Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills


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1 on 1


Keys to Shooting

See Shooting - Torbett build your shot, Drew Hanlen, Augie Johnston, Steph Curry, Adam Filippi, Collin Castellaw.

Shot Mechanics

See YouTube playlist - Shooting mechanics (also Shooting footwork).

  • Stance (balance)
    • hop (quick off a catch) or 1-2 step (quick off the dribble)
    • drop into a hop or 1-2, a quick hip drop (don't jump)
    • loaded up (hips, knees, ankles) - knees over toes, shoulders over knees
    • feet ready, 10 toes to the rim (or feet angled, e.g. with dominant right eye)
  • Grip
    • shooting-hand in the middle of the ball, fingers spread
    • guide hand beside the ball, thumbs form a ‘T’
  • Shot pocket
    • on a perimeter shot, start by looking over the ball
    • on a catch, dip the ball down to the shot pocket (bottom of the shot line) and load up (bend the knees) for rhythm and power
    • for a quicker shot, catch in the shot pocket with feet set and knees bent, don't lower the ball (shooting off the dribble, you and the ball are already low)
    • there are two right angles, elbow and wrist (set the wrist)
  • Aim at the hoop
    • back rim (“look to the hook”), or the whole basket (the empty space)
      • Noah Basketball - shoot the ball two inches past the centre of the basket
  • Extension
    • shoot from the leg drive, on the way up
    • upward elevation of the arm (70-75% of max force), full extension, arm straight
    • elbow lock, wrist snap (forward force), relaxed wrist and hand
    • ball comes off the index and middle fingers (the shooting fingers)
      • variation - the index or middle finger is in the middle of the ball, and comes off last
    • medium to high arc (45 to 55 degrees), shoot up and out the top of a telephone booth
      • Noah Basketball - shoot at a 45-degree angle
    • shooting elbow above eyes - elbow to eyebrow
  • Follow through
    • reach in the cookie jar and hold for backspin
    • keep the shooting hand spread wide, shooting fingers pointing in the rim
    • guide hand finishes in a vertical position off the ball, fingertips even with the shooting-hand wrist

Dave Love - get to the shot pocket while your legs are still loaded, go up and out from there.

Scott Adubato - for a quick, snap release, have the feet set, be low, don't bring the ball down.

Collin Castellaw - to maximize power, the ball and hips move together (down and up), the ball reaches the set point at the same time hips are locking out and toes are ready to leave the floor.

Rick Torbett - time breaking of the shooting wrist with feet leaving the floor.

Hal Wissell - shooting rhythm comes from a down-and-up motion of the legs. Shooting off a catch, the "down" comes just before the catch, and the shot goes up as the legs go up. Keep the ball high, don't lower it.

Adam Filippi - on a jump shot the ball should leave your hand right before the top of your jump. For an "elevation" shot, shoot as you extend your body and release with your feet barely leaving the ground.up

Form Shooting Progression

The progression includes links to YouTube videos (in italics), which are in a Shooting Keys playlist.

Start with "shadow" shooting (without a ball, see Tauer, 5star shadow, GVRTC form). Then to get reps and focus on mechanics, have players shoot to a partner (or if solo, shoot to themselves in the air or off a wall).

Shot mechanics can be broken into 3 phases (working backwards) - set point to release & follow-through, shot pocket to set point, and getting the ball to the shot pocket off a pass or dribble.

See Footwork - Dave Smart first step, Shooting - Tauer form, Form, Nash form, Nash block, Rick Torbett, Frankston step-up, 90s, Dave Love, GVRTC form.up


© 2007-21 Eric Johannsen