Do you want to make your jump shot better and improve your basketball shooting percentage?
Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz knows the feeling!
Despite going No. 1 in the 2017 NBA Draft, Fultz had a rough time during his first season with the Sixers.
Part of that was because of a shoulder injury that sidelined Fultz for much of the year.
But part of it was also because Fultz struggled to find his shot in a professional basketball setting. By the end of the season, he was stuck on the bench due to his poor shooting.
Fortunately for 76ers fans, Fultz spent his offseason rebuilding his jump shot. It should earn him a spot in the Sixers’ rotation this season.
It should also offer hope to those who want to improve their basketball shooting percentage. If you fall into this category, here are 15 tips to help you do it.
15 Best Tips to Improve Basketball Shooting
Record Yourself Shooting to See What Your Jump Shot Looks Like
If you’re a college basketball or NBA player, you’re probably well aware of what your jump shot looks like.
You’ve either seen it on TV or witnessed it during a film study.
But if you’re a middle or high school basketball player, there’s a good chance you’ve never seen your jump shot in action.
As a result, you might not know what you could potentially improve in order to bring your basketball shooting percentage up.
Remedy this by having someone record you while you shoot a bunch of jump shots.
Shoot the way you normally would during a game and take shots from a variety of different spots out on the court.
This will allow you to go back and see what your jump shot looks like later. For all you know, you could have a huge hitch in your shot that you never recognized before.
Figure Out Which Aspects of Your Jump Shot You Want to Improve
Once you’ve had a chance to see your jump shot in action, it’ll be time for you to be brutally honest with yourself.
Sit down and make a list of all the things you’re doing wrong when you shoot the basketball.
- Sticking your elbow out when you shoot?
- Shooting off-balanced all the time?
- Failing to follow through on almost all of your shots?
- Landing behind the spot where you’re jumping to take your shots?
- Putting almost no arc on the basketball during shots?
Write down anything that you notice that doesn’t look right with your shot. It’ll give you some things to work on as far as improving your shot and making it more reliable.
Spend Time Watching Great Jump Shooters and Study Their Mechanics
Before you begin working on perfecting your own jump shot, spend some time on YouTube watching videos of great jump shooters.
Study their mechanics and take a look at the things they do when they shoot.
There are so many great jump shooters that have played in the NBA over the years.
Some of the guys you might want to watch include:
- Ray Allen
- Steph Curry
- Steve Kerr
- Klay Thompson
- Larry Bird
- Steve Nash
- Reggie Miller
- Jason Terry
- And more!
The great thing about YouTube is that you can usually find clips of players like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and others working on drills they do to improve their basketball shooting percentage.
You can incorporate some of those drills into your own shooting routine to turn yourself into a better shooter.
Find Shooting Drills Designed to Improve Your Jump Shot
Whether you use the shooting drills you see the pros using or you use other drills that you learn from a coach or the internet.
It’s important for you to find shooting drills that will work for you.
The only way you’re going to bring your basketball shooting percentage up is by practicing your shot with shooting drills.
Some examples of drills are:
- 1-Hand Form Shooting Drill: This drill will help you develop your jump shot by forcing you to take jump shots with just one hand
- 1-Hand Form Shooting Drill With the Addition of a Guide Hand: This drill will add your other hand into the mix and allow you to use it to guide the basketball as you shoot
- Set to Go Drill: This drill will force you to catch the ball and get it set in your hands quickly before shooting
There are literally dozens and dozens of basketball shooting drills that you can work on, both on your own and with a partner or a team.
Practice Your Shooting Drills Over and Over Again
Improving your jump shot takes a lot of commitment and hard work.
You can watch all the jump shot videos you want and learn 50 different drills that you can try.
But if you don’t get out there and do the drills, it’s all going to be for naught.
Develop a routine that includes a bunch of different shooting drills and does it at least a few times a week.
Even as your jump shot steadily improves, continue doing the drills in order to train your mind and your muscles to shoot the same way over and over.
Work on Catching the Basketball and Shooting It
Stationary shooting drills will allow you to tweak your shot to make it more effective.
But at some point, you’re going to need to start shooting the ball like you would during a game.
Get a partner and work on having them throw you passes while you catch them and shoot.
As you do this, focus on taking your time and allowing yourself to use your the shooting motion you have developed.
Don’t think too much about the shots you’re taking. Just shoot them the way you would if you were doing your shooting drills.
If you want, you can film this part of the process to see how your jump shot has changed from the beginning.
