17 Basketball Shooting Tips
Set Shot: Part 3

Improve your scoring ability with these basketball shooting tips.

This is Part 3 in our series of learning how to shoot a basketball set shot.

Basketball Shooting Form

Part 1: Tips #1-4

1.   Alignment
2.   Square up
3.   Balance 
4.   Aim

Part 2: Tips #5-11

5.   Eyes
6.   Hand position
7.   Wrist
8.   Elbow
9.   Shooting pocket
10. Feet
11. Legs

PART 3: Tips #12-17

12. Shot release
13. Arc 
14. Ball rotation
15. Follow through
16. Full body extension
17. Timing

Learn how to shoot other basic shots

Basketball Shooting Tips #12
Shot release

basketball shooting tips

The position of your shooting arm when you release the ball determines the trajectory, or arc, that the ball will travel.

Release the ball too high, and the shot is like to go high and short.

Release the shot too low, and the ball heads toward the basket in a straight line like a bullet.

Think of your shooting arm like a hand on a clock. If you raise it straight above your head, it would be in the 12:00 position.

On your shot release, you want to let go of the ball when your arm is at 1:00. That angle of release will give it a nice loft toward the basket.

Basketball Shooting Tips #13

basketball shooting tips

The actual size of the basket is a lot bigger than it looks.

A lot of people don't realize it, but two balls can easily fit through the rim side by side at the same time. That's great news for a shooter!

The best way to take advantage of the large target is to shoot the ball with a high enough arc so that it drops through the rim from above.

Since the rim is much larger than the ball, there is room for shooting error. With good arc, the ball has a chance of dropping through even if it is slightly off target.

Basketball Shooting Tips #14
Ball rotation

When you release the ball it should have a nice backward rotation on it. That indicates you have released it properly off of the pads of your fingers with good wrist flexion.

The last fingers to touch the ball should be the index finger and middle finger.

Work on snapping the wrist and releasing the ball off of these two fingers with a medium speed backward rotation.

Basketball Shooting Tips #15
Follow through

How to shoot a basketball - follow through

At the completion of your shot, the elbow should extend fully and the wrist flex completely so the fingers point to the ground.

I like to imagine the basket is a huge cookie jar.

My shooting arm stretches up, and my wrist reaches right over the rim and down into the jar.

Some people call it a "gooseneck."

The follow through is what gives the ball a nice backspin and soft touch that allows it to drop in after hitting the backboard or rim.

Basketball Shooting Tips #16
Full body extension

Before the shot, your weight should be forward toward the balls of your feet with your knees bent and your shooting arm tucked in to the side of your body.

As you go up for the shot, your whole body kind of unfolds.

Extend your legs first, then your hips, your shooting shoulder, your elbow, and you end the shot up on your toes with your wrist completely flexed like its reaching down inside the basket.

It takes practice to make this progression a smooth one, but it's important that the motion has a steady rhythm to it and isn't jerky.

Basketball Shooting Tips #17

It takes a lot of repetitions to get the shooting form into a well-timed smooth, rhythmical motion.

Start in slow motion focusing on each body part from the ground up.

Notice how your body transitions from bending your knees to full extension of the legs and hips, to extension of the arm, to a complete follow through with the wrist.

Repeat the basketball shooting form without a ball over and over again to train the muscles of the body what good form feels like.

All right, it's time for a Quick Alignment Check!

  • Square up to the basket and hold the ball against the thigh with your shooting hand.
  • Look down. Your foot, knee, ball, shooting hand, shooting arm, and shoulder should be in a nice straight line.
  • Bring your shooting elbow up into an "L" position to put the ball in the shooting pocket.
  • Look down and check again. Your foot, knee, hip, elbow, wrist, shoulder, ball, and eye should all be in line.

Looks good!

basketball shooting tips

Home > Basketball Shooting Drills > Shooting a Set Shot: Part 3