How To Improve Jump Shot
To know how to improve jump shot you need to do three key things: Develop proper mechanics, get into basketball condition and practice like crazy. These can all be done at the same time, of course, but each component is critical to success on the basketball court. To improve your jump shot, look at your mechanics now and try to make some of the changes listed below.
- Practice jumping straight up in the air, with your lead foot slightly ahead of your other foot. Your lead foot will be your right foot if you shoot right-handed. Have your weight evenly distributed when you jump. If your body is off-balance, your shot will be also.
- Focus on the same spot on every time you shoot, suggests former NBA player and coach Mike Dunleavy. He says it doesn't matter whether you target the back of the rim or the front of it or the whole rim, just pick a spot that works for you and focus on it every time.
- Use your non-shooting hand as a guide on the ball, but make sure it's not too far in front or behind as you prepare to release your shot. To improve your jump shot technique, keep your non-shooting hand on the side of the ball and keep your shooting elbow in, rather than bent out away from the body.
- Cock your wrist back and let the ball roll off your finger tips as you snap your wrist forward. It may help you focus on your wrist action by holding your wrist in the downward position after you release your shot. You see a lot of great shooters do this and it helps them maintain consistent wrist movement each time.
- Practice these mechanics with short-range jumpers at first. You may want to start bombing from beyond the three-point arc, but work your way there gradually, getting comfortable with 10-footers, 12-footers, etc. And practice your improved jump shot form the same way every time. That's how it will stick with you.
- Improve your arm and upper body strength, both to be able to confidently shoot from longer range and to make sure you have the strength to last until the end of the game. A simple regimen of push-ups, biceps curls, wrist curls and shoulder presses will work.
- Get your legs into basketball condition through running and jumping drills. While long-distance running is great for overall cardiovascular fitness, basketball conditioning calls for quick bursts of speed and energy up and down the court. To get your legs strong enough to have the spring needed for good jump shot form, practice full-court sprints and in the weight room use the leg press and calf machines. Jumping rope is also one of the best conditioning exercises around. Remember that a good jump shot starts in the legs.