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Improving Your Shooting

Player Shooting

"Shooters are made - not born."

1. Get Open Before You Receive the Ball

2. Have Good Shot Selection

3. Know When to Shoot

4. Shoot with Consistency

5. Concentrate on Shot

6. Shoot with Confidence

7. Practice Proper Techniques

8. Set Good Screens

9. Become a Proficient Passer

10. Acknowledge the Pass


1. Get open before you receive the ball

Create a solid lead to set up the shot you want. However, be sure to time your lead. Creating a lead too early or too late will not work. Also, don't fight defensive pressure. If/when a defender denies or disrupts the passing lane, back cut to the basket or screen away.

Against tenacious defenders, you need to be proficient in setting up and using screens to get open.

2. Have Good Shot Selection

Practice and employ your best shots. Some good practice shooters may become only average game shooters, but there are no poor practice shooters who are excellent game shooters.

Know your ability and shooting range. "Hoped Shots" rarely end up in the basket. During a game work hard to create an open shot within you range. Don't let your ego or outside pressures take you outside your range.

Learn More Determining Your Shooting Ranges

Early in the season determine your shooting range for five different spokes (right baseline, left baseline, right wing, left wing and straight out from basket) radiating out fromt the basket. Each spoke will be different.During a game work hard to create a open shot within you range for each these spokes.

3. Know WHEN to shoot

Passing up a good shot is just as damaging as taking a bad shot. Know where your teammates are before shooting. Make sure no teammate is open for a better shot. Be aware of defensive players and offensive rebounders' locations.

4. Shoot with Consistency

Be on balance. Take off is with opposite foot of shooting hand. Hold ball high with wrist back and elbow pointing directly at the basket. Release ball quickly but do not hurry. Ball should have good back spin. Follow through. Keep shooting hand and fingers extended until ball goes through the basket. No free shooting. Concentrate on making every shot in every practice and every game.

5. Concentrate on the Shot

Shoot with touch. Focus on the rim. Do not watch the ball - a shooter that take eyes off the target usually blows the shot.

Focus on the shot despite any distractions of noise and movement. You should have only one thought on your mind, and that is MAKING the shot.

6. Shoot with Confidence

To be a good shooter, a player must have the confidence in his shooting ability. "You are only as good as you think." Confidence is the end result of CONCENTRATION and CONSISTENCY.

The three C's of a good shooter are: CONSISTENCY, CONCENTRATION, AND CONFIDENCE.

7. Practice makes Perfect

"Shooters are made - not born." The secret to good shooting is countless hours of hard work and concentration. This why coaches love to see baskets in players' backyards.

However, practice good shooting habits. Practice makes perfect is only true if the proper mechanics are being employed. No free shooting, Practice the types of shots that you will normally take in a game. Use the BEEF principle to analyze and improve your shot:

B  =  Balance
E  =  Elbow under the ball
E  =  Eyes focused on target
F  =  Follow Through

8. Set Good Screens

On a screen, BOTH players are receivers. When the screener sets a good screen, it will most likely result in the defense having to switch, leaving the screener open to receive the ball.

In using a screen, set up the screen by first stepping toward the basket. If the defense does not react, continue for an easy shot. When the defense does react, "Center the Screen" by stepping into the screener with inside foot and then around screener with outside foot. Have both hands up ready to receive the ball for a quick release.

9. Become a proficient passer

Improving your passing will build better shooting because the principles involved in throwing to a teammate are the same as shooting at the basket. This is why great shooters are also great passers.

Always follow the simple rule: "Get the ball to the open player." You will be surprised how many times it will be you!

10. Acknowledge the pass

A good shot starts with a good pass. In acknowledging your teammates' feeds, it will result in receiving more and better passes from them.