2011 at 8:26:09 AM

Derrick - You probably want to do what is comfortable for you. It also depends on which eye is your shooting eye. When you shoot a bow or gun, which eye do you use? If it's your right eye you might put the ball more towards the middle, otherwise more towards the left might be better. But it's really impossible to give you good advice without seeing your shot. So the answer is that it depends on what you are comfortable with and the other aspects of your individual shooting mechanics.

If the ball rotates it is usually because a player does not have their hand center on their ball when they grip it. And/or they thumb the ball with their guide hand.

rachel says:
7/24/2011 at 11:31:43 AM

thanks Jeff! i really hope this works! (although i dont have any doubts)=)

Davis says:
8/11/2011 at 10:05:17 AM

Hey guys,
Im 14 and going into the 8th grade. I am usually a very good shooter, but I have found that when shooting off the move, I sometimes grip the ball with my middle, ring, and pinky fingers in the center of the ball, throwing my shot of considering I usually shoot with my index and middle in the middle and consequently touching the ball last. This bad habit occurs about half the time when I shoot of the move in practice, and about 3/4 times in games. I am open to any tips and drills that will help me break this bad habit.

P.S. I practice shooting of the move thousands of times a day.

Jeff Haefner says:
8/12/2011 at 7:14:08 AM

Davis - If it's just your grip that's messed up when you move, then break it down in to pieces. Just practice moving and then gripping the ball. Practicing with incorrect form just teaches you to shoot incorrectly. So move, prepare to shoot (grip the ball), and check to see if you did it right. Keep repeating that and really focus on gripping properly. Do that a few thousand times and your brain should learn to grip properly.

kelly hatton says:
8/15/2011 at 12:48:28 PM

how is it you dod the shot to do that

Forrest Judd says:
8/15/2011 at 9:37:59 PM

Hey, I am 15 years old turning 16 in this year. Today was my first day of school and I am a sophomore. I've played basketball since 1st grade. After 8th grade I changed my form, it was about at the chest area, because I wanted to boost my advantages and be better at shooting. I have been struggling with trying to find a form to shoot with and it is very difficult for me. I've tried shooting with the ball over my head, not good. I've tried at my forehead above my right eye, I can't shoot consistent and my strength seems too decrease around the foul line. I've tried shooting with ball beside my head and It works for me, but I mess up. Every form is like that for me, I work real hard and I mess up and don't know what's going on in the end. I've tried shooting off the shoulder, which I found out was bad. Please help! It's hard to drive constantly in high school and not be able to be an effective shooter.

Vasu gupta says:
8/17/2011 at 6:30:14 AM

When i shoot my ball doesn't have a backspin or or arc. it always goes flat and low. why is that. is it because i don't have enough power? BTW where should your hand exactly be above your head?

M.M.F.S says:
9/2/2011 at 10:22:58 AM

hey there 23,guard.and i've always been the teams' 'straight up shooter'and i've had my shot technique consistent for the past 8years or so with no changes,at least not major negative ones for along time.lately though,its been almost a month and a half with the same problem.technique is consistent release,balnce,pocketing,but i keep coming up short on a VERY big percentage of my shots.cant fix it,never had that

Jeff says:
9/6/2011 at 10:46:28 AM

Try getting more legs into your shot. Practice sitting down in a chair and then shooting. Teach yourself to bend your knees and squat down more when you shoot. And practice.

Joey Piacker says:
9/26/2011 at 6:49:56 PM

Hi Jeff,

I'm having trouble making my jumpshots at my school gym which worries me because tryouts are coming. When i go to the park my jumpshot goes in 75% of the time in practice but at the school gym my shot always hits the top of the rim. Any advice? Thanks.

Jeff Haefner says:
9/26/2011 at 9:01:36 PM

Try shooting at the school gym more. Ask the coach if there is a time you can get in (open gym, etc). Start shooting close (4ft). Once you make at least 6 out of 10, move back 4 more feet. Keep doing this working your way back. If you don't make 6 out of 10, stay at that spot until you do. This will get you a rhythm and confidence. Bend your knees, be ready to shoot, and go up. This should help you get a feel for your shot again. It just takes practice and the right type of reps.

Andrew says:
9/27/2011 at 10:04:49 PM

Hi jeff,
Im 16 this year and have played basketball all my life but really started working on my shot daily over the summe. Up until recently I didnt real think about how i positioned my feet or what fingers the ball touched last. Now i cant stop constantly readjusting how i stand and relese the ball and i am missing alot now. the ball seems to drift slightly to the right if that helps. Any idea as to why this is? Thanks in advance.

Jeff Haefner says:
9/28/2011 at 10:22:50 AM

Andrew - Without seeing your shot, I have no idea why that is.

