So what are we trying to do?
Firstly: we are trying to throw the ball in a straight line. I hate the word throw when it comes to basketball. Makes it sound like there is not much to it.
Secondly: we are trying to throw the ball up instead of out; gravity becomes your friend and kills the speed of the ball. You want a slow shot. The more vertical you shoot, the better gravity works to your advantage by slowing the ball down. As it starts to descend toward the target there is only the weight of the ball, approximately 24 ounces, propelling it. This also results in a soft shot that has a better chance to bounce in if slightly off line, or for a close-in rebound. The ball at its peak height should be about 1 meter above the rim (approximately the top of the backboard) when it is about 1 meter away from the rim.
Thirdly: We are trying to change the size of the target, the ball goes through. Although the rim does not actually change size, it will appear differently to the ball depending on the angle it enters the rim and its closeness to the back of the rim.
That’s right the target is close to the back of the rim. Forget what you have been told about the front of the rim or aim for the middle, as if you can aim for the middle of the rim. For the mathematics to prove this click here
Here is the break down on missed shots from the Free Throw Line. You can see that as long as you are shooting in a straight line you have a pretty good chance of putting it in. We can also see the majority of shots missed are short. It’s important that you aim at the back of the rim.
• 5 % left, 5% right, 5% long 85% short
1. Feet Shoulder Width Apart: Your feet should be staggered and shoulder width apart
• Your feet fit like a puzzle. The curved ball of the inside of one foot fits into the insole of the other foot. This is a good way to judge how staggered you stance should be. Your shooting foot should be forward but no more than 6 inches ahead.
• Line your shooting foot up with the nail in the FT Line. It’s directly in front of the rim, and you want to shoot directly towards the rim. We are trying to shoot with our body’s up-force and guide the flight of the ball with our arm and hand. If you straddle the line, then your arm has to move across your body to shoot the ball towards the rim.
Some prefer perfect feet where all ten toes point at the rim. This is a good approach,
But if you find you have tension in your upper body, as a result of perfect feet open your stance so that your guide foot is angled outward slightly.
2. Athletic Stance: Everything you do in basketball should start with an athletic stance.
o Stance shoulder width apart
o Back straight, leaning slightly forward
o Hips low
o Legs at a less than 90 degree angle