30 Tips To Help Become a Better Shooter

30 Shooting TipsShooting is without a doubt the single most important skill in basketball. It also is a lost art and is on the decline at every level. There are very few great shooters. Why is this? It is a combination of factors that we will discuss that range from proper release all the way to having the right mindset. It is first and foremost a skill, but without tons of repetition it is a skill that will lack the fine tuning it needs to become great. Shooting is also a skill that any player no matter their skill level can improve. There are no excuses as to why you can not become a better shooter. All you need is a goal and a ball. It has to be a priority and you must be dedicated.

Each potential player learning how to shoot a basketball must learn that it takes good concentration, hard work and plenty of practice to develop a good shooting eye. There’s an old adage that says “shooters are made and not born.” This is absolutely true. They are of necessity made through many long hours of practice and more practice. Whether it is dribbling, ball handling, shooting or learning other phases of the game one thing is certain-practicing is important. Decades ago,when Bill Bradley played for Princeton he had a motto which said, “You gotta practice and practice and practice because if you don’t, somewhere someone else is practicing and when he meets you he will beat you.”If you care to follow the above motto you can develop into a deadly shooter. Just remember there is no instant success to being a good shooter. Shooting habits must be carefully developed over a period of time. This gives the beginner learning the game lots of positive confidence.

Dr. James Naismith the inventor of basketball said, “Basketball is a game easy to play, but difficult to master.” There is no easy way to acquire the skill of shooting a basketball efficiently. It takes perseverance, determination, willingness to work, and practice. The players who do not have, or will not develop these qualities of character, will be a liability rather than an asset. These are 12 ways to becoming a better shooter. Following these points will not only help you become a better shooter, but also a more confident one. Try to keep in mind the following shooting tips:

Thirty Shooting Tips to Better Your Game

  1. A Basic Stance For Good Body Balance – knees slightly bent, back a little forward, shoulders squared away to the basket, feet 6-8 inches apart with the right or left foot slightly advanced. About 4-5 inches.
  2. Hold the ball with the right or left hand {if you are a southpaw} behind the ball, finger pad control, palms free of the ball, elbow close to the side, ball held slightly to the right side of the face, left or right hand above the shooting hand for an open window so both eyes are focusing on the basket. When shooting the ball keep your elbow straight, keep an open window,  follow through with backspin on the ball while snapping your wrist at the end of your shot. The target is the front end of the rim.
  3. Don’t worry about following the ball when it is released.
  4. Concentration on Imaginary Shooting is Important – See the shot go through the basket in your mind. My Grandpa told my dad and my dad told me imagine a little man in your head and he never misses a shot. Visualize the shot going through net every single time.
  5. Learn to Shoot Accurately in the 50-55% Bracket – Knowing what is a good shot is also a big part of becoming a good shooter.
  6. Recognize and Understand Depth Perception – A one eyed shooter does not have depth and he will be either short or long on his shots. – Words From My Father Pete Maravich
  7. Don’t over dramatize your shooting form.
  8. Learn to freeze your hand from the wrist up if you don’t know how to snap your wrist for coordination.
  9. Add Different Shots to Your Repertoire – A good defender will take away certain moves and shots.The more variety of shots you have in your arsenal the harder you’ll be to defend.
  10. Beginners and young players not physically strong enough should not imitate their peers by shooting out of their range or bad habits will develop.
  11. While you are learning the basics of shooting at ages 6-9, shoot the 2 handed set shot, than later from 10-12 years the one handed push shot and the final step the jump shot should not be tried until you reach the age of 13 or older if you are strong enough.  – Words From My Father Pete Maravich
  12. Remember shoot your age plus one foot – If you are 10 years of age, add one foot to your range and shoot a 11 foot shot. If you decide to go further back you are gradually and unnoticeably developing bad shooting habits.  – Words From My Father Pete Maravich
  13. You do not need to jump your maximum every time you shoot.
  14. Do not release the ball at the height of your jump, but just a split second before you reach the high point. This is important. In other words,release the ball just as soon as your feet leave the floor. – Words From My Father Pete Maravich
  15. Don’t take crazy shots.Know when and where to shoot your shots to increase your percentage for better results.
  16. Learn other shots near the basket because of the presence of shot blockers in the free throw or paint area.
  17. Learn to be a quick shooter and shoot the ball that if you miss the ball will hang near the hoop.This will give your front line rebounders a chance to tip it in.
  18. When you have a shot at 10-12 feet from the hoop at 45 degrees remember to use the backboard for a greater percentage return.
  19. When fatigue sets in each player should shoot with a little more arc so the ball doesn’t fall short from the range he is shooting.
  20. On the fast break remember when you are blazing in for a layup keep your eyes on the target. Always have head up towards the rim.
  21. A coach should alter or correct a shooter’s style only if he is a poor percentage shooter,especially in competitive games.  – Words From My Father Pete Maravich
  22. With the evolution of the game of basketball it will continue to see better athletes with more speed and leaping ability thus making the shooter aware that he will have to learn how to practice releasing the ball quickly.
  23. Player’s should learn how to maneuver to get open for good shots: example, you can learn how to get shots off the screen, off the dribble. Back doors, quick cuts, change of direction etc.
  24. If a shooter is experiencing an off night early in the game stop shooting for a moment or two and figure out what your trouble may be. You may be out of your range or your form is off. Meanwhile, work all the other parts of your game.
  25. Learn how to vary the arc of the ball at different positions on the floor thru good concentration on the rim.  – Words From My Father Pete Maravich
  26. On free throw shooting, shoot the foul shots that fits your best style. Also have the same routine at the foul line every single time.  – Words From My Father Pete Maravich
  27. You must keep your elbow perpendicular to the rim. This is absolutely a must. Keep it straight.
  28. Once you learn the proper fundamentals of shooting, do not take to many suggestions or confusion will set in.  – Words From My Father Pete Maravich
  29. Remember the open window and be sure both eyes are on the target.
  30. Lastly Patience is a Virtue– Good shooters are made. So have fun learning how to shoot.

Those are 30 tips to help you to become a better shooter. Some of the tips are geared more towards younger players. A good little saying to remember is never up never in. Meaning if you do not have proper arc on your shot you will never be consistent. A line drive shot will not bounce on the rim. It will ricochet off thus giving you a significantly less chance of making the shot. The word beef is also an easy way to remember proper shooting mechanics.The B is for Balance. The first E is for Eyes. the second E for Elbow and F for Follow Through. Having these four things will give you the base of becoming a good shooter. The rest is up to hard work and repetition.

Why You Need to Become a Better Shooter

The more you work on your shot and your game the more results will come your way. There are no shortcuts. Shooting no matter your skill level can be improved. How bad do you want to become a better shooter? There is always room on a team for a good shooter.You can never have too many shooters. It is a skill every coach needs and wants on his team.

It is no coincidence that teams that usually shoot the higher field goal percentage in games win. Shot selection is also a key. A bad shot sometimes can be just like a turnover. Always know time and situation during the game. Some of these tips are very basic , but i can not stress the importance of fundamentals. Basketball is a easy game that we as players and coaches a lot of times overcomplicate. Fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals especially with shooting will help you achieve your desired goals of becoming what you want to be. Don’t waste any more time. Get in the gym and start applying these tips. Some you may already have or some maybe to basic for your age or skill level, but every player at any level can apply some of these tips to their shooting. Remember fundamentals never change.

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