Learn Proper Technique for Textbook Shooting Form

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What separates an elite shooter from average ones? The elite shooter is confident every shot she takes is going in the basket. Having confidence in your game—and your shooting ability, more specifically—starts with learning proper shooting technique.

Brush up on your fundamentals and shoot with textbook form with tips from renowned shooting specialist Dave Hopla:

Elements of the Shot

Staggered Stance: Assume slightly staggered position with shooting foot in front; keep slight bend in knees and waist.

Toe to Target: Point toe of shooting foot directly at hoop; bring shoulders in front of toes and head in front of shoulders.

Letter L: Form letter "L" with shooting arm.

Wrist Wrinkles: Cock shooting wrist until skin on back wrist wrinkles, allowing only fingertips of balance hand to touch ball. Do not apply too much pressure with balance hand.

Elbow Above Eyebrow: Keep shooting elbow above eyebrow through finish.

Hand in Hoop: Visualize putting shooting hand in hoop when releasing ball. Keep eyes on target; don't watch flight of ball.

Freeze Your Follow-Through: After releasing ball, freeze follow-through until ball hits floor.

Shoot, Stay and Swish: Stay put until ball goes in. Says Hopla, "If you run in, the ball could bounce right over your head, back to where you just were."

Shooting Drills

Form Shooting

  • Stand two feet from hoop with ball in shooting hand
  • Using only shooting hand, take shots
  • Upon making three consecutive shots, take half step back and repeat

Coaching Points: Adhere to "Shoot, Stay and Swish" practice // Keep elbow up while moving further from basket

Spinout Series

  • Assume triple-threat position (athletic stance from which player can pass, shoot or dribble)
  • Toss ball approximately three feet in front with backspin
  • Step forward, gather ball and shoot
  • Retrieve ball; repeat for 25 shots
  • Alternate sets between spinning left, right and straight on

Coaching Points: Freeze follow-through // Adhere to "Shoot, Stay and Swish" practice

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock