How To Become A Better Shooter In Basketball

Last Updated on April 1, 2023 by

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If you’re aiming to play on your high school basketball team, college, or even at a professional level, it is really important to become a better shooter. We think it’s fair to say there is no better way to become a better basketball player than to become a better shooter. But how to become a better shooter in basketball?

A good shooter poses multiple problems for the opposition and can completely change the momentum of the game through incredible shooting capability. He is probably good at all types of shots: lay-ups, hook shots, floater, bank shots, jump shots, free throws, alley oop, fadeaways, 3 point shots.

There is a misconception among every basketball player that only the all time great shooters know how to perfectly shoot the ball. Trust me; there is no secret to becoming a great shooter. It’s not something like going into the gym, and then magically, you turn into a great shooter in about an hour or two.

Nobody is born as a shooter, my boy. Even they do not come from genes, raw talent, or strong muscles. Ask Steph Curry, regarded as the greatest shooter of all times by many, how much hard work he had put it. Pure shooters relentlessly have put hours of hard work on skill development in the gym.

Many do not know how to shoot a basketball correctly. They don’t have any idea about the correct shooting technique. Usually, your body and mind remember the last shot you have just taken. So, the more bad habits you have, the harder it will be for you to become a great shooter.

So, you must pay attention to learning correct basketball shooting techniques and practicing various shooting drills. And if you can become a good shooter of basketball, the coach will surely find a spot for you just because he has to.

So, here are some different practice techniques that you can use to ensure your shooting sessions are more than efficient and improve your shot accuracy and mental aspects like visualization and confidence.

1. Know The B.E.E.F Principle

B.E.E.F in basketball stands for practicing a proper shooting method. Balance, eyes, elbow and follow through. Balance helps you to shoot in a perfect rhythm and confidence. Eyes tell you to focus on the target, elbows maintain your trajectory, alignment, arc, and follow through with stable arms to complete the shot.

2. Balance

If you want to become a great shooter, it is essential to have a proper balance when shooting. Most often, shots are missed because they are taken with improper balance and without any kind of rhythm. After all, balance is the geometry between the body, ball and hoop.

Maintaining good balance shall see you develop into a more consistent and accurate shooter. So time to stop taking off-balanced shots.

3. Positioning Yourself

The accuracy of your shot is highly influenced by the position of your arm, hand and head. When getting ready to shoot the ball, your shooting arm and hand should form a “C” shape. You can also do the following things:

a. When you’re catching or picking up the ball to get into your shot, drop low with a 1-2 step.

b. While you’re stepping into your shot, try to create a straight line between your right heel and left toes. Just like Dirk does, you can also keep your right foot at the right side of the rim and left foot to the left side. Remember one thing if you square your feet with rim, this will also square your elbows and shoulders.

4. Bulls Eye

Make up your mind to shoot, raise up, lock your eyes onto the rim, hit right into the middle of the basket. So often, players don’t actually aim into the hoop, rush their shots a bit, and ultimately miss the target.

If you locate the rim just for a split second before your shot, this will give your brain an extra few seconds to calculate the distance and focus on the basket. Chances are great to make a shot count if you lock your eyes on the rim as early as possible. Picking one spot on the rim to focus on maybe the trick you’ll find beneficial.

a. Front of the rim
b. Back of the rim
c. Total rim

Pick one location of the rim and develop consistency with your shot. Stay committed to focusing on only that part of the rim which you‘ve just chosen.

5. Elbows

When you have the ball in your hands and gearing up for the shot, try to bring the elbow in above your knee. So, your shooting elbow should be pointing at the center of the target every time. In this way, you can ensure straight shots.

Bring up your shooting elbow high, right between your nose and eye level. So any possibility of falling short on your shots will be no more. Remember, a great shooter doesn’t force or push his shots. He just lifts them high. He keeps his elbows close to the body while preparing to shoot.

6. Hand Position on The Ball

Perfect hand position and grip on the ball can ensure your shot goes where you want it to be. The technique you place your hands on and hold the ball shall determine how the ball flies out of your hands. Do as we say.

a. Give your dominant hand on top of the ball. Spread your fingers comfortably.

b. Now, place your off hand on the side of the ball.

Maintain a loose grip. Allow the ball to sit softly on your finger pads. Avoid using the palm.

7. Shot Pocket

You have to identify which one is your most comfortable shot pocket position. This can vary from player to player. For e.g it can be from the center of your forehead to the right of your head or slightly above your head. You don’t need to match your shot pocket with other guys. Focus on what works best for you.

8. Fire The Shot

Now you are ready to take the shot. Fire it with your index and middle finger.

9. Hold Your Pose

Always hold you're following through. Yeah, you’ve probably heard this a thousand times. But can you answer me why you need to keep holding you're following through?

