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


EYES ON TARGET

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!


STANCE AND BALANCE

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.


SHOT POCKET

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.


GRIP

  • 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)



BALANCE HAND

  • 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)


DELIVERY

  • 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)
 

UPFORCE AND LANDING

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)

FOLLOW-THROUGH

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.




Comments

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Zed says:
1/21/2021 at 12:38:20 PM

Hey Jeff I'm young (Under 13) But Older than 8.I have been shooting on a eight foot rim recently and my jumpshot doesn't work because my wrist flicks across my face when im doing my follow through.I know ere to aim now but one this is all over im planning on joining my school team but my release and jumpshot isn't right.I have been practicing 4 foot shots and about 7 feet is where i have been shooting. I have seen alot of videos that try and help me but I haven't been getting a good release.My parenst have been helping me but I just haven't got the right jumpshot. And I can only practice when we go to the court.Sorry for making this so long but it's important please respond as soon as possible.Thanks in advance.Be safe.God Bless You.

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Brandt says:
1/20/2021 at 7:26:07 PM

Cuz when I make shots my flow through is fingertips just above the rim and its swishes

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Brandt says:
1/20/2021 at 7:26:05 PM

Cuz when I make shots my flow through is fingertips just above the rim and its swishes

Like
   

Brandt says:
1/20/2021 at 7:26:04 PM

Cuz when I make shots my flow through is fingertips just above the rim and its swishes

Like
   

Brandt says:
1/20/2021 at 7:26:02 PM

Cuz when I make shots my flow through is fingertips just above the rim and its swishes

Like
   

Brandt says:
1/20/2021 at 7:26:00 PM

Cuz when I make shots my flow through is fingertips just above the rim and its swishes

Like
   

Brandt says:
1/20/2021 at 7:20:31 PM

So I basically do all that but for my follow through is it okay if my wrist is located to the rim but my fingertips end just above the rim

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Brandt says:
1/20/2021 at 7:20:29 PM

So I basically do all that but for my follow through is it okay if my wrist is located to the rim but my fingertips end just above the rim

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Brandt says:
1/20/2021 at 7:20:26 PM

So I basically do all that but for my follow through is it okay if my wrist is located to the rim but my fingertips end just above the rim

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Brandt says:
1/20/2021 at 7:20:24 PM

So I basically do all that but for my follow through is it okay if my wrist is located to the rim but my fingertips end just above the rim

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