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Coaching Principle - The Art of Shooting

"Great shooters are made through hours and hours of practice, repetition, and sacrifice. Practice and sacrifice are necessary for all athletes, but repetition is the key to becoming a great shooter."

"Shooters are made by shooting a basketball over and over correctly. If a player does not practice shooting a basketball correctly, he will not become a better shooter. Shooting a basketball is a muscle-memory reflex in that all body parts must go through the same motions every time the basketball is shot. The entire body must be memorized to do the same thing each time the basketball is shot. The basketball must be shot the same way every time."

"The skill of shooting a basketball can only be accomplished through repetition and hours and hours of practicing properly. The following are four basic steps in shooting a basketball. Each is simple to learn but take repetition to master."



1. Feet

·         Right foot forward four to six inches (for a right hand shooter).

·         Feet should be straight not sideways

·         Feet are a comfortable distance apart-shoulder width apart.

·         Feet pointed toward the basket.

·         Weight on balls of feet not on heels.

2. Legs

·         Legs bent at knees to have proper balance (not straight legged).

·         Legs flexed when the ball is caught.

·         Legs under body.

·         Power comes from legs.

3. Body

·         Head, trunk, feet in vertical line.

·         Body cannot be leaning forward or backwards.

·         All body parts under control.

·         Head directly below mid-point between feet.

·         Head control body balance.


1. Elbow

·         All is guided by elbow.

·         All will go in direction in which elbow is pointed.

·         Elbow in and pointed toward basket.

·         Elbow under the ball, not floating.

·         Elbow raised according to individual strength (right angle.)

·         Right foot, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and index finger should all be in a straight vertical line (for right hand shooters).

·         Elbow must be straight.

2. Hands

·         All held with fingers not palms or finger tips (middle and last finger joints).

·         Index finger of shooting hand should be in the middle of the ball with thumb supporting the ball.

·         Remaining three fingers hold ball in place.

·         Opposite hand is used to hold ball in place (Fingers not palm).

·         Opposite elbow out with wrist cocked.

·         Ball should be caught in shooting position.

3. Wrist

·         Wrist should be cocked and under the ball as far as possible.

·         Wrist in comfortable position.

·         Wrist provides power, control, and arch.


·         Eyes focused on the front of the rim (middle prong).

·         Ball shot to go over the front of the rim.

·         Eyes should never follow the flight of the ball but remain focused on the front of the rim (concentration).

·         Confidence-knowing the ball is going in.


·         The shooting hand (index finger) must be pointed into the rim (not snapped downward).

·         A goose neck ending is a proper release

·         Hand straight forward or slightly turned outward (never turned inwards toward body).

·         Opposite hand stays in place.