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How to Shoot the Basketball

Matt is a basketball enthusiast who lives and breathes basketball.

The jump-shot has been a staple of basketball since the game was first created. Over the years the three-point shot has developed and has seen a recent surge in popularity across modern basketball. People like Stephen Curry, Ray Allen, and Reggie Miller paved the way for the three-point shot becoming essential in today’s game.

Before attempting to shoot the ball, it is essential to have a solid grasp of the fundamentals. If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out my previous post about the three most important fundamentals in the game of basketball. Everybody has their own jump-shot in some sense. Some players hold the ball high above their shoulders, and others below for example. Everybody has something that differentiates their shot from others. However, there are some universal techniques that go with shooting a basketball. These four principles will help guide you in successfully making a jump-shot

1. Establish balance: This is key to maintaining consistency with your jump-shot. A good way to practice this is by jumping up and down and landing in the same spot each time. This can be done anywhere; you don’t even need a ball to practice this.

2. Elbows in: When shooting the basketball, it is key to keep your elbows in, towards your body. After the shot, your elbows should be pointed at the basket.

3. Keep your eyes on the basket: Maintaining focus is key in the game of basketball. When you don’t have the ball in your hands it is important to keep your eyes on the ball as well as the personnel on the court. When it comes to shooting, your eyes should be focused on the basket.

4. Follow Through: Everything else aside, if you don’t follow through, you won’t make the basket. This is done by dropping your wrist with your fingers straight down to the floor. Establishing a follow through prevents you from performing any movement that could alter your shot.


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Shooting the ball is a major component of basketball. In the modern NBA the three-point shot has become increasingly popular and nearly essential to a team's success. However, shooting the basketball stems from understanding and developing the fundamentals. If a player doesn't have an understanding of the fundamentals to the game, their success as a player can only go so far. While fundamentals may seem boring or repetitive at times, truly mastering them can give you great results. Just look at Tim Duncan for example, also known as “Mr. Fundamental”. Tim is the perfect example of someone who mastered the fundamentals of basketball to the highest level, and as a result, has five NBA championship rings to show for it. While the “fundamentals” of basketball can be a wide term, the three most basic and important are:

1. Dribbling: Dribbling the ball might sound simple at first glance but is the single most important aspect of basketball. Every other component in the game of basketball stems from dribbling. Hand-eye coordination is essential to the game, and all starts with dribbling the ball

2. Passing: Ball movement is essential in the game of basketball. The five players on the team must be able to pass the ball around in order to develop a “flow” on the offensive side of the ball. The two most common types of passes are:

Bounce Pass: The bounce pass involves using your momentum to bounce the ball on the ground to a teammate

Chest-pass: The chest pass involves bringing the ball to your chest and passing it to a teammate without the ball ever touching the ground.

3.Layups: A layup is regarded as one of the easiest ways to score in basketball. It involves laying the ball into the net from a close-range. A common layup involves laying it off the orange square on the backboard. If you can’t make a layup, shooting the ball won’t come nearly as consistently.

If you can master these three fundamentals of the game, you are on the right track toward becoming a great basketball player. Mastering these will make all the other components of basketball come much easier and quicker. Anybody can do it; all it takes it a drive and determination to constantly improve.

© 2022 MattSmith23

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