You should never think about your shot or adjust anything except during the form shooting sessions of your practice. You get lots of reps doing it the "right way" during form shooting. Then you go out there and shoot to develop a rhythm. Your shot needs to be the same ever time (your technique will never be perfect, but it should be comfortable). You shoot the same by practicing form shooting. Then once you take game shots, your muscles just remember. Never think or analyze your shot during a game. Just let it fly. You might miss 10 in a row during a game, but then you could go off and make the next 10. How many times have you seen great NBA players miss their first 10 shots of the half. Then in the second half catch fire? If you're going to shoot, you're going to miss. It doesn't mean anything good or bad if you do miss. That's just part of the game.

Alexis says:
10/2/2011 at 9:40:22 AM


I have been playing basketball since 2nd grade but I took 9th grade off to focus on school. I am now a sophomore and really want to make Varsity this year for my school. I have regained most of my skills relatively well but my coach failed to ever teach my team to shoot properly so now I make practically every shot I take, but only when I use two hands (I actually say 1 1/2 hands because my shot is sort of a mix between correct form and 2 hands). When I try to shoot correctly, I airball on foul shots and it makes me really frustrated considering all of the years I spent trying to perfect my whole game. How can I learn to use my legs more (it seems to be my main problem for finding power in the shot when I use proper form) so I don't completely whiff every time I shoot?

Jeff Haefner says:
10/6/2011 at 12:08:41 PM

Try this:

chris says:
10/7/2011 at 6:13:48 PM

Hey, i'm starting to get the form down for good shooting but how do I get it to where I can shoot 3's cause I'm point guard.And in our play book there is alot of shooting after screens and stuff so could i get any tips that could help me thanks!!!

Reece Smee says:
10/10/2011 at 4:42:54 AM

Hey Everyone,

I played basketball a few years back but I never really worried about my shooting, but now that I've started again I can't seem to shoot the ball well.

Normaly my shoot is effort-less and I either flick with both hands accidently or when I flick with my shooting hand it goes off on an angle.
I just can't consitanly shoot with the same action everytime with out messing up

Not only that but I can't seem to realease the ball at the right time, I watch Ray Allen's shooting techneque and when I try to realease it right before the top of my jump it airballs, but if I realease earlier it's un-accurate.

I need to learn how to be consitant with the correct shooting form.

Sorry I wrote so much, I just really need some help. Thanks :)

Jeff Haefner says:
10/11/2011 at 8:52:00 AM

Just choose a technique that is comfortable for you then practice it the same way over and over (thousands of times). Once we have comfortable technique down (whether it's going in or not), don't change it. You need thousands of reps to get a feel and rhythm.

ben says:
10/12/2011 at 9:59:49 PM

when i catch the ball to shot my wrist curles around the ball so when i shoot it , it takes longer and has to much back spin any help?

pikolball says:
10/13/2011 at 6:09:29 PM

this is so very useful.

10/28/2011 at 5:06:51 PM

I'm one of the best 5th grade girl AAU players in the country but I still need some help with my shooting, I was wondering which finger to really roll the ball of, there are so many theories and also, how do you shoot no jump free throws?

El says:
11/3/2011 at 7:33:16 AM

I'm 18 and i admit that i'm not a good consistent shooter.I wanna be sharp shooter especially 3-pointer.It's hard to think all of this techniques at the court.I wanna make all my shoots taking up score.Tips and advices needed.Thanks

Justin Baird says:
11/16/2011 at 11:18:43 PM

do you have any advice or drills on how to improve your shot fluidity? I need to work on shooting in one fluid motion so i can get my shot off quicker and smoother. Some drills to help me improve this would be very useful

Jack Johnston says:
11/19/2011 at 8:30:10 PM

I am having trouble with my shooting. Most of my shots hit the front of the rim. I am having trouble. Please Help

Butt Kicker says:
11/24/2011 at 3:09:37 PM

My shooting form is so good wit ur help, i shot a three in my first time

tenarrious says:
11/27/2011 at 9:00:32 AM

i'm 14 and when i shoot my wrist does not line straight up with my elbow....i never broke any thing on my body, so why is happening? (In other words, my wrist won't turn around to line up with my elbow) makes me mad because i can shoot well already, but if my wrist and elbow could line up...i would be the best because i practice ALL DAY

vanessa says:
11/30/2011 at 11:15:34 AM

hi i am a senior in high school. im my team's go to shooter. i am about 63% from three point range. yesterday i was 0 for about 9. the game before that i was 6 for 7. why did that happen? it was very discouraging.

lovett says:
11/30/2011 at 7:43:02 PM

i am 14 andd i dont shoot as well as i should...i tried doin the whole elbow andd wrist thing but it didnt feel right so i used the keep the eye on the basket andd follow through thing and last game i was 12 for 12 from the three point line andd im a power forward

Brenden Carner says:
12/1/2011 at 5:06:20 PM

Hi, im 14 years old and i cant shoot very good but im decent but, i can dribble insanely good. Any advise on how to improve my shooting?

Joe Haefner says:
12/2/2011 at 9:28:28 AM

My advice would be to do tons of form shooting close to the basket and slowly progress.

