How to Improve Shooting Arc in Basketball

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Shooting a basketball is mostly art with some science involved. If you watch jump shots from various players, you will see many players develop their own shooting arc after years of practice. You want to achieve a repeatable shot with an arc that is not too shallow and not too deep.

Things You'll Need

  • Time to practice
  • Basketball
  • Basketball hoop

Basics of Shooting the Basketball in a Set Position

  • Concentrate on your target before shooting. Your target is located just over the rim of the basket. You can also target short of the back of the rim. Always aim for the same target with every shot you take.

  • Place the foot under your shooting hand about half a step forward of your other foot. If you are shooting with the right hand, the right foot should be forward.

  • Balance your body evenly between both feet.

  • Bend your knees, elbows and wrists slightly prior to shooting the basketball.

  • Handle the ball with enough pressure on your hands to control the ball but not squeezing the basketball too hard.

  • Raise your hands while transitioning the ball to a location above your hands as you prepare to shoot.

  • Move your non-shooting hand to the side of the ball and your shooting hand directly under the ball as you bring the ball up into shooting position above your shoulders. Your three middle fingers should be at the middle of the ball.

  • Take the shot by extending your arm, standing onto the balls of your feet and flicking your wrist to send the basketball toward your target. This motion should have all of your body parts working together to shoot the ball.

Improve Your Shooting Arc

  • Imagine the ball flight you want the basketball to follow to get to the basket. You have time to picture the shot when practicing so you can create the shot. In a game, you will have much less time, but should have the shot down by game time.

  • Pay attention to your arm and the angle it is at for your shot.

  • Move your arm forward more during the shot to lessen the arc on your shot.

  • Shoot with your arm moving up more than forward to add more height to your shot.

  • Feel the ball as it releases from your hands with your fingers creating some backspin to get the ball to land softly. If the ball lands on the rim, it should sit on the rim or bounce in, instead of bouncing hard off the rim.

  • Practice the same shot from the same location on the court to improve your feel for the shot and to create the arc you desire.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to shoot the ball with relaxed muscles to improve your chances of making each shot.
  • With practice, the steps to shoot the basketball should occur naturally without thought.
  • Be patient. Developing a shot you trust will take a considerable amount of time. Keep shooting and you will improve.

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