How to Shoot a Basketball

Anyone can learn how to shoot a basketball. While some players certainly have something special, all great shooters have spent plenty of time putting themselves through basketball shooting drills to perfect their fundamentals. Instead of working on your circus shots, try working through some of these drills to hone your shot.

Flick of the Wrist
This is a great drill for learning how to shoot a basketball that doesn't even require a hoop. Work on getting good spin and rotation on the ball by throwing it over your head. Make sure you are snapping your wrist and that the ball is getting even backspin and rotation. This drill should also help you grow used to adding a good arc to your shot. Focus on your follow through, seeing that it remains smooth and fluid.

Mikan Layup Drill
Might as well start close, right? The Mikan Drill-named after late NBA Hall of Famer George Mikan-is a good training exercise to work on layup ambidexterity. Start by standing under the hoop, facing the baseline, and use your right arm to lay the ball off the backboard and in. As the ball comes through the net, switch over to your left arm, and do the same thing. Keep going until you are making hook shot after hook shot.

Free Throws
They're only free if you can make them, folks. And there are two drills to help you learn how to shoot a basketball and get the free shot.

Simulating game circumstances, shoot a one-and-one. If you make the first shot, you shoot again. If you miss, you run a suicide.

One-And-One too basic? Go with Plus Two, Minus Two. If you make a shot with a swish, you get a +1. A miss is -1. A shot that is made but not swished is a big zero. Any time you get to +2, your partner must run a suicide. Any time a you get to -2, you must run a suicide. 

"But why all the running?" Because the most common reason for missing free throws is fatigue, and sprint drills will help you overcome it.

Around the World
A good drill for long-distance shooting (or three-pointers, if that's within your range). Start in the corner and take a jump shot, moving to the free throw line-extended after you release the ball. A partner will catch or rebound the ball and pass it to you at your next spot. Shoot, move to the top of the key and continue this until you have gone around the arc. Then, go back the way you came, repeating the same steps. Once you learn how to shoot a basketball you'll love playing the game. 

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