Here is a sample progression:

2 Weeks - Perfect Form - tons of shots close to the basket. 200 form shots every day. You'll progress from, 1-hand using no legs on the shot, 1-hand incorporating legs, Adding the guide-hand using no legs, guide hand using legs

3 Weeks - Add the Jump and Close Range - Still tons of shots close to the basket. 100 form shots every day. Use the progression above. Then 200 shots 5 to 8 feet from the basket with good form and now with a little jump. remember, don't shoot at the peak of your jump. Shoot as you go up. This will make your shot quicker, give you more power and consistency.

4 Weeks - Same as above. but now extend your shooting range out to 12 to 15 feet.

4 Weeks - Add dribble. Now you are shooting off of the dribble from the same spots. You are still shooting the same shots without the dribble as well.

3 Weeks - Extend your range a little further.

3 Weeks - Start shooting off of pivots, etc.

These are just arbitrary numbers. Everybody is different and the time on each phase varies. Don't expect to shoot 3-pointers with good form in 6 days. Try more like 6 months.

One of player's biggest restrictions is that they don't take the long-term approach. They want the quick-fix and don't have the patience and work ethic to develop a good shot.

Jane, 17 says:
12/3/2011 at 3:00:12 PM

Hi, i was just wondering something. During practice or if im shooting by myself, i make almost every shot. Then a game comes, and i miss my shots almost every time. Its very frustrating and i dont know what it is. However i tried to do fast shooting during practice like i would during a game, but that only throws my confidence off because i miss the shots. I dont know what to do to make myself better! Any thoughts?

Jane, 17 says:
12/3/2011 at 3:02:07 PM

Hi, i was just wondering something.. During practice or if im shooting by myself, i make almost every shot. Then a game comes, and i miss my shots almost every time. Its very frustrating and i dont know what it is. However i tried to do fast shooting during practice like i would during a game, but that only throws my confidence off because i miss the shots. I dont know what to do to make myself better! Any thoughts?

Chris says:
12/8/2011 at 12:10:18 AM

Hi, I'm a decent shooter but, i don't jump that high when i shoot. Should i be jumping high? If so how high?

Ken Sartini says:
12/8/2011 at 8:06:36 AM


I wouldn't worry too much about how high you jump as long as your form is good and you are having some success %wise.


It sounds like you have good form shooting the ball.... as for a quicker release, don't try to do this all at once.... increase the quickness of your release a little at a time ... once you get comfortable, you can work on getting quicker. Have some confidence in your shootting abilities, that alone should help you out... and when you are in practice, practice your shooting at game speed.
Good luck

Gabriel says:
12/8/2011 at 9:29:20 PM

when i atempt to shoot a three pointer should i jump as high as i can?

Rylan says:
12/9/2011 at 9:54:48 PM

Hi , im in the 8th grade and my shooting is decent but when i shoot i twist my body and i bring my arms up from the left of my body to the right and my coach says that i need to fix this to become better. is there anything that can help ?

Ken Sartini says:
12/10/2011 at 10:39:34 AM


I have seen this in several players... sometimes its because you are shooting out of your rrange. I don't know if thats your problem since I cant see your shot.

So, lets start here... back to the basics. Go to the top of the page and look at the form this player has ... thats how you want to end up. Now, on to breaking that bad habit ( and thats what it is )

You need to work on your form exclusively.. you can do this against a wall and that way you wont worry about making shots. Dribble the ball one time and bring it up with your shooting hand... LEAVE YOUR GUIDE HAND TO THE SIDE OR BEHIND YOUR BACK. bring the ball to your shooting pocket and go into your shot - the elbow on your shooting hand should end up around your eye/ear as you are releasing the ball... HOLD your follow through.

This is going to take you awhile.... you will need 100s of repitions a day to do this. Try this out and let us know how it is going.

Good luck.

BTW, your coach is right, you DO need to correct this if you want to play high school ball.

anthony says:
12/15/2011 at 2:57:32 PM

hi im in 8th grade and i shoot like a mix of ray allen and kemba walker im not a tall guy but i still jump high and get rebounds since i jump high i shoot with too much power and advice

Ken Sartini says:
12/15/2011 at 3:16:16 PM

First of all.... be the best shooter YOU can be, don''t worry about shooting like anyone else... work on your form and make sure that is correct...
Since I cant see your shot its hard to tell what it looks like.. but if it is hard? NO arc on your shot? Shoot a little higher would be my best guess.
Both Jeff and Joe have put a lot of links regarding shooting form and mistakes on the thread.... go back and take a look at some of them,

steve says:
12/20/2011 at 1:16:43 PM


I've watched numerous how to shoot basketball videos. I feel like I have proper form where I'm balance with my feet, ball is in shot pocket and no dipping the ball before shooting. I've noticed that my shot tends to drift left a lot, even when I score, doesn't go straight as often (right hand shooter). What's my problem and how can I fix this?


