How to Shoot a Basketball Like a Pro: 17 Tips for Increased Accuracy

If you want to become a better basketball player, you need to focus on your shooting. This involves more than just throwing the ball at the hoop. You need to have a good technique if you want to score more points. In this article, we will discuss some tips that will help you with how to shoot a basketball with greater accuracy. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be sinking shots like a pro in no time!

How to shoot a basketball for beginners

  1. Use your strong hand to hold, aim and give power to the ball. This hand makes most of the work. The other hand (guide hand) should just support by holding the ball in place until it leaves. You should not use your supportive hand to aim or give power to the ball and it should be in a position on the side that will not interfere with you shooting the ball
  2. Use your fingers, not your palm, to control the ball. Place your index finger and middle finger on either side of the ball, and your thumb on the back.
  3. Extend your arm fully when shooting. This will give you more power and a better shooting percentage.
  4. Keep your elbow in when shooting. This will help you control the ball and make a more accurate shot.
  5. Follow through with your shot. This means that you should extend your arm and snap your wrists when the ball leaves your hand. This will give you a better chance of making the shot.
  6. Use the backboard when shooting, especially from an angle. This will help you aim better and make a cleaner shot. Aim for the square above the rim.
  7. Keep your eyes at the bottom of the rim when aiming, the virtual spot behind the rim circle.
  8. Shoot from a square stance. This will help you maintain balance and control when shooting the ball.
  9. Don’t rush your shot. Take your time and focus on making an accurate shot.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a better basketball player. Remember, practice makes perfect! So get out there and start shooting some hoops. Who knows, you might even become the next big thing in basketball!

Tips on how to shoot a basketball more accurately

  1. Locate your target early: By spotting your target early, you give yourself more time to adjust and make an accurate shot. Try to take shooting positions early and when waiting for the pass, take brief looks at the rim
  2. Use the backboard: The backboard can be your best friend when shooting a basketball from an angle. By using it, you increase your chances of making the shot.
  3. Focus on your form shooting: Having a good basketball shooting form is essential for shooting a basketball accurately. Make sure you are using your fingers to control the ball (mostly index and middle finger), and that you are extending your arm fully when shooting.
  4. Use your feet power for long shots: When shooting long shots, use your feet more to boost your shot power. This way you won’t make unnecessary movements with your arms that will ruin your shooting line
  5. Your feet position matters: keep your feet close together (closer than the width of your shoulders). The shooting foot that is on the same side as your shooting hand, can be slightly in front of the other
  6. Take lots of self-shooting workouts: shooting is a skill that needs a lot of practice. When you are in a game, you will not have the chance to think about all those tips mentioned in this article. You need to have built muscle memory so that everything that you have practiced with your basketball shooting, comes out naturally. Whenever you have time, grab your basketball and shoot – shoot -shoot from all angles and distances
  7. Practice shooting at game speed: set up quick games with friends and practice your shooting in real game conditions. Shooting under pressure is very different than shooting at your own pace. Even when doing shooting workouts by yourself, you should try to release the ball quickly, as you would do if you had a defender running toward you
  8. Use enough arc in your shots: if your shooting arc is too low, the chances to make a basket are significantly lower than a shot with the optimal arc of 45 degrees. Follow adequate shooting drills to adopt this optimal shooting arc if you want to increase your shooting accuracy

How to shoot a basketball farther

To shoot the basketball farther, you need to increase the power behind your shot. This can be done by using your legs more when shooting, trying to get that extra power needed without ruining your shooting technique.

If you do not take advantage of your leg power, you will inevitably have to use more power from your arms and hands and this is almost certain to defer you from your optimal shooting technique.

How to shoot faster in basketball

If you want to shoot the ball faster, there are a few things you can do. First, try to catch and shoot in one motion. This will help you get rid of the ball quicker and get off your shot faster.

Another thing you can do is work on your release. A quick-release will help you get your shot off before the defense has a chance to react.

Finally, remember to practice your shooting motion at the fast speed that you want to use in the games. If all your training shots are taken at a relaxed pace, you might make them in the training but making your game shots will be a different story. To achieve a high shooting percentage when shooting fast, your should also train your shooting at a faster pace

How to shoot a 3 point shot in basketball

A great shooter also knows how to shoot 3 pointers easily. Hitting a 3-pointer is more difficult not only because of the increased distance but also because defenders try to block 3-pointers more, in comparison to long 2-pointers. This is natural because long 2s can be as difficult to score as 3s, but the latter gives a 50% points bonus to the attacker.

If you want to score points from the three-point line, you need to practice some special shooting drills.

