Last Updated November 27, 2023 Last Updated October 18, 2023 by Edward Pullen
Great basketball shooting skills surely win you a place in the team even if you are a slow athlete. Shooting a basketball properly makes you stand out on the court. Here, we’ll share some pro tips from experienced players on how to shoot a basketball including hand placement and proper shooting form.
It requires exceptional skill to put a basketball in a hoop from a variety of distances and angles. Learning how to shoot like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson is probably every player’s dream, and it relies heavily on proper technique. The key to becoming a great shooter is simple – yet hard to master. So, if you want to get noticed as a pro shooter, understand the simple method of shooting along with developing proper form and hand positioning.
Basketball palming is a great skill that helps you control the ball better – learn how to palm a basketball.
Table of Content
- How to Shoot a Basketball Properly – Best Way
- Simple BEEF Method to Shot a Basketball – 4 Steps
- Hand Placement – How to Hold a Basketball When Shooting
- Proper Basketball Shooting Form
- Wrapping Up
How to Shoot a Basketball Properly – Best Way
There is nothing more satisfying than sinking a basketball shot. You just need to stay calm and focused when taking a shot. We will discuss the proper technique for taking a shot and how to adjust your shooting form depending on the distance of the hoop.
This is a proper way to throw a basketball. Whether you are a beginner and looking for shooting tips, or a pro struggling to shoot better in basketball, follow this guide to master this skill;
1. Get into a Proper Shooting Stance
A proper shooting stance is quite different from a regular standing position. It allows you the flexibility to get up and down quickly while staying in control of your shot;
- To get into a proper shooting stance, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and have your knees slightly bent. Keep your head level and your eyes on the basket.
- Now, put your shooting hand at the side of your face and balance the ball in your palm and fingertips.
- The ball should be in the middle of your forehead or slightly below it, depending on your grip. Hold your other hand out to help with the aim.
2. Correct Way to Hold the Basketball
The two main ways of holding a basketball are with an overhand grip and an underhand grip. You can shoot better when you use an overhand grip correctly, but it’s harder to master. An underhand grip is the most common way players hold a basketball, but it isn’t recommended for long shots.
- To shoot with an overhand grip, place your shooting hand directly under the ball. Your non-shooting hand should provide balance by resting lightly on your shooting elbow.
- To shoot with an underhand grip, put your shooting hand over the top of the ball and rest your non-shooting hand on top of it for support. This is more suited to long shots as it gives more power and accuracy.
Now, take a few steps back from the basket to adjust your position for shooting. Bring your arm back and up in an arching motion then release when you reach your peak. Remember that your elbow should be about even with your eye level when you release the ball.
3. Focus on the Target (Hoop)
The best way to improve your shot is to focus on the target – the basketball hoop. This will help you increase your accuracy and follow-through. It’s natural to have a tendency to follow the flight of the ball as it leaves your hand, but this could cause you to shoot from an unfavorable position.
- To shoot at a hoop that is 10 feet away from you, focus at the center of the basket. This will keep your arm lined up with the rim.
- For a hoop that is 20 feet away, focus on the front of the rim and your shot will stay level.
- For a hoop that is 30 feet away, focus on the back of the rim and you’ll have a better chance of hitting the backboard.
4. Practice Proper Breathing
Breathing properly will help you maintain your balance and aim when you shoot the ball.
- Breathe out when you are about to shoot the basketball, then hold your breath when you are in midair. This will help you control your body.
You should release the air in your lungs once you release the ball and see it hit the hoop. This will help you balance your body and aim properly.
5. Follow Through
A proper follow-through is extremely important for a good shot, no matter what type of grip you are using.
- Your shooting arm should continue to move up after the ball has left your hand. You can do this by imagining that you are pushing the ball toward the hoop.
- After your shooting arm has reached above your head, bring it down to your side. If you do this correctly, you should feel a sense of relief and relaxation.
6. Proper Way of Jumping and Landing
Strong legs are important when it comes to getting height for your shot.
- You can use your legs to jump higher by bending your knees and hips, then stiffening your legs as you jump.
This will give your shot power and momentum, which could allow you to hit the hoop at a greater distance.
Practice, Practice, Practice, the only way to improve your shot is by practicing regularly. You can make adjustments to your form or grip by watching videos of players who have successful shot types.
A Video Tutorial on How to Shoot a Basketball Properly
Simple BEEF Method to Shot a Basketball – 4 Steps
Learning the proper shooting method is essential whether you are playing one-on-one or as part of a team. One method that improved my own shooting ability was BEEF (Balance, Elbow, Eyes, and Follow-through). This method improves your form, balance, control, and overall shooting ability on the court.
A perfect shooting technique has the following elements;
B – Balance: Make sure your body is straight and you’re well balanced.
E – Elbows aligned: Hold your shooting elbow close to your body so it’s not flailing about. It should be tucked into your side.
E – Eyes on the Target: Focus on the front of the rim or wherever you want to shoot at.
F – Follow through: Shoot the ball with your hand straight up in the air. Your arm should be fully extended for a good follow-through.
Hand Placement – How to Hold a Basketball When Shooting
Hand placement is a key in learning how to shoot a basketball properly. If your hand placement is off, your shot won’t go where you expect it to. Hand placement should be set according to distance;
- When shooting a basketball, one hand should be placed in front of the other when shooting close range. For example, if you shoot on the left side, your left hand should be in front of your right hand.
- When shooting a three point (long) shot, set your hands out evenly from left to right so that your shot will go straight to the basket.
Proper Basketball Shooting Form
Proper shooting form is critical when shooting a basketball. This will help you shoot more accurately, especially under pressure. Here are some techniques you can try out to perfectly score a shot;
- Bring the ball up to a comfortable level
- Tuck your elbow close to the side of your body and maintain it as you shoot
- The back of your non-shooting hand should be facing the rim as you release the ball from your fingertips for a more accurate shot.
- Use the technique of following through with your shooting hand, pointing at the target you want to hit after releasing the ball.
Now you know how to shoot a basketball with proper hand placement and shooting form, start practicing so that you can excel in your next game. Remember, this skill is crucial in winning the game, and it takes practice and patience to master it, so don’t give up! We recommend practicing your shots at regulation hoop height to train like professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)
How do you shoot a basketball for beginners?
Here are the steps for beginners to shoot a basketball;
- Balance yourself properly
- Hold your elbow close to your body
- Focus on the front of the rim and where you want to shoot at
- Shoot with a follow-through motion.
What are the 4 steps to the basketball shot?
A perfect shooting technique consists of these 4 steps;
Balance: Make sure your body is straight and you’re well balanced.
Elbows aligned: Hold your shooting elbow close to your body so it’s not flailing about. It should be tucked into your side.
Eyes on the Target: Focus on the front of the rim or wherever you want to shoot at.
Follow-through: Shoot the ball with your hand straight up in the air. Your arm should be fully extended for a good follow-through.
What should I aim when shooting a basketball?
Your aim depends on the distance when shooting a basketball;
10 feet distance; aim for the center of the basket.
20 feet distance; aim for the front of the rim and your shot will stay level.
30 feet distance; aim for the back of the rim and you’ll have a better chance of hitting the backboard.