Ken Sartini says:
12/20/2011 at 3:13:55 PM


Without seeing your shot... I would say that maybe your body is drifting to the left? The ball tends to go where the body goes... if you jump back, most of the time your shot will be flat...

Have someone watch you shoot and see if your body is drifting to the left.... you should be landing in the same space as you take off from... maybe a little bit forward.

Let us know how its going after you have someone watch you. Then we can talk about a way to correct it.

Marcus says:
12/22/2011 at 11:29:29 PM

My son shot really well last year but this season he's shooting with too much arc, it's like a rainbow and not going in as often. He gets good rotation, etc. What would be some tips to tell him to get a lesser arc so it goes in more? Thanks

Ken Sartini says:
12/23/2011 at 6:46:18 AM

Try having him do some form shooting against a wall until you get the results that you are looking for.
Shooting is all about form and attaining the proper muscle memory ..... A LOT OF REPITIONS.

To all the shooters out there..... work on your form... A LOT ...every day.... remember that practice doesn't make perfect... PERFECT PRACTICE makes perfect. Thats why (as both Jeff and Joe) are saying to start against a wall ... so you can achieve that perfect muscle memory... once you do that. you wont have as many problems in games.

Remember that in games things are a lot different, the pace at which you play and how well they are defending you have a lot to do with how well you shoot some days.

wallace says:
12/24/2011 at 11:38:30 PM

my nephew shot very well from 3 about 6 months ago, he injured his back in a game and was out for about 6weeks. He has been playing since but appears to have developed a habit of arching his back a little very close to his point of release on his shot, we think he developed that habit to take some of the pressure off of the back pain he had. He is healthy now and has been for sometime. Any suggestions on how to break the habit of arching his back on his three point shot?

Chris says:
12/25/2011 at 11:44:30 AM

Hi, I have a pretty consistent shot and I make most of my shots, but I have a problem with my balance hand or right hand (I'm left handed). I end up shooting with 75% with my left hand and 25% with my right hand so i shoot eith both hands. How can I fix this?

Ken Sartini says:
12/26/2011 at 6:24:54 AM

I made this comment to another player -

Go to the top of the page and look at the form this player has ... thats how you want to end up. Now, on to breaking that bad habit ( and thats what it is )

You need to work on your form exclusively.. you can do this against a wall and that way you wont worry about making shots. Dribble the ball one time and bring it up with your shooting hand... LEAVE YOUR GUIDE HAND TO THE SIDE OR BEHIND YOUR BACK. bring the ball to your shooting pocket and go into your shot - the elbow on your shooting hand should end up around your eye/ear as you are releasing the ball... HOLD your follow through.

This is going to take you awhile.... you will need 100s of repitions a day to do this. Try this out and let us know how it is going.

wallace says:
12/26/2011 at 12:43:08 PM


David says:
12/29/2011 at 11:32:29 PM

How can I shoot over players who are taller than I am. I am 5"11", and I have a hard time when there is a taller player who's guarding me.

Ken Sartini says:
12/30/2011 at 7:16:25 AM


If a defender is taller than you and maybe more hops... you need to create some space between you and the defender. IF he is too close, then thats probably not a good shot. If he is a better player, then you have to be smarter, play to your strengths and try and find the weaknesses in the defenders game and attack that.

Bigger players LOVE to block shots so use that against him.....
Try a quick head and ball fake to get him off the ground or at least straight up... once that happens you can make a move, crossover etc and get some space for a shot

To all the players with questions regarding your shot... take a minute to see what has been written previously and see if that helps you. At teh very beginning of this article, there are some great ideas and pictures... Jeff and Joe have made great comments here.

Above all, be patient and just keep working on your game and the fundamentals of the shot.

Demar says:
1/13/2012 at 9:43:51 PM

I don't know what happened but I used to have really good shooting form but somehow my shot changed alot. Everytime,i shoot somebody makes a comment about it and its just annoying. They say my body kind of jerk s forward but i'm not sure how to fix dis. Any tips?? I'm hoping to play high school nexy year so I wanna fix this

Ken says:
1/14/2012 at 11:05:13 AM

Demar -

Take some time to work on your form.. Do a lot of form shooting against a wall. Then start shooting close to the basket.

Being that we cant see your shot its hard to say what is happening... but you should concentrate on landing where you take off from... maybe a little bit forward?

Are you trying to shoot out of your range? So you are pushing the ball a little bit? Is this affecting your shot and if it is, how is it affecting it? Long, short, to one side?

Take a look at the pictures at the top of the page and see if you can work on that form. Let us know how its going.

Zak says:
1/17/2012 at 8:46:49 PM

I''m a pretty good right-handed shooter, but I want to develope some ambidextrious skills. How can I work on my lefty shooting while maintaining a good right-handed form?


Ken says:
1/18/2012 at 8:01:59 AM

Zak -
What level do you play at?

