How to Shoot Better in Basketball?

Morgan Wolf

shoot better in basketball

Basketball is a game that revolves around scoring points, and one of the fundamental skills required to excel in this sport is shooting. The ability to consistently make baskets is essential for players in all positions. 

Whether you’re a point guard looking to create opportunities for your team or a center dominating in the paint, improving your shooting skills can significantly enhance your overall performance on the court. 

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of shooting in basketball, explore the basic techniques, and provide invaluable tips to help you become a better shooter. Let’s get started. 

What Is Throwing Shoot in Basketball?

Shooting is a fundamental skill in basketball that involves propelling the basketball toward the hoop with the intention of scoring points. It is often referred to as “throwing a shot” or “taking a shot.” 

Shooting requires a delicate balance of physical coordination, technical skills, and mental focus. The act of shooting begins with a player’s ability to properly position their body and align themselves with the target.

This includes establishing a balanced stance, positioning the feet shoulder-width apart, and ensuring that the shooting hand is aligned with the center of the basket. 

Maintaining a strong grip on the ball with the shooting hand, while the non-shooting hand provides gentle support, is also crucial for a successful shot.

Executing a successful shot involves a fluid shooting motion that incorporates various elements. It starts with a controlled dip of the ball to generate power and rhythm, followed by an upward extension of the shooting arm. 

What Are the Basic Shooting Techniques in Basketball?

How to Shoot Better in Basketball


To shoot better in basketball, it is vital to master basic shooting techniques. These techniques include:

Stance and Balance

Start with a balanced stance, feet shoulder-width apart, and align your shooting hand with the center of the basket.

Grip and Hand Placement

Hold the ball with your shooting hand, fingers spread evenly, and place your non-shooting hand gently on the side for support.

Body Alignment

Square your shoulders, hips, and feet towards the basket, allowing for a fluid motion and a straight-shooting path.

Shooting Motion

Begin the shooting motion by dipping the ball down to generate power, extending your shooting arm upward, releasing the ball with a flick of the wrist, and following through with your shooting hand.

Arc and Aim

Aim for a high arc on your shot to increase the chances of it dropping into the basket, and focus on hitting your target on the backboard or directly in the center of the hoop.

How to Shoot Better in Basketball?

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s explore some practical tips to help you improve your shooting skills:

Practice Makes Perfect

Dedicate regular time to shooting drills and repetitions to refine your technique, muscle memory, and shooting rhythm. The more you practice shooting, the more familiar you become with the mechanics and nuances of a successful shot. 

Set aside specific practice sessions solely for shooting, focusing on different aspects of your technique such as footwork, hand placement, and release. 

Incorporate various shooting drills that simulate game scenarios, such as catch-and-shoot drills, dribble pull-ups, or shooting off screens. 

By consistently engaging in purposeful practice, you train your muscles to execute the proper shooting form naturally, improving your overall shooting accuracy and consistency.

Develop a Consistent Routine

Develop a Consistent Routine

Establishing a pre-shot routine is vital for improving concentration and consistency in your shooting. 

A routine helps you prepare mentally and physically before each shot, creating a familiar sequence that becomes ingrained in your muscle memory. 

Your routine may involve specific actions like bouncing the ball a certain number of times, taking a deep breath, or visualizing a successful shot. 

By following the same routine before every shot, you enter a focused state of mind and build confidence in your ability to execute the shot effectively. 

Consistency in your routine translates to consistency in your shooting performance, as it eliminates unnecessary variables and provides a sense of familiarity and control.

Work on Core Strength and Balance

Strengthening your core muscles and improving your balance is crucial for shooting stability. Your core muscles, including your abdominal, back, and hip muscles, provide a solid foundation for generating power and maintaining balance during the shooting motion. 

Incorporate exercises like planks, Russian twists, squats, lunges, and medicine ball rotations to strengthen your core and improve stability. 

A strong core allows you to transfer energy efficiently from your lower body to your shooting arm, resulting in a smoother and more controlled shot. 

Additionally, balance exercises such as single-leg squats or yoga poses can help improve your stability on the court, enabling you to maintain proper shooting alignment and follow-through.

Focus on Shot Selection

Making smart decisions about shot selection is crucial for shooting better in basketball. Instead of settling for contested or low-percentage shots, analyze the game situation, defender positioning, and shooting range to identify high-percentage opportunities. 

This involves recognizing when to take open shots, driving to the basket, or passing to an open teammate. 

By being mindful of shot selection, you maximize your chances of success and improve your shooting efficiency. Remember, it’s not just about shooting more; it’s about shooting smart.

Visualize Success

Mental imagery and positive visualization can have a profound impact on improving shooting performance. 

Before shooting, take a moment to visualize yourself executing a perfect shot, seeing the ball leave your hand with precision, and effortlessly swishing through the net. 