You might see some things you’re still not happy with, which will give you an opportunity to alter your shooting drills to get better results.
Train Yourself to Locate the Rim Quicker Before Taking a Shot
One of the things that all great basketball shooters do is find the rim right before they take a shot.
They’re able to locate the rim within milliseconds so that they subconsciously know what they’re aiming at.
This might seem like common sense.
But a lot of younger shooters don’t locate the rim very quickly. Some don’t even look at the rim at all when they’re taking a shot.
By looking at the rim, you’ll prepare your entire body to take a shot. You’ll square up your shoulders more effectively and be ready to release the ball at the right moment.
Train yourself to find the rim quicker, and you’ll notice a change in the way you shoot.
Shoot With a Colored Basketball to Monitor the Rotation on Your Shots
Are you getting enough rotation on your jump shots when you let the ball out of your hand?
The ball should rotate cleanly to give it the best chance of going through the hoop.
A good way to check your rotation is by using a colored basketball that’ll make it simple to see which direction the ball is rotating in.
If your rotation is off even just slightly, it could impact the way the ball bounces off the rim.
Fine-Tune the Arc on Your Shots to Improve Your Chances of Making Them
In addition to monitoring the rotation that you’re putting on your jump shots, you should also pay close attention to the arc you’re putting on them.
You don’t want the ball to come out of your hand too flat since it’ll likely clang right off the rim when you do that.
But you also don’t want to waste too much energy by putting a huge arc on the ball, either.
The key is finding the optimal arc for your shot. With the right arc, your shots will have a better chance of going in when they hit the rim.
Focus on Holding Your Follow Through After Taking Shots
Following through is the act of holding your jump shooting motion in place for a few extra seconds after releasing the ball.
It’s a good way to ensure you’re using the proper mechanics when taking a shot.
If you’re not following through each time you shoot the ball, it’s likely causing a slight hiccup in your shot.
Put more of an emphasis on following through so that you know you’re using the good technique on your shots.
Relax Your Wrist After Each Jump Shot You Take
When you’re following through on a jump shot, your wrist should look relaxed.
That will let you know you released the ball properly.
If your wrist is tense, something went wrong with your shot.
Work on relaxing your wrist after every shot as you hold your follow through in place.
Pay Attention to Where You Land After Shooting the Basketball
Achieving a good balance is essential for any good jump shooter.
If you’re not balanced, your jump shot is likely going to go too long, come up short, or drift off to the left or right.
One way to tell if you’re balanced when you shoot is by taking a look at where you land after taking a jump shot.
Ideally, you want to land a little bit in front of where you took the shot. This will let you know that you used momentum in your favor.
You’ll know there was an issue with your balance if you landed behind where you took your shot or off to the side.
Move Without the Basketball Before Catching and Shooting It
In a game, you’re probably not going to be standing around before catching passes and taking shots.
You’re going to be running around trying to get open before you get the basketball in your hands and shoot.
So as you get deeper and deeper into shooting drills, work some motion into the mix.
Try coming off screens or running from one side of the court to the other before taking shots.
As you do this, use everything you’ve already learned about becoming a better shooter to your advantage.
Even though you’ll be in motion, you should still work on things like your ball rotation, your arc, your follow through, your balance, and more.
Keep Track of Your Basketball Shooting Percentage
Where are you most comfortable shooting on the court?
Some jump shooters prefer taking shots from the corner.
While others will hang out at the top of the key and take most of their shots there.
Track your basketball shooting percentage from different spots on the floor to see where you need to make improvements.
This will allow you to shoot from anywhere on the floor and make a defense have to guard you all over the place during a game.
Take as Many Jump Shots as You Can Each and Every Day
Steph Curry is probably the best shooter in the NBA right now. He’s also arguably the best shooter in NBA history.
But even he isn’t satisfied with where his jump shot is at. He’s enjoyed tons of success on the court.
But, he still takes between 300 and 500 jump shots every day depending on what time of the year it is.
You’ll need to do the same thing if you want to improve your basketball shooting percentage.
The only way to get better is to improve your jump shot and then continue to improve it over time.
Start Improving Your Basketball Shooting Percentage Today
Repetition is the name of the game when it comes to improving your basketball shooting percentage.
There are no shortcuts to shooting a success!
If you want to become a better shooter and, by extension, a better basketball player, follow the tips listed here.
They’ll help you to perfect your jump shot and make more shots during games. Read our blog for more tips on improving your skills on the basketball court.