Because this is already proven that shooters who held their follow through have got a much more sound technique and chance to shoot accurately. This solves a multitude of shooting problems and ensures your body goes through the full range of motion of the shot.

a. When you’re firing a shot, keep your elbow raised and straight.

b. Wrinkle your wrist when you cock back your shooting hand with the ball. That will give you greater momentum to finish up the follow through.

c. Use a flick of the wrist to finish the shot everytime.

d. Keep your eyes on the hoop, not on the ball. Hold your pose until the ball goes through the basket.

e. Follow through with your body. Your shot accuracy will be improved a lot.

10. Practice Form Shooting and Improve BEEF

Form shooting is the quickest way to improve your mechanics and to increase your muscle memory. You should shoot dozens and dozens of shots during warm up or practice sessions. Having proper basketball shooting form is essential to become a good basketball shooter. This can ultimately improve your BEEF.

11. Take More form Shots

You should use every warm up or practice to put up 30,50, or even 100 form shots. Start slowly then increase the pace to the game speed. You need to get your shooting mechanics right and generate more power from your legs and arms. Keep practicing until you start to shoot like a well-oiled machine. And this basketball shooting form will give you plenty of benefits.

12. Catch Ball In A Shot Ready Position

If you’re ready to shoot the ball as soon as you catch it, you can definitely improve your shots' speed and accuracy. Slightly bend your knees and hinge the body forward at the hips. That will also add some extra power while you’re making your shot.

13. One Leg Stance

Stand on one foot to improve your balance. Position yourself near the foul line and attempt a shot by standing on one foot. Make sure you switch your legs halfway through the drill. Don’t just practice shooting only on one particular leg.

14. Change Shooting Position

Maybe you’re probably shooting from one particular position day and day out. Yeah, you have mastered shooting from that position, but what about other positions in the court? Why not practice shooting from different positions?

Make a cycle for your shooting drill. For e.g start at the foul line, move in and to the right of the hoop, then to the left, and repeat it several times.

15. Challenge Yourself

Why not ask yourself some questions now and then? Try to make one handed shot when you feel you have good form with your two handed shots.

16. Have A Growth Mindset

Believing in yourself is the way to become a great shooter. That should remind you always that you’re a constant work in progress.

17. Be The Student Of The Game

Consider yourself as a student when someone makes a comment or two about your game. You have to learn continuously to keep improving. Do you think Steph Curry has stopped learning after becoming the world’s best shooter?

18. Try Varieties Of Shots

Try out point-blank range, short-range, middle range, and long-range shots. Even go for lay-ups, free throws, bank shots, or jump shots from beneath or beyond the 3 point line.

19. Make A Workout Routine

Only a routine basketball habit can make your dream come true. You may have to do so many things in your day to day life. So, make a schedule for everything. This will help you to find some hours for shooting sessions. Try to maintain a 35 hour work per week.

20. Film Your Shot-Measure The Progress

Whether your shot mechanics is correct or not, you can only understand if you can see your shot. Watching your shot can help you to detect poor mechanics. Then you can do the necessary things to refine your shot.

21. Get A Partner

If you have to chase the ball after playing the shot in shooting practice, you may lose out on an opportunity to throw thousands of shots. Also, you are having too much break in between shots which isn’t ideal for building up consistency. To be a great shooter, you need to have a consistent shooting form. Until that point, you should deliver shots after shots.

If you can manage a partner, you will probably be able to throw down 4X as many shots in the same amount of time as you would if you had to chase the ball.

Otherwise, if you shoot and immediately have to follow the ball, you may mess up the all important follow through. You must finish your shot with a follow through. That is exactly why we are suggesting you get a partner to rebound.

22. Get A Return Device

You may not always get someone to join you at a shooting session. However, you can certainly minimize the amount of time that you may need to spend on chasing the ball if you use a basketball return machine. You can only become a great shooter by hours of practice. So, if you can take more shots, then there will be greater chances for you to become a better shooter than before.

23. Shoot Faster

If you can shoot the ball faster, the opponent will find it difficult to block. It will also give you a much more “good look” at the hoop. A good defense can close out their opponent quickly. But if you can get a shot off ridiculously in a quick time, then there will be lesser chances for the defenders to get to you in time.

So, you have to implement some fast release shooting drills to make your shot absolutely accurate in the game.

24. Keep Your Shots Relaxed

You should keep your shot motion balanced, fluid and consistent meaning there will be no jerky movements or stoppages. Just one consistent flow from start to finish.

It should be a smooth process. Everytime you shoot your feet, arms, setpoint, jump height should be relaxed and use a consistent motion overall. Great shooters of basketball make the shooting look pleasing and easy on the eye.

