Learning how to shoot a basketball doesn't come naturally to everyone. In most cases, mastering the skill takes advice from coaches and elders, along with hours of practice.
While there are differing opinions when it comes to the correct shooting form, most agree on a few basic guidelines. To remember them, the creators of Excel Basketball Camp created a useful acronym:
B.L.E.S.H.The creator of the camp, Frank Allocco Sr., was the head coach of the men's basketball team at De La Salle High School in Concord, California, for 18 seasons. He led the school to 17 East Bay Athletic League titles and two state championships.
In 2014, Allocco Sr. was named the associate head coach at the University of San Francisco. He also played football and basketball at the University of Notre Dame in the 1970s. In short, Allocco Sr. knows a thing or two about basketball.
To begin, hold the ball in the palm of your hand with a small amount of space between your skin and the ball. Both your wrist and elbow should be bent at about 90 degrees.
Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart, and the foot of your shooting hand should be slightly ahead of your other foot. If you were to slide your other foot over, the ball of this foot would fit like a puzzle piece with the arch of the foot on your shooting-hand side. Additionally, both feet should be directly facing the basket.
B - Bend1 of 7
Begin the motion of the shot by bendingyour knees.
Despite the ball being shot with your arm and wrist, your legs play a major role in the movement. Starting with a knee bend helps generate the power you'll need to get the ball to the hoop.
You should bend to about a quarter-squat. As you lower your body, try to maintain the 90-degree angle in both your wrist and elbow.
L - Lift2 of 7
Simultaneously lift your legs and arms as you transition into the actual jumping and shooting motion. Try to maintain the 90-degree angle in your wrist and elbow until the next step.
E - Extend3 of 7
As you leave the ground and enter the airborne portion of the shot, begin extending your shooting arm upward and slightly forward.
S - Snap4 of 7
As your arm nears full-extension, snap your wrist to catapult the basketball toward the hoop. This snapping motion generates backspin, which can play an important role in the ball still going in the hoop even when it hits the rim or backboard.
H - Hold5 of 7
To finish the shot motion, hold your follow-through. Your wrist should be fully bent in the end position, and your fingers (primarily the index and middle fingers) should be in line with the basket.
Additional Tips6 of 7
-Your off-hand should be used strictly for balance purposes and should not be a part of the actual shooting motion.
-Be cautious of your thumb on your off-hand. A common mistake for young players is to flick the thumb in an effort to generate more power.
-If you're struggling to keep your off-hand out of the shooting motion, work on shooting with one hand a few feet away from the basket.