Jump Shot Technique
Learning and utilizing proper jump shot technique in basketball is essential for every player. Whether you’re a drive-happy guard or a towering center, the time will eventually come where you have to drain a clutch jump shot during a game. Needless to say, if you don’t know how to make a jump shot, then things aren’t going to end well when this happens. But with a little knowledge and a lot of practice, you can master your shooting technique and hit jumpers with the best of them.
- Don’t set up for a jumper unless you’re open. Once you catch a pass or pick up your dribble, take a split second to make sure no one’s going to block the shot. If a defender’s still on you, try a head fake (glancing at the basket like you’re going to shoot) or fake pass to “shake” him, giving you the moment needed to pull up.
- Get your feet and eyes set. Proper jump shooting technique dictates that you have your feet pointed toward the hoop before shooting. When getting your feet set, make sure that you’re pivoting instead of actually stepping, as you will be called for traveling in a hurry if you don’t. While setting up, your eyes should simultaneously be zoning in on the front edge of the rim.
- Get the basketball in position Your shooting hand (the one that propels the shot) should be on the back of the ball. The non-shooting hand, also called the guide hand, should be on the side of the ball, serving as a rest of sorts. On your shooting hand, only your fingertips should be touching the ball’s surface. The palm of your guide hand, meanwhile, should be lightly cradling the ball from the side.
- Bend your knees, and bring the ball to your head. Some basketball players prefer to shoot from the shoulder, but the most accurate jump shooters have the back of their palm (on the shooting hand) roughly equivalent to the center of their forehead. From the bent knee position, go into a controlled jump, releasing the ball at its apex.
- Follow through with your shooting hand. Good jump shooting technique doesn’t end when the ball leaves your fingertips. Keep the motion going with your shooting hand and flick your wrist downward to maintain direction and put a backspin on the ball. By doing this, you greatly increase the odds of the shot going in as opposed to just haphazardly lobbing it up.
- When you hit the floor, go to the rim. Your coach will certainly appreciate this final step in jump shooting technique. Nothing will expose you as a lazy basketball player faster than standing there and watching your own shot. Always make an effort to break toward the rim in anticipation of a rebound, even if you know the jumper was perfect.