Before I would worry about my off hand I would want to perfect my right hand shot... make sure you are as good as you can be there.

As for shooting with your left.... I would start with lay ups... baby hooks in the lane - the Mikan Drill and something that we called X out where you are using both hands.

If you need help with those drills let us know.

daud ahmadi says:
2/1/2012 at 8:39:46 PM

Hi im 13 years old and im not the strongest kid out there so i cant really shoot from far. I can drive and make layups nicely but i dont have a shot. I am trying to get some sort of shot and it always comes out different. If i try to do it the fundamental way which everyone says, the ball doesnt really go that far because of my strength. Any help on trying to find a good shot and form??

Ken says:
2/1/2012 at 8:57:28 PM

Hi Daud -

First thing I will tell you is to play to YOUR strengths - your'e young, you will get bigger and stronger. I know I was small at 13 ( 4' 11" ) and I think that Joe and Jeff were pretty short at that age too.

Now is the time to work on all the little things, make sure that the mechanics (form) of your shot are good. Look at the top of this article and follow the instructions.

Once you are sure of your form, start your workouts by shooting very close ( 6-8 feet ) to the basket... don't move back until you are comfortable with where you are shooting from.
Just keep working your way back as you are successful from the previous spot.

This will take a lot of shots, repitition is the key to success..... You say that your shot always comes out different.... so lets talk about FORM.... start by shooting against a wall, that way you wont have to worry about making shots... the KEY to shooting success is your FORM.... once you get that down, you will have developed what they call "muscle memory" - this is the key to consistency. You might have to shoot 100s / 1000s of shots against the wall before you develop good form.

IF you have any questions about your form after reading the information at the top of the page, come back and ask more questions.
We will be more than happy to help you.

Good luck

Josh Barry says:
2/2/2012 at 1:07:45 PM

hi, so i am in 11th grade and i've only been playing for 3 years and i am a shooter and good at it sometimes but i dont have and rotation on my ball its either twisting or not spinning at all and i was wondering what can i do to get spin on my ball. also my coach says to palm the ball but i pretty sure that is wrong but i dotn know what to do can someone help?

Ken says:
2/2/2012 at 1:53:33 PM

Hi Josh -

I cant see your shot so I can only take a guess regarding no back spin...... Too much OFF hand? The guide hand should have nothing to do with the shot... it just helps you control the ball until you start your release.

Look above at picture #4 and you will see some space between the ball and your palm.


•Place the air hole between the middle and index fingers.

•Line up your fingertip pads parallel to the long seams of the ball, so you can monitor the back spin.

•Leave space between the ball and the middle of your palm. You should be able to insert a pencil between the ball and your palm area.

If I were you I would do some form shooting against a wall... one handed... make sure you have good balance ( BEEF ) dribble the ball once, bring it up and go into your shot and hold the follow through..... ( reach into the cookie jar )

Do this until you have the problem solved... it might take awhile since you have some kind of a bad habit to break - so, repetitions are the key here. 100s / 1000s of shots against a wall... I have seen guys break this habit over a weekend... one of my players... told him on Friday that he wouldn't be playing in the 4th quarters next year... he asked why... I told him that all the coaches knew he couldn't shoot free throws ( because he was shooting 2 handed )

He came into camp on Monday and said, is this right? Problem solved... he was motivated to fix it so he could play. How motivated are you to correct this problem?

Good luck, hope this helps you.

Marc says:
2/4/2012 at 12:19:18 AM

I'm a pretty good shooter just cant keep my form consistent and when i do shoot its either flatfooted or a small fade away shot how can i fix this, I'm tired of being a good shooter and being unable to keep a consistent form

Ken says:
2/4/2012 at 9:46:03 AM

Ben -

Try catching the ball in the triple threat position in practice... that should help with your problem of curling your hand around the ball. You can also toss the ball up and catch in the triple threat position just on your own... this will take a lot of repitions... 100s / 1000s maybe... but it will create muscle memory and once that happens you should be ok.

Great work out Joe... hopefully more of the players reading and posting here will take a look at this.....

Marc -

You say that you are a pretty good shooter? What does that mean % wise??
If you are shooting well I would question changing your shot unless you are very young. As for your form... stand by a wall and shoot 100s / 1000s of form shots until you have it corrected... take a look at Jeff's work out.

It seems the answer to almost all your questions is almost always the same.

If your shooting mechanics are messed up (whether you pause at the top of your jump, your shot feels awkward, or what ever), you need to....

1 - Practice thousands of "form" repetitions away from the basket and/or 1 foot from the basket. You must take your time and be very focused on your technique. If you do it wrong, correct it on the next rep. Be very mindful on doing it correctly. You might not be accurate at first. But you are training your muscles and developing new muscle memory. You need to get 1000-5000 repetitions with perfect form. Then you should have developed new habits.

