The game of basketball has changed, it from banging in the post to popping three pointers from outside the arc. That’s why it’s so important to develop your game to become a shooter.
Being able to shoot the ball with accuracy and consistency can create numerous opportunities for you and your team such as making the defense close out harder to open up driving lanes, having a defender face guard you to free up your teammates, getting up more shots on offense, more playing time from your coach, and that’s just to name a few. Basically, every team needs a shooter.
When learning how to shoot a basketball accurately, you have to find what works for you. You can’t try to copy someone else’s shot like Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson thinking you’ll get the same success they have, you’ll only end up frustrated and inconsistent in your shooting. Now, you can learn and implement the fundamentals in what makes them such great shooters as I explain in more detail below.
Read on below to learn the steps you need to take to become an LIGHTS OUT shooter.
The Ultimate Guide Into Becoming A Shooter
1. Know Where Your Shooting (Duhh)
This may seem quite simple, but most players don’t even know what to aim for when shooting.
A lot of coaches recommend to aim for the back or the front of the rim. The problem with that is if you aim for the back of the rim, you may shoot the ball to hard and it could bounce right off the rim. Or, if you aim for the front of the rim, your shot may end up short or result in an air-ball. So it’s best to always aim for the middle of the rim.
This makes for better accuracy and consistency because you can always see the middle of the rim no matter what angle your shooting from whether it be from the corner, wing, or from the top of the key.
2. Footwork Is The Foundation Of Your Shot
Proper footwork is so important when it comes to knocking down shots because it creates the balance and fluidity you need to make for a smooth jump shot.
Not getting your footwork right can cause your whole shot to be out of alignment and just feel weird. Your feet are the first thing to get set when shooting, so if your feet are off that places your hips out of alignment. If your hips not lined up that means your shoulders are not square to the goal which means your elbow is sticking out. Then you can most definitely expect your shot to be way off or not even expect to reach the rim at all.
- When setting your feet for a shot, your foot-stance can either be straight on to the rim, or a little to the left or to the right of the rim.
- Your feet should always be stagnated when shooting. Meaning, one foot should be a little in-front of the other.
- For right handed shooters, their right foot is in-front of their left foot. And for left handed shooters, their left foot is in-front of their right foot.
Get in the gym and figure out which foot-stance suits you best.
3. Lining Yourself Up
Lining your body up creates an one motion jump shot that’s quick and accurate.
- From your waist and up, your entire upper-body should make a straight line and be right on target with the rim.
- Your knees should be bent and hips should be aligned with your shoulders.
- Your shoulders should be squared up to the rim while your elbow is tucked in.
- Your back is straight with your eyes focused on the target.
This simple lining your body up technique is an easy way to start knocking down more shots.
4. Grip On The Ball
When players start missing shots, they get to blaming their entire form. But it really just be small things like how they’re gripping the basketball when shooting. If you have to much palm on the ball when your shooting, your shot will be flat and either fall to the left or right of the rim.
- When shooting, spread your fingers so the ball sits on your fingertip pads parallel to the long seams, this creates that back spin and soft touch.
- To know whether or not the ball is on your fingertips, you should have a little space between your palm and the ball.
5. The Guide Hand
I see too many young players shooting the ball with their guide hand and then be wondering why they be missing left and right. The purpose of the guide hand is to provide stability and support until is ready to be released.
- Your guide hand should be on the side and have no effect in the ball other than providing more control.
- It should always be the first to release from the ball.
6. Bringing It All Together
Now that you have a good starting point to build off of, it’s time to bring it all together.
- The ball should flow upward from your shot pocket with your elbow comfortably under the basketball. The ball should always stay in-front of you, never let the ball go behind your head or eyesight.
- Uncoil your legs, core, and arm power all in one motion
- Your shot pocket should be in a straight line to the rim
- As your releasing the ball, your shooting hand should be aligned with the rim and guide hand off to the side
- Release the ball at the peak of your jump by using your legs to generate the power needed for the shot
- You should land in the same spot you jumped from.
7. Put A Tail On The Ball
I see a lot of players from beginners all the way up to the pros miss shots simply because they don’t put a tail on the ball or follow through on their shots. Following through on your shots is one of the most important aspects of shooting, it makes sure the ball gets to its intended destination and lets you know what to fix if you missed the shot.
- Your shooting wrist should be relaxed
- Fingers should be pointing down into the rim
- Snap that elbow and finish high. Your elbow should finish at your eyebrow, this puts good arc on the ball.
- Hold your follow through till the hits the rim
8. Confidence Is Everything
It’s a MUST to have confidence when shooting. You can have the best shooting form in the world, but if you don’t have no confidence in your shot, your not going to make to many.
Every time Stephen Curry or Kobe Bryant pull up for a shot, they know and believe it’s going in. And if it doesn’t go in, they think “The next shot is going to be money”. That is how elite shooters and scorers think, there is no room for negative thoughts.
So have confidence in yourself and eliminate negative thoughts by replacing them with positive ones. This simple technique alone will raise your shooting percentage.
9. Shoot Till Your Arms Fall Off
Shooters are not born, shooters are made. Made through TONS and TONS of hours in the gym, getting up thousands of shots. They’re obsessed with the process and reap the results because of it.
In the off-season, Stephen Curry made 500 hundred shots per day. During the season, Steph still made 200 to 350 shots per day. That’s why he’s one of the best players in the NBA today and one of the greatest shooters of all-time. The only way to become a shooter is through hard work, so get in the gym and work on your jump shot. The results will be worth it.
The Bottom Line
Be patient with yourself and in your training, being a “Lights Out” shooter doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time just like anything else worth having, your going to experience plenty of misses before you start knocking them down on a consistent basis. So develop the fundamentals of shooting as I mentioned above and you’ll find the shot that works best for you.
Shooting is just one aspect of the game of basketball, you need to improve upon all parts of your game to become truly UNSTOPPABLE. I recommend The Scoring Academy, it’s the top rated basketball skills development program in the world. Developed by professional basketball player and trainer, Augie Johnson. His workouts are all game specific so that when it comes to the real game, nothing is new to you, it’s all AUTOMATIC. Unlock your full potential as a basketball player and watch your stats take off.
I hope you enjoyed this article on how to shoot a basketball accurately and that you share this article with a friend. Also, I encourage you to read “How To Increase Your Vertical For Basketball“, so not only you’ll be a shooter, but you’ll be able to dunk on people as well. If you have any questions or want to share your own shooting experience, leave an comment below. Love to hear.