How to Improve Your Shooting Technique


Improving your shooting technique can have a significant impact on how well you play basketball. Shooting a ball is a seemingly easy concept; however, as any seasoned player will tell you, it can get complicated pretty quick. There are some tips and tricks that we will discuss that may help you or your player become a better shooter. Whether it’s going for the long 3-pointer, or the close up jump shot, good technique will make all the difference.

USA Basketball explains that one of the biggest mistakes players make is “not extending their follow through.” Players may get lucky, or even good at shooting without extending their follow through, but they will never be great. Follow through is one of the most important aspects of shooting a basketball.

Another technique many coaches might tell you is to use your middle finger as a guide when you shoot. They tell players to spread their fingers and to make sure the middle finger is pointed toward the hoop. The purpose of this technique is to make sure their shot is lined up with the rim. The way your hand is positioned on the ball when you shoot can determine whether the ball goes straight toward the rim, or five inches to the right.

The middle finger technique may work for many players; however, that is not what Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan did. Jordan used his index finger as a guide and famously held his index finger after he made a shot. Bryant copied Jordan almost exactly, and improved his shot dramatically. explains the index finger is the straightest finger you have; therefore, it should be used to guide the basketball.

The flick of your wrist can be just as important as the position of your hand or elbow. Many coaches will tell players to line up their elbow with the rim, bend their legs and shoot. However, it’s important that players understand how important it is to spread their fingers on the ball and flick their wrist when they shoot. This can make a big difference on the rotation of the ball and how well a player shoots. Additionally, players should be aiming at the middle of the hoop, not the front. Your hand-eye coordination will improve the more you play, and if you’re aiming at the rim, you will most likely hit the rim.


Every part of a player’s shooting technique is important. Bending the knees, positioning the elbow, hand and fingers, flicking the wrist and following through are all essential for a player to improve their shot. You can’t practice flicking your wrist and forget about the position of your elbow. It’s important they all flow together. Practicing these little techniques with your players can make a big difference on how well they shoot, and encouraging them to practice on a daily basis is important.

If you are interested in volunteering as either an Official or Score Clock Operator for Spokane AAU Basketball, or as coach for Ignite Basketball Association (IBA), please contact Chad Smith via email or at 624-2414 ext. 314 for an information packet.

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