Solve Your Shooting Problem
“You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.” – Michael Jordan
When it comes to someone who is working on their shot, I think this quote is a great way to explain why the fundamentals are so important. Michael Jordan is the best player to ever play the game of basketball. He has nothing but respect for the game and wants players to achieve success the right way. With that being said there are several different aspects to shooting the ball and all must be done correctly if a player is to become a great shooting. The perfect formula when teaching the art of shooting has to do with BEEF. Let me explain…
BEEF is an acronym that stands for balance, eyes, elbow, follow-through. This is a strategy used everywhere to teach good shoot form and is an extremely effective strategy.
B – Balance
Balance is extremely important when shooting the basketball. A player’s feet should be shoulder width apart when they prepare to shoot. This gives the perfect amount of balance on each side of the body. With the knees bent, one foot should be a little in front of the other. The foot that should be in front is the one that is on the same side as the player’s shooting hand. (If you shoot right handed, your right foot should be a little in front) Not only is this good for your aiming but it gives you a good aspect of where your feet should be pointing, at the basket! From here you should be balanced and bent down ready to move on to the next step.
E – Eyes
Bent in position holding the ball, you know need to use to eyes to look at the basket. Yes, this seems like it should go without explanation, however, there is a little more to it than that. The eyes are your greatest tool for aiming the ball and you would think most people know they should look at the basket when the shoot, but it needs to be more specific than that. Players who are great shooters do not just aim at that orange ring up on the backboard, they pick an even smaller part on the rim to look at. This results in a more precise aim and results in more accurate shots. I have always been taught to shoot at the inside of the rim right in the middle, I know some people who are taught to aim at the front of the rim. I do not really agree with that because if you aim at the front of the rim you will hit the front of the rim and it won’t go it. With that being said I recommend aiming at the inside back of it.
At this point, you are balanced and looking at the right part of the rim. Now it is time to start shooting. The most common mistake for players who have bad shots is they do not keep their shooting elbow in. The reason for this is because keeping your elbow in takes a little bit more of an effort (at least at the beginning, until you get used to it). However, people who do take the time to be conscious about it will see that they are able to get more power in their shot because they have more muscle pushing the ball. While you jump off of both feet, tucking your elbow in you want to push the ball in the air toward the rim, don’t forget to keep your eyes on the rim!!
F – Follow Through
Almost done with your shot but there is still one last part… the follow through. This was the part I had the most trouble with when I played. It is important that your hand points to the rim when you are releasing the ball. Not only do you want it to point at the rim, but you want your arm to be extended and your hand to stay high up in the air. At the end of your shot, your aim should be basically straight up and down. My problem was that after my shot my arm would be pointed toward the rim, instead of straight up. This importance of having your hand straight up is because it affects the arch on your shot. You want to have a high arch on your shot because it creates a better chance of your shot going in the basket if it is coming from higher up.