The odds of being drafted to play professional basketball are 0.03% for men and 0.02% for women. Luckily, getting drafted is not the only way to make it to the big leagues one day, but it is a dream for many.

If your goal is to become a professional basketball player, you need to step up your game to be one of the best. You can start by learning basketball shooting tips.

Keep reading to learn some of the best advice for those wanting to go pro.

Practice Form Shooting

Basketball shooting tips from the pros themselves rely on form shooting. Practising form shooting refers to different drills that players run. You'll move from shooting in front of the basket to practising shots from around the court.

You can advance to the next position or distance only after a succession of made shots.

During form shooting drills, you can use a common technique to focus on each shot motion. Because this technique is made up of smaller motions, you won't be able to focus on it during a game.

However, if you practice this technique enough, your body will become accustomed to the motions. The technique involves the following steps:
  1. Hold the ball to prepare to go into the shooting motion
  2. Gain balance by immediately chopping your feet
  3. Bend your knees shoulder-width apart to centre your body
  4. Position the elbow, knee, shooting hand, and shooting foot with the front of the rim
  5. Lift the ball by raising your shooting elbow to eye level
  6. Line your eyes up with the target
  7. Keep your dominant hand and elbow at 90 degrees
  8. Relax the ball on the index and middle finger pads while keeping the ball secure
  9. Shoot the ball with a flick of the wrist
  10. Hold your follow-through
If you are serious about learning how to play basketball, form shooting drills should be the bulk of your practice. An hour or two per practice session can increase basketball mechanics, shooting form, and shooting technique.

The Importance of a Good Shooting Form

Hard work goes into the perfect shooting form. The history of basketball from Michael Jordan to Stephen Curry has proven that successful shots can make or break your game.

You can learn more from the history of basketball through Michael Jordan's story.

Shooting is one of the fundamentals of basketball along with ball-handling skills. You don't need the best basketball gear to learn how to have a good shooting form.

Every great or even good shooter focuses on their shooting form. Young players and professionals alike all practice good form.

A shooting form seems like a simple concept, but it takes several different body parts working together to create perfection. This is especially true with jump shots where your feet to your fingertips must work in a fluid motion.

A good shooting form focuses on the following elements:
  • Foot placement
  • Shoulder width
  • Shooting arm motion
  • Hand placement
All of these elements combined will ensure the perfect shooting motion that improves mechanics, footwork, and backspin. This pertains to any shot including those made from the free-throw line without being contested.

You can start by being close to the basket to focus on handwork. Practice a lot with your shooting hand then work towards perfecting you're off or guide hand.

Find Your Balance

One of the best basketball tips for beginners is to understand that you are going to miss most of your shot attempts. Instead of letting it discourage you, find your balance and rhythm.

Proper shooting involves physics, the motion and momentum between the ball, your body, and the basket. The balance will centre you so that you avoid far left or right shots and so that you can find the right power.

Line Up Your Shot

Bad elbows can prevent you from ever being a good shooter. After finding your balance, use your elbows to line up your shot with the rim.

Most players feel that the natural shooting position is 90 degrees between their hand and elbow. Yet, some players find that a wider elbow stance works better for them.

Elbow placement helps you centre the ball in the hand so that you won't shoot when gripping the side of the ball. Your elbows help you release the ball to make the proper distance, arc, and trajectory.

Practice these positions to improve your shot:
  • Shooting elbow at the centre of the rim
  • Shooting elbow aligned with your inverted knees
  • Shooting elbow up to your eye level
  • Elbow at 90 degrees for optimal arc and release
Your non-shooting elbow should stay relaxed to avoid overpowering your shot. The purpose of the non-shooting elbow is to guide the shot and release it when on target.

Lock in the Target

Many players fail to realize that they are shooting at the hoop instead of inside of it. A great shooter will continue shooting into the rim at higher percentages.

Your eyes should lock onto the target, aka the bullseye part of the rim, every time you shoot. Aim to swish the basket instead of just making the shot. This is something that is recommended by nearly all professional athletes and NBA sports teams.

These tips can help with your overall game:
  • Aim for the bullseye part of the rim from anywhere on the court
  • Master your eyes to deceive defenders
  • Train yourself to always see the dead centre of the rim
Form shooting drills are a great way to master locking in the target from any place on the court.

Follow Through

When you commit to a shot, you have to take it without hesitation. Follow through with every shot attempt by doing the following things:
  1. Gripping the ball with your finger pads (avoid using your palms)
  2. Spread fingers wide on the ball
  3. Release the ball with the shooting hand only
  4. Use your index and middle fingers to flick the ball out
  5. Keep the shooting elbow straight and raise as you shoot
Your wrist should be far back enough that it wrinkles to provide shooting momentum. Every time you shoot, finish with a flick of the wrist.

Basketball Shooting Tips to Start Practicing Now

Basketball shooting tips mean nothing without practice and repetition. To be a serious shooting contender, focus on your form and continue with shooting form drills.

Along with physical shooting tips, you have to be mentally prepared to put the work in and keep going when you fail. When you follow the steps in this guide, you'll be on your way to becoming a consistent shooter.

For more how-to guides, check out the other posts on our blog!