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Proper Way to Shoot a Basketball


Many basketball players, particularly younger ones, like to think creatively when shooting the basketball. Many of these unorthodox shots include fancy layups, fadeaways, running jumpers and hook shots. While these maneuvers have their place in basketball and are utilized in competitive play, they are all built upon the foundation of a good jump shot. Proper shooting form is essential to scoring in basketball, and any aspiring player should understand how to shoot a simple jump shot before trying to expand his scoring repertoire.

Step 1
Line your feet up so they are pointed straight toward the basket. They should also be parallel to one another and 12 to 18 inches apart. Your dominant foot--the one on the same time as your shooting hand--should be placed slightly farther forward than your other foot.

Step 2
Keep your elbow in close to your body as you begin your jump shot. This will keep the ball moving in a straight line as you release it toward the basket.

Step 3
Bend your knees as you are about to jump. Most of the power behind your shot derives from your knees. Your knees are the part of your body that will start the jump shot by elevating your body off the ground.

Step 4
Shoot the ball before you reach the top of your jump--you should start the upper body shooting motion as soon as you start to jump and release the ball as you are gaining altitude. Raise the ball above your head between the eye and the shoulder on your shooting arm side. Your shooting arm should be positioning directly behind the ball, with other hand on the side of the ball acting as a guide.

Step 5
Extend your arm above and slightly out from your body. Snap your wrist as you release the ball to give it good spin and slightly more arc as it travels toward the basket.