Here are several common problems that can sneak their way into anyone’s shot:
Low release point: The elbow should be above your eyes at release, releasing too low makes the shot easier to block/defend.
Shooting on the way down: The shot should be released just before the top of the jump. Shooting on the way down causes a loss in the power behind the shot, as well as causing a corresponding loss of arc on the ball.
Shooting off the palm: When a shot comes off a player’s palm it looks more like they are shot-putting the ball. The shot should come off the player’s fingertips and finger pads. If the ball is shot off the palm it will lack rotation and the soft touch that results from using the finger tips.
Overused guide hand: Some players have a tendency to use their guide hand for a little “help”. The guide hand should not be on the ball at all and should have no effect on the shot. The guide hand should fall away from the ball in the split second before the shot comes off the fingertips.
Gripping the ball too hard or too loose: There are definitely times a player needs a very firm grip on the ball to protect it from the defense, shooting however is not one of them. When shooting there should be a relaxed and slightly firm grip on the ball. The movement should feel relaxed and not forceful.
Drifting: When you shoot a jump shot, your body should travel straight up and down, essentially landing in the same spot you jumped from. The player’s body should not drift to the right/left or forward/backward (with the obvious exceptions of runners, fadeaways)
“Dip” in the shot: One slightly more advanced shooting item is what is called a “dip” in a shot. This is when players bring the ball down to the waist (or below the waist) prior to the shot. When shooting off the dribble the final dribble should be a hard high dribble that goes right into the shot. When shooting off of a catch, there shouldn’t be a hitch where the ball comes down prior to traveling up. The player should catch the ball and immediately flow into the shot without dropping it down. This “dip” enables a defender to strip the ball away before you ever get a shot off.
Hand placement: When shooting the ball should not be flat to the palm (you should be able to have one finger fit snugly between ball and palm…not too much more room than that). The ball will rest on the finger tips and finger pads.