Proficiency in basketball combines different skills that go hand in hand with constant practice for true mastery. Shooting skills are essential because successful scores differentiate between a win and a loss. These skills are crucial in a professional competitive arena or a friendly neighborhood game with your buddies.
Getting the ball in the hoop successfully and accurately is a consequence of different physical and psychological attributes. It is important to understand that even the most skilled and experienced shooters on the court aren’t always 100% accurate. Accepting this is key to developing your shooting skills and the confidence you desire after knowing your weak points.
Practice Shooting at a Stationary Position
Shooting skills are a factor of form and the position in which you achieve a score. In some instances, the shooter remains stationary before shooting into the basket, while others dribble and move around before hitting the mark.
However, you must momentarily assume a stationary position while aiming for the shot. For the instances that you are moving, you must combine other skills into shooting in motion to avoid missing the target. Therefore, it is advisable to improve stationary shooting skills to better adapt all techniques to shooting in motion.
You may often find yourself making many baskets in this position, and shooting success depends on your focus and practice.
Keep Your Eyes on the Target
Locate the basket as quickly as possible and focus on the rim more than the intended or perceived flight of the ball. In basketball, eye contact with the basket has a beneficial influence on the accuracy of your shot.
By keeping your eyes on the target, the brain initiates the intention and makes a mental note to get the ball into the basket. A glance is enough to coordinate the shooting efforts between your eyes, brains, and hands.
Maintain a Good Stance
How you stand determines your balance. First, your legs should be staggered, and your feet must remain apart relative to your shoulder width to obtain optimal leverage. Secondly, bend your knees slightly and ensure your feet are facing the hoop. Lastly, you should orient your feet based on your dominant shooting hand. For example, if you are left-handed, you should place your foot in front of your right hand and vice versa for better stamina.
It helps to understand that some players find it comfortable to shoot with their feet apart while others prefer a more closed-leg stance. But, constant practice will help you establish what is suitable for you.
Focus on Ball Grip and Shot
How you hold the ball determines the direction of travel and accuracy. When the ball lands in your hands, and there is a clear intention to make the shot, you should hold it in a position called the shot pocket.
You achieve this by lowering the ball slightly above your waist while you fix your glance on the target, feet apart, and bent knees. Again, the ball should rest before your shooting hand, as the less dominant hand offers guidance and balance.
Keep your fingers apart and wide enough for the ball to rest on your finger pads for a comfortable balance. Then, raise the ball with your eye straight to establish an accurate shooting direction.
Aim for Accurate Delivery
Shooting delivery involves a series of motions that facilitate the ball's release from your hands. Balance is essential in this case. You should place your non-shooting hand on the ball’s side and avoid clinging to it after shooting.
Do not apply too much force to the ball when preparing to shoot. With the ball above your head, bring your hands out of the shooting pocket. Additionally, your elbow should be aligned straight with the hoop while you bend it comfortably.
Next, extend your core, knees, and upper arm in a fluid, coordinated movement as your elbow extends forward in line with the hoop's rim. The shooting hand should extend further in a straight line to the basket, forcing the ball outward and away, resulting in a backspin.
It would be best if you released the ball midway before reaching the top of the jump. In that instance, your legs propelled you high, and the landing should return to the same spot you took off. That is how you know there was a good balance.
Initiate a Follow-through
This is a fluid motion of relaxed hands resulting from perfect shooting form. Your hands should flop down, and your fingers should curl down, indicating that you are comfortable and relaxed. You should ensure that your arms point above the square on the backboard as your fingers point to the rim. Maintain that position until the ball hits the target.
These simple basic tips can help you get started practicing. However, it is important to note that being a good shooter does not always guarantee stellar results. The game of basketball is very dynamic. Thus, it is essential to apply these theoretical shooting skills to real-world situations where the different variables present at play help adapt new skills and fine-tune them for more excellent proficiency.