2 - Now you can start shooting about 4 feet away from the basket. Once you can make at least 60% of those shots, move another 4 feet back. Keep doing that and moving back as you are able to shoot accurately from each spot. Keep in mind these are game speed shots, unlike the slow "form" shots from before. If you did enough form shooting before, you shouldn't need to think about your form any more and you should be able to just shoot with out thinking.

It's as simple as that. This is how you make adjustments to your shot. It's hard work but that's the only way to do it.

I would add this for you... as you practice close to the basket, go into your shot and make sure that you come down in the same place you left the ground - a ton of repetitions will help to solve your problems.

Roberto says:
2/5/2012 at 10:37:05 AM

I play high school JV, and Im a great shooter. I have the best form in my whole school. During when I warm-up I hit 90% of my shoots, yet in games, I'll either air ball over the rim, or just miss? My hot spotts are the mid-range jum shots. Left and right corners, also around the key area. My players get me the shots when im at my spots because im usually open, because i get my self where i need to be. Yet, when i play games at the YMCA or warm-ups, or during gym in school. I hit mostly all my shots constistitnly. Still in games, i miss. I tend to believe if Ray Allen has a great or good shootting game..I will. And if he doesnt i wont. & thats hw it usually works out.

Ken says:
2/5/2012 at 12:40:39 PM

Roberto -

The best thing you have going is your form... you shoot well in warm ups because there is no defense / no pressure.

There is a little more pressure in your school games then the Y or gym class. You need to relax a little bit - and when you are open, think - I'M HITTING THIS SHOT! Negattive thoughts will get you negative results.

Forget about Ray Allen or any other Pro... just be yourself... don't watch Ray LOL Another thing you need to do is to practice your shots at game speed - maybe even get someone to put a hand in your face to simulate a defender. Then, practice, practice and then pactice some more.

Good luck

Adam says:
2/6/2012 at 2:00:29 PM

I played high school basketball and averaged 14 points a game for my career. I have a push jumpshot. I am able to extend my range well beyond the three point line due to the power I get from pushing the ball- but it's not what I want. How do I transform my jumpshot, from being a push-shot that starts in front of my face and is pushed toward the rim, to an actual jumpshot above my head that gets the power from my wrist and legs like consistent midrange jumpshooters. Any good drills to make this transition at 20 years old?

Ken says:
2/6/2012 at 5:09:12 PM

Adam -

It sounds like you are going to have to rebuild your shot from scratch.....Look at top of this page, step by step, picture by picture.

Work on your form, make sure that it is close to being perfect... no ones shot is perfect, but it has to be good and you have to feel comfortable with it.

When you are bringing the ball up into the shooting pocket... there should be a "window" for you to look through.... your elbow should be by your eye/ear as you release the ball - then hold your follow through... I'm sure you've heard put your hand in the cookie jar.

This might take 1,000s of repetitions before you correct the shot and get it the way you want it.

Good luck and I hope this helps.... be patient with yourself.. don't forget, you've been shooting that push shot for several years... its going to take time to change it.

Kate says:
2/6/2012 at 7:57:31 PM

My name is Kate. I shoot good at practice but on the court I never seem to be following through. How do I get in that habit?

Ken says:
2/6/2012 at 8:28:25 PM

Kate -

You should try some form shooting against a wall.... 100s of shots until it becomes second nature or what we call muscle memory.

Look at the top and use that form...... remember ,,,, hold the follow through until the ball goes in the basket. .... in this case against the wall... until it hits the wall and comes back at you.

Ken says:
2/6/2012 at 8:29:30 PM

By the way Kate - I meant 100s of shots DAILY..

James says:
2/9/2012 at 11:53:53 PM

What would you recommend in this situation....? I am a high school coach and my son is now in junior high. 8th grade. I have completely over-coached him. He has been a great shooter since the 6th grade but it seems like he always develops a small a problem with his form and I start forcing him to change it. Now he is shooting too much from the side. (the ear/temple area) I am wanting to go through the long process of fixing it again and getting the ball out in front more but he will start high school next year and I'm afraid of starting over again since he does shoot pretty well. Please advise.

Ken says:
2/10/2012 at 8:32:24 AM

James -

You sound like a typical parent and to top it off... a coach. You want nothing but the best for your son.

Let me ask you this.... IF he wasn't your son, what would you want to do for him?

Where is his elbow as he is releasing the ball?
It should be even with his eye/ear as he is releasing the ball.

You can always have him do more FORM shooting for now... before he does his shooting workouts. He is still young enough to fix that shot and become a better shooter.
YOU are a professional, you know whats right.... I can see that you don't want to turn your son off... but in this case, I would think that "Father Knows Best."

I was trying to help this 7th grade boy who was shooting with two hands ( more with his right - but still two hands on the ball with his release ) He did a lot of good things shooting... but in my opinion, IF he was to become a good high school player / shooter, he needs to shoot the ball the right way. His dad wasn't so sure but I think with my coaching experience (and yours) I know a little more about the game than he did. I have seen some good shooters with that technique but I wouldn't teach that.

