17 Easy Ways to Improve Your Basketball Shooting Percentage

On May 22, 2012

A Collection of Tips for Struggling Basketball Shooters
1. Don’t Emulate the Stars
A lot of younger players want to play like the stars. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to play like Kobe, but his shot is fundamentally awkward. Some of the game’s best shooters have terrible form, but they’ve spent years shooting with that bad form. Focus on developing a shot that’s good in the classical sense.

2. Put Some Arc on It
Many of those NBA players have terrible form because they don’t arc their shots. Players who are over that 6-foot mark can get away with it, but not younger players. Putting a 45-degree arc on your shot will make it much more likely to go in than rattle out.

3. Practice Realistic Shots
If you’re taking shot after shot from the same spot in practice and that’s all you do, you’re practicing wrong. A good practice should involve a mix of different shots. Switch where you’re at on the court, and simulate things like dribbling by a defender or catching a pass.

4. Pay Attention to Mechanics
Are you releasing the ball near the apex of your shot? Are you planting your feet and bending your knees properly? Pay attention to the mechanics of your shot and iron out any deficiencies. This is an ongoing process, since even the best shot will break down over time without proper attention.

5. Develop a Pre-Game Routine
Establish some sort of ritual before games. Whether that’s trying to get a certain number of shots before the game or just a stretching routine, you’ll feel more comfortable once the game tips off.

6. Follow Through
A common problem in younger shooters is that they release the ball and become spectators. Make sure your wrist follows through your shot. It should hang limp. If it doesn’t, then you need to work on correcting it.

7. Train Properly
Free-motion training is the best form of strength training, but some people prefer the circuit machines. If that’s you, make sure that you are using the right machines. Using circuit machines improperly can severely affect your range of motion and your shot.

8. Chart Your Shots
Have a friend or family member mark down where you take your shots from and whether you sink them or miss them. Having this data available will let you learn more about your strengths and weaknesses.

9. Watch Game Footage
Continuing on that theme, recording your games can be another great way to review your play. Watching game footage will give you solid confirmation on what you’re doing right or wrong on each shot.

10. Film Your Practice
If that doesn’t work, then filming your practice can be effective as well. By filming your practice you can get a look at exactly what you’re doing right and wrong.

11. Practice With a Partner
Practicing with someone else will let them give you independent critiquing of your game. You’ll also have the opportunity to practice shooting with a defender in your face, making you more prepared for the real game.

12. Find Your Comfort Zone
Everyone has a spot on the court they’re more comfortable shooting from. Some players prefer the corner, others prefer the elbow. Find out where you shoot the best from and try to get into that spot during games.

13. Don’t Think Too Hard
It’s important not to let too many thoughts run through your head during a game. Focus on tuning out distractions and let your shots come naturally.

14. Use Equipment for More Shots
There are dozens of types of equipment on the market for returning the ball to the shooter. Buy one and use it; it will help you get more shots in during practice.

15. Recognize That There is No Magic Bullet
At the same time, don’t get too sucked in by the hype. Lots of companies promise to improve your shot if you spend a lot of money on their gloves or magic braces. Save your money and understand these solutions don’t offer long-term benefits.

16. Don’t Switch Shoes Too Often
It’s fine if you’re a sneaker fan, but switching shoes results in minor differences in positioning that can really throw off your shot. Stick to a pair of shoes and always wear those when you practice or play.

17. Practice
This is the most important part of improving your shot. No one has ever gotten better without practice. If you think you don’t have time, then you need to clear some of your schedule and make time. Practicing frequently will help you improve more than anything else. Going to training events and basketball camps is a great way to get solid practice in.

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