Basketball Shooting Tips for Enhancing Young Players' Skills

Written by: Chris Hungerford



Time to read 11 min

Perfecting your basketball shooting technique is a fundamental aspect of becoming a proficient player. This blog post will delve into key basketball shooting tips, providing insights that are essential for honing your skills on the court.

We'll discuss the importance of locating your target earlier and holding your follow through, two elements often overlooked but critical to improving shooting percentage. We'll also explore unique strategies such as using colored balls for practice and avoiding air-hanging shots like Kobe's.

You'll learn how to manage mental aspects during games, from stopping overthinking to eliminating negative thoughts before making a shot. Additionally, we’ll dive into technical details like developing an optimal arc for each shot and fine-tuning alignment with partner drills.

Lastly, we’ll share resources including DVDs and books from great shooters like Steph Curry or Larry Bird which can provide valuable insight into their successful techniques. These basketball shooting tips are designed not just for high school players but for anyone aiming to improve their game.

Table of Contents:

Locating Your Target Earlier

Want to up your basketball shooting game? Start by spotting that hoop ASAP. Your brain needs time to calculate the distance and focus on the target. It's like giving your accuracy a turbo boost.

This tip is especially handy for young players. By training them to quickly focus on the hoop as soon as they receive the ball, you're helping to give them a leg up. It's a skill they'll carry with them throughout their basketball journey.

But wait, there's more. Not only will this improve your shooting percentage, but it'll also help you avoid turnovers. Spotting open teammates and predicting defensive moves becomes a piece of cake. Plus, it'll make you a decision-making ninja when the pressure is on.

Teach those young athletes some drills that focus on early target acquisition. Check out these awesome drills from to get started.

And hey, don't forget to watch the pros in action. It's not just for fun, it's a learning opportunity. Show those kids how the big shots locate their targets lightning-fast on the court.

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Importance of Holding Your Follow Through

Don't overlook the importance of holding your follow-through in basketball shooting. It's a simple technique that can solve shooting problems and level up your game.

Holding your follow-through ensures consistent shooting technique without even thinking. By keeping a consistent shooting technique, your shots will become more and more similar, thus improving the likelihood of success.

  • Maintains Balance: Holding your follow-through helps keep balance during and after the shot, preventing unnecessary movements that could mess up your accuracy.
  • Promotes Good Shooting Arc: A proper follow-through encourages a high arc on shots, increasing your chances of scoring.
  • Gives Feedback: Pay attention to how you end up after releasing the ball. It gives valuable feedback on what might have gone wrong if you missed it.

Practicing this skill also instills discipline and focus in young players. They learn to concentrate not just on launching the ball, but also on ensuring its successful trajectory towards the target. So next time you're training or playing, remember to hold that pose.

To understand this concept better, check out some shooting drills for kids that emphasize maintaining form post-shot release.

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Finishing with a Relaxed Wrist

A common mistake many young basketball players make is following through with a tense wrist. This can mess up your shot and make you look like a total airball. So, relax that wrist and watch your accuracy soar.

Practice releasing the ball smoothly from your fingertips, like a gentle kiss goodbye. No forced movements, just let it roll off naturally. Need some drills to help you out? Check out this guide on They've got your back, or rather, your wrist.

Now, let's break down why a relaxed wrist is so important:

  • Better Control: When your wrist is chill, you can aim better and have more control over where the ball goes. It's like having a GPS for your shot.
  • Smoother Release: Tense wrists lead to jerky movements, and jerky movements lead to missed shots. Keep it smooth, like butter on a hot biscuit.
  • Faster Recovery: With a relaxed wrist, you'll bounce back quicker after each shot. It's like having a spring in your step, but for your shooting game.

Incorporate these tips into your child's training routine, and they'll be shooting hoops like a pro in no time. Just remember, practice makes perfect, so keep at it.

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Using a Colored Ball for Practice

Practicing with a colored ball is a slam dunk way to improve your basketball shooting skills. The difference in hue between the ball and hoop makes it easier to concentrate on your aim, resulting in improved accuracy with practice. A colored training basketball also helps you visualize the ball's rotation. This visual cue gives you the scoop on whether you're nailing that backspin or not.

  • Better Target Focus: A colored ball stands out against any background, keeping your eyes on the prize while dribbling, passing, or shooting.
  • Easier Rotation Tracking: Watching a colored ball spin gives you the lowdown on your shot technique. It's way simpler than tracking a regular brown basketball's spin.
  • Faster Skill Improvement: With improved concentration and instant feedback on every shot, using a colored practice ball speeds up skill development like a fast break.

Incorporating this simple tool into your practice routine could be the game-changer you need to improve your shooting form and accuracy. Remember, consistent practice is key to becoming a baller.

If you're hungry for more tips like these, check out our comprehensive guide at HoopsKing Basketball Shooting Tips.

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Avoiding Air Hanging Shots like Kobe's

Don't be fooled by Kobe Bryant's fancy air-hanging shots - they're not for everyone. Those moves require serious strength and control, which most young players haven't mastered yet. So instead of trying to imitate the pros, focus on nailing the basics first.

  • Stance: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other.
  • Grip: Hold the ball with your fingertips, not your palm.
  • Bend & Extend: Bend your knees and then extend upwards as you shoot - this way, you'll get power from your legs, not just your arms.

Mimicking NBA stars might be fun, but remember they've had years of practice and conditioning. It's crucial for young athletes to build their own foundation based on solid fundamentals before attempting fancy moves. Building a strong foundation of basics can enable young athletes to create their own individual style of playing, and excel in the sport. Parents seeking to support their child's basketball development can find plenty of assistance on

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Stop Overthinking During Games

Overthinking during a basketball game can lead to unnecessary stress and poor performance. Stay focused on the present moment, not past mistakes or future outcomes.