Now, with all that being said... Is your son willing to work on this? Is it something he wants to correct? Show him this site and the pictures at the top of the page. Then let us know what he is thinking. Good luck

lol says:
2/11/2012 at 3:57:20 AM


moony j says:
2/12/2012 at 9:18:41 PM

when i shoot i put the ball over my head and i have a REALLY high arcing shot and not that much backspin. how can i fix it.

Ken says:
2/13/2012 at 10:10:58 AM

Moony -

Look at the top of the page and follow the instructions there... and I would start by FORM shooting against a wall.... 100s / 1000s of repetitions.

Its hard to tell since we cant see your shot, but, are you using to much guide hand? Is that why there is not very much backspin?

Again, check out the pictures and instructions at the top and see if that helps... IF not, tell us what you are doing that is not the same as the instructions above.

Alex says:
2/13/2012 at 9:15:22 PM

Hi Joe,
I'm a 12 year old kid, just trying to get better at shooting my 3 shot. I always find myself with perfect aim, but it's short, or it's got enough power, but I shoot it to the left (I'm a righty). Do you have anything that could help me put more power in my shots. I have better aim than I do power, but if you could give me something that could help me with my aim as well. That'd be great. Thanks Joe!!

Ken says:
2/14/2012 at 8:22:45 AM

Alex -

No insult intended here, but, do you have the strength to shoot the 3 right now? Its great that you have come here to find out how to correct your shot.

How is your shooting percentage from inside the arc, say 15 feet? I take it your season is over right now, so this is the perfect time to correct your shot.

Without seeing your shot it sounds like you are not shooting the same shot every time. When you come up short, that could be because you are not using your legs when you are shooting?
Shooting to the left (or right ) sounds like your release is not consistent... look at the pictures at the top of the page and ask yourself, "Is this what my shot looks like? "

Shooting is all about muscle memory which comes from a lot of repetitions - 100s/1000s of shots.

I would have you start with FORM shooting against the wall - starting with ONE hand, over and over until you are very comfortable and are doing everything correctly. Then you can add your guide hand.

Then you should start close to the basket 4-5 feet and shoot....set a % for yourself..... 6/7 out of 10, once you achieve that ... move back a few feet and do it again - don't go any further back until you are successful there. Keep doing this until you get to the arc. This might take some time Alex, but if you are serious about correcting your shot and becoming a better shooter, this is the way to start.

I would suggest that you find someone to work out with... it wont be as boring, it will seem to go faster and you will enjoy it more. Then go find someplace where you can play in some games.... when you get into your serious shooting workouts... remember to do them at game speed.

Good luck and I hope this helps. Let us know how this is going and if we can be of further help.

Daniel Rodriguez says:
2/14/2012 at 6:34:42 PM

I play alot of basketball and practice when i could..Ive got everything down..but i cant find a good shooting form that i am confortable with.I have tryed to study the forms of some nba players but i cant get and acurate shot that i like and is confortable. What should i do?

Ken says:
2/15/2012 at 7:49:05 AM

Forget the pros Dan -

They are the best of the best ..... they can pretty much do what they want... most of them have great form... but you have to find what is comfortable for YOU.

Take a look at the top of this page .... then start working on your form - break your shot down...
Balance - Elbow under the ball - eye on the target and the follow through.

Work on your FORM by shooting against a wall with one hand.. 100s of this daily. Its going to take you some time to create your shot, but if you do this, that should solve the problem with your form.

Then start shooting close to the basket... 4-5 feet, make 6-7 out of ten and then step back a few feet and do it again until you get to the 15 foot range... you should still be making 60 - 70% of those jumpers... free throw, IF it were me, I would be aiming for the 80% range.

Just keep working your way back.... stay comfortable, make sure your %s are good... stay inside the arc... once you think you are doing this well... shoot more at game speed, that is more realistic.

Junaid john says:
2/17/2012 at 1:15:34 AM

I want the exact placing of fingers on the ball and even the position of guide hand and when to take off guide hand while shooting. Any comments . I hv seen mny videos a bt want 2 read an article .

Yoon says:
2/17/2012 at 5:57:29 AM

How do i get more lift on my jump shot? I want to jump higher on my jump shot.

Ken says:
2/17/2012 at 8:00:37 AM

Junaid -

Go to the top of this page and look at the pictures...that should give you a step by step suggestions regarding holding the ball and where your guide hand is.
You can talk about exacts and even do that when shooting free throws.. but in games you don't have that luxury, you catch the ball in a good shooting position ( we talked about catching it in the triple threat position ) and you can go right into your shot if you are open.
The pictures also show you where to have your guide hand and it comes off as you are shooting the ball... the guide hand has nothing to do with the shot.