Visualizing success helps build confidence in your abilities and primes your mind and body for a successful shot. Combine visualization with positive self-talk, affirmations, and a belief in your shooting skills. 

By training your mind to focus on success and eliminating doubts or distractions, you enhance your concentration, boost confidence, and elevate your overall shooting performance. 

Visualization is a powerful tool that complements physical practice and can significantly improve your shooting abilities.

By implementing these strategies and focusing on refining your technique, developing consistency, building strength and balance, making smart shot selections, and harnessing the power of visualization, you can shoot better in basketball and elevate your game to new heights.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Basketball Shooting

To shoot better, it’s essential to identify and rectify common mistakes that can hinder your shooting efficiency. Let’s delve deeper into these mistakes and understand why they impact your shooting performance:

Poor Shot Mechanics

Inconsistent grip, release, or follow-through can significantly affect your shooting accuracy. 

Your grip on the ball should be firm but not too tight, with your shooting hand’s fingers evenly spread. The inconsistent release can result in unpredictable trajectories and inaccurate shots. 

Additionally, a flawed follow-through, such as not fully extending your shooting arm or failing to maintain a straight wrist, can lead to inconsistencies in shot placement.

Lack of Proper Footwork

Proper footwork is crucial for balance, stability, and alignment during a shot. Failing to align your body and feet correctly can throw off your balance and disrupt your shooting motion. 

Ensure that your feet are shoulder-width apart, with your shooting foot slightly ahead of the non-shooting foot. Align your shooting hand, shooting eye, and shooting foot to establish a fluid shooting path and maximize shooting accuracy.

Insufficient Lower Body Involvement

Shooting power and range are heavily influenced by the involvement of your lower body. Neglecting to utilize leg power and not fully engaging your lower body can result in weak and short-range shots. 

As you initiate your shooting motion, bend your knees and generate power by pushing off the ground with your legs. This leg drive transfers energy to your upper body, adding power and distance to your shot.

Rushed Shots

Shooting without proper preparation can lead to rushed shots, negatively impacting shooting percentages. Skipping your shooting routine, which includes mental preparation and physical actions, can disrupt your focus and rhythm. 

It’s important to take the time to align your body, set your feet, and mentally visualize the shot before releasing the ball. Additionally, taking contested shots under pressure without considering shot selection can reduce your shooting accuracy.

Lack of Confidence

Confidence plays a vital role in shooting performance. Doubting your shooting abilities can lead to hesitation, overthinking, and a decline in shooting rhythm and accuracy. 

Building confidence in your shooting skills requires consistent practice, positive reinforcement, and mental preparation. Focus on your strengths, visualize successful shots, and maintain a positive mindset to boost your confidence on the court.


How can I improve my shooting accuracy in basketball?

Improving shooting accuracy requires consistent practice, focusing on proper shooting mechanics, and developing muscle memory. 

Additionally, working on core strength and balance, maintaining a consistent shooting routine, and practicing shot selection can contribute to better shooting accuracy.

What can I do to increase my shooting range?

Increasing your shooting range involves building strength in your arms and legs, developing proper shooting techniques, and gradually extending your shooting distance during practice. 

It is essential to gradually push your boundaries while maintaining good shooting form.

How can I overcome shooting slumps?

Shooting slumps are a common challenge in basketball. To overcome them, focus on staying positive, continuing to practice with confidence, and analyzing your shooting mechanics for any inconsistencies. 

Seeking guidance from coaches or teammates can also provide valuable insights and support.

Is it important to have a consistent shooting routine?

Yes, having a consistent shooting routine is crucial for developing muscle memory, improving focus, and maintaining consistency in your shooting technique. 

Establishing a routine that includes specific actions and mental cues before each shot helps create a rhythm and enhances overall shooting performance.

Are there any specific drills to improve shooting skills?

Yes, there are several drills that can enhance shooting skills, such as spot shooting, form shooting, shooting off the dribble, shooting from various positions on the court, and practicing game-like scenarios. 

Consistently incorporating these drills into your practice sessions can significantly improve your shooting ability.

Bottom Line

Becoming a better shooter in basketball requires dedication, practice, and a commitment to honing your skills. 

By understanding the basic shooting techniques, implementing the provided tips, and avoiding common mistakes, you can significantly enhance your shooting accuracy, range, and overall performance on the court. 

Remember, consistency, confidence, and a relentless pursuit of improvement are the keys to mastering the art of shooting in basketball. 

So, lace up your sneakers, grab a basketball, and start perfecting your shot today. Thank you for your time. 

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Morgan Wolf

Journalist with experience covering the intersection of sports with business. Demonstrated expertise in digital, video and social media content covering major sports including soccer, NBA, NFL, MLB, tennis and Olympic sports. But basketball is his passion. Specialties: expert for sports related content management LinkedIn