In today’s blog post, we are going to continue talking about basketball “Shooting Fundamentals”. If you missed part 1 of this series, check out “Shooting Fundamentals – Holding the Ball & Body Balance” to go over some of the basics.
Shooting Fundamentals: Targeting/Aim
The next stage in shooting development is to learn where to sight your target or where to aim for when you’re shooting a basketball. We always teach our players to shoot toward the back of the rim. We like to aim at the middle hook on the back of the rim for a number of reasons:
1. If the ball is shot with a good backspin, you will notice that when the ball hits the back of the rim, the ball will spin backwards into the rim with proper backspin. However, if you aim at the front of the rim with backspin, and hit the front of the rim with proper backspin on the ball, the ball is going to spin away from the cylinder.
2. Stop and triple threat. By aiming at the back, it forces the shooter to arch his arms fully extended. Which means, the defender actually has to jump toward him to get a piece of his shot. By aiming at the front of the rim, he is actually shooting into the defender, which is also a much more difficult shot to get off.
3. By aiming at the back you have to shoot farther, you have to fully extend, and it forces you to put a greater arch on the basketball and on your shot, which gives it a better chance to go in.
One thing you need to realize is late in the game, as you get into the fourth quarter, your players are going to get more fatigued. If they’re aiming at the front of the rim, they have a 6″ variance that’s going to cause them to pull short on their shot. By aiming at the back of the rim, they now have a 6″ margin that allows them, even when fatigued, to still be successful in their shooting.
Shooting Fundamentals: Warm-Up
I feel it’s really important for our players to warm up properly. We’ve developed a five-spot warm-up drill that we require all of our players to go through. It allows them loosen up their joints, ligaments, tendons, tissues, muscles that they have. And also it helps to realign their shooting mechanics.
Five-Spot Warm-Up Drill
- Start shooting from spot #1, which is directly under the basket. Every time the shooter rebounds the ball, he goes back to a triple threat position and he makes a deliberate stop. He’s trying to ensure that his elbow is directly above his knee, and that he has good body balance. He will always make a minimum of 10 shots from each position.
- Next he’ll go to spot #2, which is on the baseline side of the basket. The player will typically put their feet parallel to the side of the foul line. We like to work this angle with our players because when they practice shooting or scrimmage, it’s not a shot they’re used to seeing very often so it gives them an opportunity to do that as well.
- Spot #3 is the second hash mark up the side of the foul line. Again, this is one of the least practiced shots in the game of basketball because players typically like to go out to the foul line and the 3-point line to begin practicing and shooting. So not only does this help to warm our players up, it also gives them a feel for a different area of the court that they normally would not practice on their own.
- Spot #4 is the third hash mark. We’re working our way up the free throw line. Again, we’re trying to take shots that typically players would not practice, while extending our range of players’ shooting and warming up their mechanics.
- Spot #5 is the foul line corner. This is a game shot that any player at any position should be able to hit effectively. Whether it’s a high post shot for big men, a jump shot for wings, or a perimeter shot for most players.
Players need to make a certain number of shots, not take a certain number of shots. We want to practice success by staying with a shot during a drill where he has to complete a specific number. It will help to develop his concentration, his dedication, and his determination.
If you enjoyed these shooting fundamementals and tips, be sure to check out my Basketball Drills & Practice Plans series, complete with video demonstrations, for more awesome shooting fundamentals and techniques! And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where you can discuss these and more great shooting fundamentals & drills with other coaches and players!