Ken says:
2/17/2012 at 8:16:55 AM

Junaid -

Take a look at this page -

Richie says:
2/17/2012 at 7:20:50 PM

Dear Joe, i do sometimes struggle on shots because sometimes while doing it outside baecause of the wind and plus when im tryiny to put all my targets i always think beef(balance,eyes, elbow,follow through) which sometimes work and don' seems, hard to control when playing outside because of wind and every time im on the 3 pointer shot i always try to jump high but again the wind is preventing it from scoring how can i improve on this joe? help me i will be glad if you answer this. and by the way im 12 years old

Ken says:
2/18/2012 at 9:15:56 AM

Richie -

Being that you are 12 I think I wouldn't worry to much about the 3 ball.... I really think that the 3 ball has ruined the game for younger players...

I know everyone wants to dunk or hit the 2, I get it. But IF I am you I would work on my shorter game8 - 16 footers..... and when its windy, its hard for anyone to shoot successfuly (score) you can do everything right and the wind can take thae ball where IT wants it to go.

Keep working on your form... make your shot automatic by shooting the same way every time... what we call muscle memory. I had my players start their work out shooting with one hand.... to make sure their form was correct. Do a lot of form shooting - 100s/1000s and after you feel that your form is good ( good for you, something that you feel comfortable with and are successful with ) do some shooting... work in close at first... 6-7 feet, shoot 10 and when you are shooting 60% or better, step back a few feet and do that again. Keep doing that and that will show you where your range is. IF you have a hard time shooting 60%, step in a bit and try it again.

As for the 3 ball... is your form the same outside the arc as when you are at 15' or so?
AND, IF you want to work on your 3 ball, wait until its not so windy, you will have better results... but only shoot the 3 ball until you are shooting at around 605 inside the arc.

Don't worry about how high you jump, that will get better as you get older, bigger & stronger.
Good luck and IF you have any questions or need more help, feel free to reply to this.

johnathan says:
2/21/2012 at 3:00:12 PM

so easy

Bob says:
2/26/2012 at 7:45:53 PM

When i shoot, my ball keeps on hitting the place where the rim meets the backbpard and just bounces off. Is it something wrong with my form or what??? Please help me

Ken says:
2/26/2012 at 8:16:00 PM

Bob -

Without seeing your shot it sounds like it is kind of flat. As you are releasing the ball your elbow should be around your eye/ear area.... There should be a nice "window" for you to look through.

You might need to use your legs a little more?

Are you leaning back ( fade away ) that could be another reason. I have seen some kids stick their butts out when they are shooting which results in a flat shot too.

Do some FORM shooting and then tell us what you see... or have someone else look at your shot and let you know if any of these are happening.

Chris says:
2/29/2012 at 5:16:56 PM

I have been coaching older youth for nearly 14 years and now and am switching to a younger age group. How do I teach proper shooting form for 7-8 year old girls? If I try the above their hands are so small they have a hard time holding the ball and they also don't have the strength to come close to the rim.

Ken says:
2/29/2012 at 5:40:51 PM

Chris -

I think you answered your own question.... smaller hands, ball is too big and the rim is too high for that age group.

If you can get a smaller ball and find a shorter rim.. you will have a better chance of helping them.... right now, most coaches would say, don't worry to much about shooting, they aren't strong enough to get the ball up there... some might be able to but the vast majority cant.

Teach them how to pass and catch the ball, how to dribble a little bit and then let them have fun.

Bog Bigelow has a great DVD on Coaching Youth Basketball. You might take a look at that. Good luck and have fun with the kids.

Ioane says:
3/1/2012 at 5:17:48 PM

Im tall and anyone says to me that im very good in basketball because of my body nature...

can u please give some advice becaues im just start playing basketball about 5 months and im very poor in shooting and moving into my enemies ring side (zone)


daniel says:
3/5/2012 at 1:53:10 AM

Hi my name is daniel and i am wondering how exactly is the ball suppose too be on your hand when your gonna shoot which fingers are you suppose too use and do i have to let my fingers bend when i shoot?

Ken says:
3/5/2012 at 8:09:40 AM

Daniel -

Take a look at the top of the page, does that give you a good idea about what you should be doing?

THIS should answer your question as to where the ball should be on your hand

•Place the air hole between the middle and index fingers.
•Line up your fingertip pads parallel to the long seams of the ball, so you can monitor the back spin.
•Leave space between the ball and the middle of your palm. You should be able to insert a pencil between the ball and your palm area.
•Spread your fingers far enough apart to comfortably balance the ball in one hand.
•The ball should sit on your finger pads.

Do some form shooting against a wall... try this... take one dribble and bring the ball up with your shooting hand only... NO GUIDE HAND... that should help with your form a lot... shoot it with one hand too,

As for your fingers bending... you are talking about the release of the ball and the follow through...


•Your wrists should be floppy (relaxed).
•Fingers should be pointed at the target (rim).
•Finish high. You should see your fingers at the top square of the back board.
•Hold your follow through position until the ball hits the rim.