How to shoot a basketball

By Matt Kuhn

Face the basket and place your feet shoulder width apart.

Point your feet in the general direction of the basket. Your feet should be slightly staggered, with your dominant foot, referred to as your "shooting" foot for these purposes, slightly in front of your non-dominant foot. Take a comfortable and balanced position.
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Position the ball in your shot pocket.

You shoot the ball from your "shot pocket," located on the shooting side of your torso a few inches above your waist.
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Firmly grasp the ball in a comfortable position.

Position your shooting hand so that your fingertips are perpendicular to the seams in the ball. This hand is responsible for launching the ball. Place your non-shooting hand on the side of the ball to act as a guide for the shot.
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Taking the shot

Straighten your knees and jump.

Move the ball in a smooth motion from your shot pocket to eye level before launching it. Don't let the ball go behind your head or off to the side; shoot it in a fluid, forward motion. When you jump, your feet should land in the same position in which they started.
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Perfecting the technique

Develop muscle memory

Basketball is a fast-paced game, and you won't have time to think about the mechanics of shooting while the clock is running down and your opponents are trying to steal the ball from you.
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Learn how to use the backboard.

The backboard can be a useful tool, especially for shots you take close to the basket. Aim for the middle of the target square, which will help the ball drop straight down.
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Practice makes perfect

For you to perfect your free throw, two point shot, or even three point shot, get some friends together and make a basketball scrimmage, or go to a recreation center and try playing there. You have to immerse yourself into practicing the technique.


  • Remember B.E.E.F, Balance, Elbow under the ball, Eyes on target and Follow through.
  • Your legs play a big role in how far you can shoot the ball. Make sure you're using your whole body to shoot, not just your arms.