Let’s be honest – shooting baskets is fun! Making baskets is even more fun! Shooting the ball is the main offensive factor in the game, and it is a great challenge for a player to develop his proficiency to the point where he or she can be considered a “good shooter.” The following skills are necessary to consistently put the ball in the basket regardless of the type of shot.
- Body Balance
- Position of the ball before release
- Position of the elbow
- Focus on the basket, rim and backboard
- Follow through
- Flight of the ball
The Lay Up
The lay-up is the first shot a basketball player learns. Its name is an accurate description – you lay up the ball up onto a spot on the backboard above and to the right, left or center of the goal so that the ball will fall into the basket. The palm of the hand should be facing the backboard as the ball is released. First practice the lay-up from a standing position one step from the goal, then two steps and a dribble away, and then dribbling in from the foul line distance or beyond.
- Take off (jump) on your inside foot, coming down on both feet. If you are shooting a right-handed lay-up take off on the left foot. For a left-handed lay-up take off on the right foot.
- Jump as high as possible – high jump, not broad jump – extending the shooting arm, releasing the ball at the height of the jump. Always lay the ball up onto the backboard.
- Keep your eyes on the spot on the backboard where you are going to lay the ball.
- Lay up a soft shot. Regardless of your speed, you must always lay the ball up onto the backboard SOFTLY. Your shot should be the same every time.
- Learn to shoot left handed on the left side, and on shots requiring the left hand (hook shots for example). If you are left handed then you must learn to use your right hand in the same way. The ability to use the right and left hand equally well is one of the greatest assets a basketball player can acquire.
- To increase your opportunity to score in different situations, you must thoroughly master the following seven basket lay-up shots:- Right hand layup with the right hand on the right side of the basket
- Left hand layup with the left hand on the left side of the basket
- Right reverse: drive in from the right wing, continue under the basket to the opposite side and shooting the basketball with the left hand reaching back over the head
- Left reverse: drive in from the left wing, continue under the basket to the opposite side and shoot the basketball with the right hand reaching back over the head
- Right crossover: drive in form the right side, cross over in front of the basket to the left side and shoot with the left hand
- Left crossover: drive in from the left side, cross over in front of the basket to the right side and shoot with the right hand
-Center: shoot the layup from directly in front of the basket, lifting the ball over the basket to the backboard or just over the front of the rim
One you have mastered the layup shot you can then learn the basic shooting technique from the floor
In our next post we will discuss shooting the jum shot, using the backboard, and shooting free throws.