First of all, warm up by shooting some long 2s, just a meter or so in front of the 3-point line. Remember to always make a jump shot (as if you were shooting a 3), even if using your legs is not required from this distance. Remember, you are building muscle memory for your three-point shots. When you make all your shots around the clock from this distance without missing any, you are ready to take a step back and start shooting 3s.

To increase your 3point shooting ability, it is best to focus on practicing form shooting as if you were in a game. Train on catch and shoot, as this is the optimal 3point shooting scenario inside a real game.

Learn to use your leg power. As discussed in a previous paragraph, 3point shooting skills mean that you can shoot the ball from a long distance and this requires more power. This power you need to take from your legs and not from your arms and hands because the latter might affect your shot release and your ability to shoot accurately.

Finally, the truth is in the numbers. There has not been a single good shooter in basketball history, that has not practiced his 3pt shooting a lot! All great shooters can tell you stories of how they made at least 1000 shots from the three-point line, before leaving the basketball court each evening. Basketball shooting requires devotion and practice.

How to shoot a basketball from the free-throw line

One of the most important aspects of shooting a basketball is shooting from the free-throw line.

This is because while free throws are worth only one point, they are uncontested shots and if you can shoot with a high percentage from the free-throw line, this will give your team an advantage, especially in the last minutes of a tight game, when there are lots of fouls taking place.

When shooting from the free-throw line, it is important to keep your feet shoulder-width apart and to point your toes towards the basket. You should also bend your knees slightly, to have a stable shooting form.

Your shooting hand should be placed on top of the ball, while your non-shooting hand should be used to guide the ball towards the basket. Remember to keep your shooting elbow close to your body and to extend your arm fully when shooting the ball.

When you are ready to shoot, take a deep breath in and then exhale as you release the ball from your fingers. Remember to follow through with your shot by letting your shooting hand finish above your head.

Leg power does not play such a crucial role in free throw shooting, as the distance is small enough and most basketball players can make the shot from a straight line even without moving their feet.

Making a free throw does not require strong shooting skills at all, it is mostly a matter of psychology and self-control. Of course, usually, a consistent shooter will be more comfortable shooting from the line as well, but this is not always the rule.

How to shoot a basketball left-handed

Some of the best shooters in basketball history were left-handed, even though most people are right-handed.

This does not mean that it is easier to shoot a basketball left-handed, but it might be an advantage if you are playing against right-handed defenders, as they might have more difficulty guarding you.

When shooting a basketball left-handed, the same general rules apply as when shooting right-handed. You should still keep your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees slightly and extend your arm fully when releasing the ball.

Of course, the mirroring effect means that you should have your left foot slightly in front (in contrast to the right shooting foot that most right-handed shooters do).

If however you are normally a right-handed shooter and you just want to add an extra weapon in your arsenal by using your non shooting arm as well, there is a trick that will help you. Start your shooting motion from lower than normal, and use your whole body to give power to the ball. This is because your non shooting arm is usually weaker and you will need more strength for your shot to reach the rim.

How to shoot a basketball with one hand

One-handed shooting is not as common in basketball as two-handed shooting, but there are still some players that prefer to use only one hand when they are trying to score a basket.

It is not advised in general to shoot with one hand, because you cannot stabilize the ball well and aim well. However, if you are very close to the basket and you need to score quickly, sometimes a one-handed shot such as a layup is the best option. The same applies when you are trying a traverse shot, where shooting with one hand is mandatory.

Some famous basketball players had signature one-hand shots.

Eg Kareem Abdul Jabbar and his signature one-handed traverse.

kareem abdul jabbar one handed shot
Kareem Abdul Jabbar one handed shot

Another example was Greek – American ex Pepperdine University alumni, Greek National team player, and Euroleague winner in 1996, John Korfas, who was shooting free throws and even 3pointers one-handed with great success.

John Korfas one handed shot
John Korfas one handed shot

In any case, young athletes are strongly advised to learn and practice proper shooting using both hands.

How to shoot a basketball with small hands

If your hands are small, you can try resting the ball more on your palm.

Some players have small hands in comparison to the average player. Players with small hands might have some difficulty gripping and controlling the ball when shooting. Especially young athletes that are still developing in size, might face this issue. It is strongly advised to follow the same basketball shooting principles as others but just palm the ball more. As you develop in size, try gripping the ball properly with your fingers.

How to shoot a basketball like Steph Curry

Steph Curry is one of the best shooters in NBA history. He is a two-time MVP and has set numerous shooting records.

Curry is known for his quick release and deep range. When shooting, he gets into a low stance, brings the ball up to his chest, and then flings it with a snap of his wrists.

Stephen Curry shows off basketball skills on Asia tour in SW China's Chengdu
NBA star Stephen Curry of Golden State Warriors attends a fan meeting event during his 2017 Asia tour in Chengdu city, southwest China’s Sichuan province, 24 July 2017.