Combat overthinking with mindfulness techniques. Tune into your body and react instinctively, instead of getting caught up in your thoughts. Check out this article on how mindfulness improves basketball performance.

Visualize success before games. Picture yourself executing plays flawlessly to build confidence and reduce anxiety on the court.

  • Mental Rehearsal: Imagine shooting baskets successfully under pressure.
  • Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing calms nerves and improves focus during high-pressure situations.
  • Routine Building: Develop a pre-shot routine for consistent and accurate shots.

Incorporate these mental training techniques into practice sessions to stop overthinking and enhance overall performance. Remember, sports psychology is just as important as physical skills in shaping successful basketball players.

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Eliminating Negative Thoughts Before Shooting

The psychological side of basketball is just as important as the physical aspect. And when it comes to shooting, negative thoughts can be a real buzzkill. Don't let them ruin your game.

Help your young player overcome this mental hurdle with some simple yet effective strategies. Start by training their mental toughness. Encourage them to visualize successful shots in their mind before they even touch the ball. It's like a mental warm-up.

  • Mindfulness: Teach them to be present at the moment, not dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about the future.
  • Positive Affirmations: Boost their self-belief with positive phrases like 'I am a good shooter' or 'I can make this shot.' Confidence is key.
  • Breathing Exercises: Help them stay calm under pressure with deep breathing exercises. Inhale confidence, exhale doubt.

By incorporating these methods into practice sessions, you'll not only improve their shooting skills but also equip them with valuable life skills like resilience, positivity, and stress management. It's a win-win.

For more tips on banishing negative thoughts before shooting, check out these credible sources. Shoot for the stars.

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Developing the Perfect Arc for Your Shot

The arc of your shot is crucial in basketball. A higher arc means a softer shot, increasing your chances of scoring. A flat trajectory leads to harder shots that rarely go in.

To find your optimal arc, practice consistently and pay attention to your shot's height. Aim for about 45-55 degrees above horizontal, as researchers studying the physics of basketball suggest.

  • Power from Your Legs: Use your legs to add height without messing up your arm mechanics.
  • Stay Consistent: Consistency is key to achieving the perfect arc.
  • Analyze and Adjust: Watch replays of your shots and make necessary adjustments.

Remember, perfecting your arc takes time and patience. But with consistent effort, you'll improve your shooting accuracy and consistency.

Finding Your Unique Arc Angle

No two shooters are the same. Each player has their own 'perfect' angle due to their unique body structure. While general guidelines help, don't forget to personalize your practice.

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Learning From DVDs And Books Of Great Shooters

If you wanna up your basketball shooting game, learn from the pros. Books and DVDs with tips from the top shooters are available to help boost your basketball shooting skills.

These resources let you see the techniques in action. You can watch slow-mo replays, pause at key moments, and really get what's happening during a shot. It's way better than just reading or listening to instructions.

And it's not just about technique. These materials also dive into the mindset of successful shooters. You can learn how they handle pressure and adjust their game. It's like getting a sneak peek into their basketball brains.

  • Mental preparation: The greats know that mental prep is crucial. Help your child develop a strong mentality on the court.
  • Film study: Some shooters swear by film study. It helps them spot weaknesses and learn from others. Give your child an edge with early film analysis.
  • Dedication: Dedication is the secret sauce. The best shooters put in the hours and show commitment. It's the key to greatness.

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Fine-Tuning Shot Alignment With Partner Drills

Practicing basketball shooting drills with a partner can significantly improve your shot alignment. It's like having a personal shooting coach, but without the hefty price tag.

Role of Partner Drills in Enhancing Alignment Skills

Partner drills give you instant feedback on your shots, so you can adjust and perfect your aim. It's like having a built-in shooting radar.

Advantages Gained from Practicing Alignment-Based Exercises

These exercises not only boost your accuracy, but also help you develop a consistent shooting form. You'll be shooting like a pro in no time.

How Regular Partner Drills Contribute Towards Overall Skill Improvement

Partner drills aren't just about shot alignment. They also improve your passing skills, court vision, and communication with teammates. It's a win-win-win situation.

To get started with some effective partner drills that focus on improving shot alignment, check out this comprehensive guide on HoopsKing's Drill Book page. It's the holy grail of basketball drills.

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FAQs in Relation to Basketball Shooting Tips

How to Improve Your Basketball Shooting Skills

To become a better shooter in basketball, focus on practicing proper form, holding your follow through, and developing an optimal arc for your shot.

Tips for Aiming Well in Basketball

Aiming like a pro in basketball involves locating your target early, maintaining a relaxed wrist, and even using a colored ball during practice to improve your accuracy.

Steph Curry's Shooting Technique

Steph Curry, one of the greatest shooters in history, primarily releases his shots using his middle and index fingers.

Mastering Easy Shooting in Basketball

Make shooting easier by consistently practicing, banishing negative thoughts before taking a shot, avoiding airballs like Kobe's, and not overthinking during games.


In conclusion, these basketball shooting tips can greatly improve your young player's skills on the court. By locating the target earlier, holding their follow-through, and finishing with a relaxed wrist, they will have better accuracy and control. Using colored balls for practice and avoiding air-hanging shots like Kobe's can also help them develop good habits. Stop overthinking during games and eliminate negative thoughts before shooting to maintain confidence. Develop optimal arc for the shot and learn from DVDs and books of great shooters to enhance technique.

Partner drills can fine-tune shot alignment skills, providing advantages in overall skill improvement. Regularly practicing these drills with a partner will lead to better alignment and consistency in shots. With these basketball shooting tips in mind, your young player will be well-equipped to excel on the court.

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