|Basketball Tutorial Lesson 3|
Freethrow : 1 point
Shots inside threepoint line : 2 points
Shots outside threepoint line : 3 points
Your shooting action begins the moment you are in set position. Shooting is a one-piece action in which you quickly jump and uncock the wrist. This quick jumping action generates most of the power for the shot. The feet barely leave the floor. As the hand comes forward as the wrist is uncocked, the ball immediately begins to rise up on the fingertips. Quick wrist action and fingertip control give a crisp back spin to the ball. For maximum control of the ball, it should come off the tips of the forefinger and middle finger. To transfer power from the legs to the ball, release the ball just as, or just before, you complete your jumping action. Make sure the ball leaves the fingertips before the arm straightens in follow through. As the shooting arm straightens in follow through, the wrist should end up only slightly ahead of the elbow, which should not be tightly locked. The hand will have completed its full range of motion from being cocked back to being crisply snapped forward. Throughout the entire shooting action, keep your eyes focussed on a spot on the back of the rim directly opposite you; stay relaxed so that all the joints, particularly the wrist of the shooting hand, move very easily.
The farther you are from the basket, the more power you need. To get more power, increase the flex or bend in the knees. If necessary, you can lower the shooting position of the ball, but never so low that you cannot see the basket from under the ball. When you get to a distance from the basket at which you begin to force the shot, you have reached the limit of your shooting range.
When shooting, you can make yourself taller by jumping higher. However, in doing so, you will not be able to get as much power from your legs. So, you should jump high only when you are fairly close to the basket. Again, it is very important that you release the ball as or just before you reach the peak of your jump. Falling or fading away as you shoot will result in a great loss of power. You should not attempt learning the fade-away until you have mastered the basic jump shot. Usually only gifted athletes are able to become proficient at this shot.
Each time you shoot a free throw, you are practising the basic shot. The only difference between the basic jump shot and most other shots in basketball is footwork. For example, how do you stop and get set after receiving a pass on the run or after ending a drive? These situations will be topics for future tips.
The Shooting Motion
Once you are in position to shoot, start by bending at the knees in a down and up motion. This is like a waggle in golf. As you extend your legs upward, begin raising the ball. Your back and shoulders will extend upwards. The shooting hand will be almost parallel to the ground just before the release. Push your arm, wrist and fingers towards the basket. The snap of the wrist sends the ball towards the basket. Avoid a throwing motion. The forearm goes up rather than out to the basket. The ball should roll off the tips of the middle fingers as the wrist snaps down. Moderate backspin on the ball will result, creating a soft shot, that holds on the rim.
For new shooters, it is fairly easy to use good form close to the basket. As the distance gets greater, the shot tends to fall apart. Helping the student understand how to generate power without sacrificing form is essential. Power comes from two sources: 1) momentum, 2) the extension of the joints during the shooting motion. Momentum is the strongest form of power. If a shooter falls away during a shot, it is very hard to get the distance needed comfortably. Leaning in towards the basket makes the shot easier. The legs are the strongest muscles in the body. Using them to generate power allows the upper body to relax and stay consistent. Shooting off the dribble or pivoting towards the basket before the shot will start forward momentum. Another way to generate power is to allow the arms to begin lower during the shot. We teach starting with the ball up near the head. Sometimes the distance of the shot or the size of the shooter requires more power than is possible keeping the ball up. As long as the shooting line is maintained, the shot can be lowered as much as needed. Picture of lower release Free throw shooting can cause problems for young players. If the distance is not correctly adjusted for the size of the shooter, several things can happen. Lets say an 11 year old boy is in a youth game with a 15 foot free throw line. To avoid going over the line during the attempt, the boy has the following options: 1. Stand two feet behind the line, lower the ball in the shooting line, and use his legs and momentum to get the distance without going over. 2. Stand at the line and throw his mid section backward as a counter force. This puts a lot of strain on the upper body and will create a bad habit. Too many young players use this method. The best solution is to have the free throw line moved up. If this isní