Curry’s shooting form is nearly perfect. He keeps his feet shoulder-width apart, has a slight bend in his knees, and extends his arm fully when releasing the ball. His follow-through is also impeccable – he brings his arm up to his head before lowering it back down to his side.

If you want to mimic the way Stephen Curry is shooting, watch him shooting on YouTube and practice a lot. He also offers an online course on that you can follow for more details.

How to shoot a basketball like Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard is another great shooter in the NBA. He is known for his quick release and deep range, similar to Steph Curry. When shooting, he gets into a low stance. He dips the ball below his waist, giving him speed. Then brings the ball up to his chest and then flings it with a snap of his wrists.

NBA star Damian Lillard shooting
NBA star Damian Lillard shooting

Lillard’s shooting form is nearly perfect. He keeps his feet shoulder-width apart, has a slight bend in his knees, and extends his arm fully when releasing the ball. His follow-through is also impeccable – he brings his arm up to his head before lowering it back down to his side.

If you want to shoot like Damian Lillard, watch him shooting on YouTube.

How to shoot a basketball jump shot

To shoot a jump shot, first, get into a low stance. Bring the ball up to your chest, and then flick your wrists to send the ball towards the basket. As you release the ball, make sure to extend your arm fully and follow through with your shooting hand up above your head.

It’s important to keep your feet shoulder-width apart when shooting a jump shot and to have a slight bend in your knees. This will help you generate power from your legs and avoid putting too much stress on your arm.

Jump shots are one of the most basic and important shots in basketball. If you can master how to shoot a jump shot, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great shooter.

How to teach a 5-year-old to shoot a basketball

If you’re teaching a young child how to shoot a basketball, the most important thing is to make sure they have fun. Start by having them stand close to the basket and make mini baskets. As they get more comfortable, move back a few feet and have them try again. Make sure they keep their feet shoulder-width apart and have a slight bend in their knees.

Most importantly, don’t get frustrated if they miss a lot at first. It takes time and practice to learn how to shoot, so be patient and keep encouraging them. Eventually, they’ll start making baskets and they’ll be hooked on the game of basketball.

How to shoot corner basketball shots

Corner shots are some of the most difficult shots in basketball. They’re often taken from a tight angle, with defenders close by. To make a corner shot, you’ll need to be quick and have good aiming skills for your shot, as you do not have the backboard at sight to help you with targeting or even with getting the ball in from the bank.

Get into a low stance and bring the ball up to your chest. As you release the ball, snap your wrists and follow through with your shooting hand. The key is to get the ball off your fingertips as quickly as possible. If you can do that, you’ll have a much better chance of making the shot.

Corner shots can be difficult, but they’re also some of the most rewarding shots in basketball. They can often be the difference between winning and losing a game. So if you want to improve your shooting, make sure to practice corner shots. With enough practice, you’ll be nailing them in no time.

How to get stronger to shoot a basketball

If you want to shoot a basketball with more power, you need to get stronger. The best way to do that is by lifting weights and doing other strength-training exercises. You can also try explosive exercises like jump squats and sprints. These will help you develop the leg power that you need to generate more force when shooting.

How to shoot a basketball the same way every time

One of the best ways to become a more consistent shooter is to have a set shooting routine that you follow every time you shoot. This might include things like always using your strong hand, taking a deep breath before you shoot, or visualizing the ball going through the hoop.

Find what works for you and stick to it. The shooting motion that you follow is really important and you need to build muscle memory so that when you need to shoot in-game and under pressure, you will always follow the same routine.


Is it ok to shoot a basketball with two hands?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to shoot a basketball with two hands, as long as you have the main shooting hand and you use the other one as supportive. Most players use two hands when shooting because it gives them more control over the ball. If you’re just starting, we recommend using two hands until you get more comfortable with the shooting motion.

Can you shoot a basketball through the bottom of the hoop?

No, you cannot shoot a basketball through the bottom of the hoop. The ball must go through the top of the hoop for it to count as a made basket.

How many seconds does it take to shoot a basketball?

It usually takes around 0.45 seconds to shoot a basketball. However, this can vary depending on how close you are to the basket and how strong you are.

Should you jump when shooting a basketball?

It’s not necessary to jump when shooting a basketball, but most players do because it gives them more power and accuracy. If you’re just starting out, we recommend practicing with jumping, since a perfect jump shot offers you more chances to become a great shooter.

Is it hard to shoot 3 pointers?

Not necessarily. While shooting a three-pointer does require more skill than shooting a regular field goal, it’s not impossible to make them. With enough practice, anyone can become a great three-point shooter.


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