25. Finish With A Relaxed Wrist

Many young athletes make a common mistake- this is follow through with a tensed wrist. They keep their wrist tight and tense while holding the pose for the photographers.

As a result, they can’t straighten their shooting arm and doesn’t generate too much power with the wrist. Keep in mind that your hand should finish on the line and even bounce a little when you perform the follow through.

26. Develop Arc

Can you tell me how many of your shots had bounced out of the rim just because you missed by a small fraction? You must finish your follow through with the rim visible beneath the fingers of your shooting hand. This will make sure you have a decent arc on the ball.

If you shoot the ball with the proper arc, it will approach the rim at a lower speed and give less variation if it hits the rim. The perfect arc for every player will be different. For e.g if you’re a tall guy, you should release the ball from a higher position, which means you’ll need less arc.

27. Use Rim Reducer

You can use a rim reducer to make the rim smaller. As a result, you will get a better arc on your shots, and they will be even more accurate from now on.

28. Build Your Confidence With 50 Easy Shots

If you are confident and have faith in your ability, then you can become a great shooter. How can you grow your confidence then? This is a very much important point.

Do warm up with 40-50 shots from 5-10 feet away from the hoop. These easy shots will make you used to watch the ball go into the basket. This will do a world of good to your confidence. Even if you’re able to make 60% or 70% of your total shot into the hoop, don’t be disheartened. It will be great for your psyche.

Top NBA shooters never forget to practice this before their games. This is what makes them successful. So, you can’t overlook this powerful mantra.

29. Jump higher

If you can improve your jump height, you will be releasing the ball from a much higher position. So less arc will be needed. Therefore, margin of error will be greater. This will also make it harder for defenders to jump at your height and block.

30. Good Stance Is Necessary

Having a good stance will help you to shoot consistently with balance. You can do as below:

a. Keep your feet shoulder wide apart
b. Dominant foot should be ahead of the other foot.
c. Bend your knees
d. Keep your head pointed towards the basket during the shot
e. Feel comfortable throughout the shot

31. Watch Your Heroes

Study the best shooters in the game. Watch their DVDs closely and get ideas what little but effective changes they are making to their game. Because sometimes shooting can be more than just a sound technique, a mental state. Watching good shooters hit shots after shots will help you to build your confidence and form. This can be so much contagious. If you want to take your shooting to the next level, then you must follow the footsteps of the NBA legends.

32. Fix Your Bad Habits

During practice session if you don’t correct yourself immediately after making a false shot, you may rue the fact later. Because you’re entering into the game along with your same bad habit. You shall make the same mistake there too.

For instance: if you ever forget to follow through then raise your hand back up and put the hands in the correct follow through. That’s how you can give up your bad habits.

33. Ask A Partner To Chart Your Shots

Suppose you go to gym and hit 50 shots on a daily basis. If you can track how many of those shots fell short, too long, to the right or to the left then it will be easy for you to determine where you need to give more attention.

For e.g if your shot goes too long or too short then you have to adjust the power and work on distance control. And if it goes to the right or left far too often the fix the mechanics of your arm and foot alignment.

33. Practice

Practice is consistency. Consistency is practice. This is beyond any doubt that the best way to become a better shooter in basketball is to practice more and more.

Pro Tips For Basketball Shooters:

1Use a colored ball to improve the straightness of your shots. This will make it easy for you to see the rotation and direction of the ball.

2. You should never try to correct your shooting mechanics during a game. It should be done during the practice session. Now, stop thinking about your previous shot. It is past now. It has gone. Yeah, you are going to miss a few. Think about what lies ahead. Otherwise, you may mess it up in a big time.

3. Motivate yourself. Do not feel down at any time. Keep saying this to yourself “I can do better, and I will prove myself to everyone”. Eliminate all the negative thoughts from your mind.

4. After making the shot, try to land in front of where you had attempted the shot. This will eventually ensure that your momentum goes towards the basket every time.

5. Don’t waste your money on shooting gloves and gimmicks. You can’t use them during a game. Even someone as great as LeBron James once tweeted saying “Man please stop it”

6. You can use your eyebrows and eyes to fake the defenders. So they jump at you, and the rest is bread and butter.

7. You should look to visualize that you’re shooting like Steph Curry. You’re giving a perfect follow through. Use this technique to boost up your confidence

8. Do some basketball shooting drills

Here you go. By following these simple ways, you can be on your way to becoming a great shooter. There is absolutely no magic pill to becoming a great shooter, but sound technique and relentless practice can work like magic. Believe that.

If your query was how to become a better shooter in basketball, we hope your purpose of coming to this blog has become successful.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get to the gym, implement what you have learned, and through down more shots!

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