Basketball Shots Need Help?

Sink more of your basketball shots by learning how to identify and correct your own shooting errors with these trouble-shooting basketball tips.

Great players have a lot of offensive weapons...

They are excellent ball handlers, they move without the ball, and they can score all over the court.

Great players know how to score on a breakaway lay-up, and they nail the free throw when they get fouled.

They hit consistently when they have the open set shot, and they are deadly with their jump shot.

Great players have mastered the shooting technique for each of these basketball shots.

And they also know how to pinpoint the cause of their shooting errors and make corrections.

You need to do the same.

Former NBA Assistant and NCAA II Championship Coach, Hal Wissel, believes great shooters are made, not born!

Learn the same innovative lead-up and challenge drills he teaches at his SHOOT IT BETTER Mini Camps for NBA players and prospects, along with demonstrations of shooting errors and corrections.

By watching the demonstrations in this DVD, players can recognize an error they may be making and learn how to correct it. 

basketball shooting

Players will gain a better understanding of their own shot and learn how to become their own coach.

Learn how to correct: a slow rhythm, not using legs, incomplete follow through, low arc, side rotation of shooting hand, ball shot off wrong finger, hand moving on ball, thumbing, lowering, swiveling, ball on palm and/ or watching the flight of ball.

The basketball tips listed below will help you diagnose and correct problems you're having with any of your basketball shots.

*Note: The shooting technique for the set shot, jump shot, and free throw share a lot of similarities. So, instead of repeating the same tips over and over again, refer to the set shot first and then note the additional comments for the jump shot and free throw.

Trouble-Shooting Tips for Common Problems

Basketball Shots
Set Shot

PROBLEM: Shot goes off to the right or left

  • Shooting elbow, wrist, and hand are not lined up properly
  • Feet, hips, and shoulders are not squared up to the basket 
  • Feet are not pointed directly at the basket 
  • Shooting hand is not centered on the ball 
  • Non-shooting hand is pushing the ball 
  • Index finger and thumb of the shooting hand are not making a comfortable "V." They are too close together or too far apart 
  • Ball is lined up on the side of the body and the shot is pushed across the body 

PROBLEM: Shot is short

  • There is not enough power from the legs. Push off the floor harder 
  • Feet are spread too far apart, which decreases the power from the legs 
  • Shooter does not follow-through with elbow extension and snapping of the wrist
  • Rhythm and timing of the shot is off. The legs are not moving in sync with the shooting arm, so the shot loses power

PROBLEM: Shot is long

  • Shooting arm releases the ball with too flat a trajectory; the ball doesn't have enough arc on it 
  • Your shoulders lean back 
  • Shooting hand and non-shooting hand are too far apart, so the ball is pushed 
  • Shooting arm is not completely extended when the ball is released 
  • Shooter pushes forward off of the floor instead of straight up

PROBLEM: Shot is inconsistent

  • Shooting elbow, wrist, and hand are not lined up properly every time 
  • Ball is cocked over the shoulder rather than in the shooting pocket 
  • Head moves backward when the ball is released 
  • Shooting elbow sticks out from the side of the body
  • Shooter doesn't follow through
  • Shooting rhythm is jerky instead of smooth
  • Ball is released off of the ring finger instead of the index and middle finger "V"
  • Ball rests flat on the palm, which doesn't allow for any touch or control on the ball
  • Shooter's eyes aren't on the target during the entire shot
  • Non-shooting hand influences the shot by rotating behind the ball and causing a sidespin or getting the thumb in the way to push the ball

Basketball Shots
Jump Shot

Look at the tips for a Set Shot above and then add the following:

PROBLEM: Shot goes off to the right or left 

  • Shooter jumps off balance to one side instead of going straight up

PROBLEM: Shot is short

  • Ball is released on the way down rather than near the top of the jump
  • Shooting arm is overextended back over the head before the arm moves forward

PROBLEM: Shot is inconsistent

  • Ball is cocked too far back over the head

basketball shots

Basketball Shots
Free Throw

Look at the tips for a Set Shot above and then add the following:

PROBLEM: Shot is inconsistent

  • You change your free throw routine every time you go to the free throw line
  • Your muscles are tight because you're tense before and during your shot
  • You use a slower or different rhythm on your free throw than you use when shooting from the court
  • You are distracted by what's going on around you, and you don't concentrate on the rim
  • You lack confidence, and your mind is full of negative thoughts
  • You cut your follow through short by stepping back off the line quickly to get back on defense or by going in too quickly for the rebound

basketball shots

Basketball Shots

PROBLEM: Shot is inconsistent

  • You jump forward rather than upward. Your forward motion causes the ball to slam into the backboard or rim with a flat trajectory instead of banking up high off the backboard so it can drop in. 
  • You go too fast, get off balance, and lose control of the ball so it comes off your shooting hand improperly.
  • You are out of control on your take-off, so you charge into your defender and then can't get back on defense quickly.
  • You swing the ball to the side before taking it up for the shot, exposing it to the defense. This allows the defender to block the shot or steal the ball.

basketball shots

The best way to improve your shooting skills is with a lot of practice using good basketball shooting drills and basketball shooting games.

When it comes to correcting mistakes, video is a helpful tool for helping coaches and players identify and correct errors in shooting form.

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