Shooting

Shooting is the first aspect of basketball everyone thinks of, and is the first part young players usually learn. When shooting a basketball, form is the most important aspect, with other aspects such as release speed, jumpshot peak, and shooting of the dribble, being more advanced topics.
There are five essential components to shooting a basketball, and nearly every youth player has done a drill involving the following components. When starting off practice, it would be beneficial to have players run through the most basic shooting drills. Basic shooting drills can also be advantageous when a player is going through a slump, sometimes reverting to the basics can help players break out of it.
To start the shooting form process, the coach should instruct players to put the ball in between their ankles. This action has two important benefits. One benefit of doing this first step is it ensures players will have proper foot spacing. Generally, when a player is shooting, their feet should be approximately shoulder width apart, being too narrow or wide would affect the shot negatively. Lastly, if a coach is running this drill it is most likely with youth players. Getting the ball out of their hands and between their ankles will help younger kids pay attention to the instruction the coach is giving them. Having feet spread apart properly also assists with balance, which is essential when shooting a jump shot.

As you can see here, Kevin Durant’s feet are about shoulder width apart, a bit wider. Clearly wide enough for a ball to fit through.
Next the players should face their feet towards the basket, or slightly to either direction depending on their handedness, but with younger players they should be faced right at the basket to ensure proper form. This should be viewed as the foundation of the jumpshot, it is necessary to ensure that the rest of the jumpshot is successful.
Then it is important to ensure players have their shooting elbow tucked in before they release. This increased both power and accuracy of the shot because it is almost as if the player is underneath the ball, using their body to push the ball forward. Doing this also makes the shot form more repeatable and consistent, which is important for younger players. When their shot form is more repeatable and consistent, it becomes a habit.

Here Stephen Curry, the greatest shooter of all time, has his elbow tucked in and is facing the basket, giving him the benefits listed above.
Lastly, it is important players hold the follow-thru on their jumpshot. This final step is important because again it makes the form more repeatable and consistent. Without a follow through, it is very hard to ensure that the shooting motion ends at the same point each time. Without a similar ending point each time, the form will be inconsistent, thus leading to inconsistent shooting.

Here Steph follows through and holds it even after the ball has been released, making his form more repeatable.
While shooting forms should be repeatable and consistent, not every player needs to have the same form. Within the guidelines above there are many unique possibilities. Not every form needs to be perfectly “textbook” and players should be able to do what is comfortable to them to a certain extent.
As present in the video, the players are demonstrating proper shooting form and even some more advanced aspects. Aspects such as a quick release, as well as a high release point are more advanced practices that could help players reach the next level. Both demonstrators also have their feet slanted a bit, helping them align their shot with the basket more.
As present in the video, the players are demonstrating proper shooting form and even some more advanced aspects. Aspects such as a quick release, as well as a high release point are more advanced practices that could help players reach the next level. Both demonstrators also have their feet slanted a bit, helping them align their shot with the basket more.

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