How to Shoot a Basketball – Getting More Power on Your Shot

We often get questions from players on how to become better shooters. One of the more specific questions we get from younger players is, how can they get more power on their shot. We like to start them out with a little experiment to teach them where the power comes from. You should try this now! We tell them to take the ball and stand about 18 feet from the hoop. They are going to shoot the ball 3 times.

  • The first shot should be completed with the legs straight, no momentum, but still with proper form. This is the “no legs” shot.
  • The second shot should be done like a normal jump shot, but you are not allowed to shoot the ball until you are on your way back down after jumping.
  • The third shot should be done while you are jumping up before you start coming down.

It is VERY easy to tell which of these three is the easiest way to shoot. The power comes from the legs. Understanding how the legs power the shot is ultimately part of proper shot mechanics.

Mastering proper shooting fundamentals, or mechanics, is a vital part of any player’s basketball training. It also happens to be one of the 2 biggest factors in getting more power on your shot. The other factor is strength, but that is actually less important than proper mechanics.

Proper Mechanics

  • You must master correct shooting mechanics! You can learn a bit more about this in our ultimate guide on how to shoot a basketball. When thinking about shooting form and how it relates to power in your shot, you must remember these things:
  • The shot is powered by your legs
  • The timing of the release must be WITH the momentum of your jump
  • Your shooting motion should be fluid (check out the link above to work on your shot!)
  • You need all the other details (extend elbow, relaxed wrist follow through, etc…)…MAKE SURE YOU GO TO THE LINK ABOVE!

Strength

This is the second element of getting power on your shot. Basketball strength training should be full of functional lifts and full body movements. This will create a great strength to weight ratio and will make you fast and explosive without making you too big and slow. You need to have a strong mid-line. This means you will have strong abs, back, and chest. This however will not come from hundreds of crunches and a lot of bench pressing, it comes from those full body movements (clean, squat, squat thrusts, etc.) and body-weight movements (push-ups, pull-ups, dips). Upper body / Arm exercises are much less important to a basketball player.

How to develop more power on your shot

  1. Work on your shooting mechanics
  2. Develop strength through an intelligent training program with functional movements/lifts
  3. SHOOT! Shoot a ton of shots, always with proper technique. Continually refine your technique and improve. Do form shooting, jump shots, game situation shots, the more you will shoot the easier your shot will be and the more power you will be able to generate.

About Joe Lucas

Joe Lucas is the founder of The World of Hoops. DSC_8916 He has 25 years of experience playing basketball, training basketball players, and coaching basketball. The World of Hoops provides intelligent and intense basketball training to take basketball players to the next level.

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