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Basketball 101: Shooting tips

Basketball 101: Shooting tips

But have you ever wondered if the pros know something you don’t? Legendary NBA guard Stephen Curry shared some expert tips outlined in a Forbes article – here’s some of what he had to say about shooting the ball:

Use the right stance from the waist down

Basketball players tend to develop their own shooting style when it comes to the upper body, but from the waist down, there are some key factors to remember. Most importantly, your feet should remain shoulder-width apartin a strong base, with your dominant foot slightly in front.

Then, make sure your toes, hips, and abdomen are all facing the basket. This approach will boost your accuracy. Curry notes that foot placement isn’t an exact science – you can cheat a little bit! – but in general, it’s best to keep your toes pointing in the same direction (at the rim of the basket) even if they’re very slightly off-center.

Know where to look when you shoot

Most basketball players know to focus their shot by looking exactly where they want the ball to go. But to achieve the best accuracy possible, it’s not enough just to look at the rim of the basket.

Curry recommends that players look at the little hooks on the bottom of the rim that hold up the net – and focus on the three hooks in the middle based on where you’re located on the court. Those three hooks are approximately the width of the basketball, so using them to focus your shot will tighten your target even more.

Also, avoid aiming at the back of the rim. This can lead to a ricochet that bounces the ball away from the basket entirely. Instead, aim over the top of the three hooks with a good arc so the ball is more likely to roll or slightly bounce into the net.

Get your arm position correct

Always avoid the “chicken wing” position, where your elbow points outward and your forearm is very close to or touches your biceps. The correct arm position forms a 90-degree angle at the elbow instead, with your forearm perpendicular to your upper arm.

Practice using the right position until it feels completely natural – and you’ll likely notice improved aim over time with this approach.

Shoot from your fingertips and follow through

Using your fingertips to shoot the ball gives you more control. When your fingers are spread out, you have a solid base and grip on the ball, with less chance of wobble or uncontrolled spin during the throw.

When you’re making a shot, your fingertips should push hard on the ball and then follow through with the right spin. After you release the ball, your fingers should dangle in the classic follow-through position with your wrist bent, promoting good form. Another bonus: as Curry puts it, whether you make or miss the shot, this way “you always look good.”


If you’re interested in improving your ball-handling skills, check out our helpful tips here.

And don’t forget to have a look at our basketball skills training programs with drop-in sessions for both beginners and advanced players!