How to Improve Your Basketball Shooting
Tips for Improving Your Basketball Shooting & Scoring
Playing basketball is a great way to have fun with your friends and family, as well as improve your physical and mental health too. But if you're serious about improving your shooting and scoring skills, here are all the tips and tricks you need to know.
Knowing how to dribble the ball correctly is key if you want to up your basketball game. However, just bouncing the ball in front of you while you're running isn't going to cut it. Instead, make sure you're in the right stance.
Don't lean your weight too far forward and keep your body still and balanced. You want to be able to move the ball around your body with control and ease rather than chasing it. Whilst dribbling, the ball should never bounce higher than your hips or lower than your knees.
Stay focused, be aggressive and use your athletic power to drive the ball forwards. Once you have mastered ball control, shooting and scoring will feel so much easier.
Lower Body Power
Making sure that your lower body muscles are strong and primed during play is also essential when it comes to improving your game. Your legs will allow you to not only run fast, they also provide the balanced stance you need before shooting too.
Pressing down through the arches of your feet will give you better grip and power before shooting for the hoop as well. Remember to try and make sure that your knees are positioned behind your toes in order to create the ideal balanced stance you will need.
Sometimes, you may need to jump to make the shot, so don't forget to keep your legs moveable and flexible.
Don't fall into the trap of becoming stiff and rigid when trying to create a balanced lower body - movement, speed and power are all vital in basketball.
Bad Habits Beware
When you first start shooting hoops, it's easy to fall into bad habits. However, if you don't correct these early on, you will find it harder and harder to improve your basketball game.
If you or your coach spot a weak spot in technique or follow through, focus on correcting this immediately before you start to move on to more complex moves. Getting rid of bad habits should ideally be practised alone. That way, you are not disrupting anyone else's game on the court.
Energy Flows Where Focus Goes
Basketball is a team sport, so it can be tempting to constantly be looking around to find your teammates and follow the path of the ball.
However, this is a rookie mistake. Instead, you should always try to keep your focus on the end point - the hoop. By following the path of the ball, it is easy to lose focus and give the opposing team the chance to gain control.
By focusing on your end goal, as with many other sports, you are much more likely to make that shot.
Grip and Delivery
Your grip on the ball will determine whether or not you are able to sink your shot or miss it. To correctly grip your basketball, always make sure that your fingers are spread apart slightly to cover the most surface area whilst still keeping a firm hold.
You should be able to control the ball by holding it with the pads of your fingers, not by gripping it tightly in your palm. Now that you are confident with your grip, you can move on to the next important stage - delivery. As you shoot, keep your eye on the hoop and don't allow the trajectory of the ball to dip downwards. Try and keep the ball in front of you and inline with the hoop.
Use your lower body to power your shot as you use your arms to create a specific line of motion. This should help the ball to have the speed and accuracy needed to sink through the net without anyone being able to move it out of the way.
If your shot does miss, stay close and focused as you may have another opportunity straightaway to regain possession and try again. This is known as staying in the clutch and can sometimes turn a whole game around.