Shooting is, obviously, one of the most integral parts of basketball. It goes without saying that any quality team will have a host of shot takers, and not just rely on one player to nail those difficult free throws and three-pointers.
But shooting is a fundamental skill that is difficult to master, and it can take players years just to perfect their jump shot! But don’t let that deter you, as the key to nailing your shot is to practise with the right technique in mind.
So, grab your top basketball gear and head to your local court, as we are going to talk you through the five most important shots and how to nail them like Steph Curry!
The jump shot
The game’s most utilised shot, the jump shot involves a powerful upwards jump followed by shooting the ball once you reach the highest point. When you shoot the pill, be sure to maintain a straight elbow so that ball moves forward with your elbow. What’s more, you want to think about flicking your wrist during the shot, as this will give the pill that extra, all-important spin and weight, allowing it to float towards the hoop.
A shot not unlike that of the jump shot but there is a key difference: the way you shoot the pill. You don’t need to flick your wrist with this technique, instead lobbing the ball upwards with a high arc, allowing the weight of the ball to float effortlessly toward the hoop.
This is an ideal shot for when you need to clear a tall opponent or a bunch of defenders and the regular jump shot just won’t get the job done. There is no overriding technique to nailing this shot: simply allow your hand to propel the ball toward the hoop!
This – alongside that of the jump shot – is also one of the most frequently used in the game, especially when a team gets a clean run toward the hoop. Despite its commonality and apparent ease, it is also quite difficult to master, and takes practise to nail the run up before releasing the ball smoothly into the net.
You should dribble toward the side of the net that corresponds with your dribbling hand (i.e. right hand – right side of the hoop). Dribble the pill towards the net, desisting with your dribble once you hit the three point line before taking large steps towards the hoop. Shoot the ball into the board’s top corner to ensure a smooth layup.
The free throw
Some may say this is the easiest shot to make in the game, but when the pressure is on it can easily be the hardest you’ll ever take! The key to nailing this shot in regular gameplay and in clutch situations is to follow a similar action to that of the jump shot, but be sure to keep your feet on the ground with this shot as it helps to be more balanced.
The slam dunk
Ahh, the slam dunk: every baller’s dream shot. There is something about the idea of nailing one of those game-stopping shots that makes every player want to work their athleticism to its ultimate peak, as this is the key to nailing this shot.
One of the fundamentals to nailing the slam dunk is to work on your explosive jump power, and once you have done this remember to extend your arm all the way up to ensure you can literally “slam” the ball into the net.
One or two-handed slam dunks are acceptable!
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