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1 on 1

Shooting - Augie Johnston

See YouTube videos - How to shoot like a pro, Drills to improve shooting form, How to improve your shooting.


  • A right-hander's feet should be slightly tilted or slanted to the left, it's not 10 toes to the rim (that causes knees to bend in instead of down, and it’s a lot harder to get your shooting elbow cocked in).
  • 1-2 step (ideally left-right) or hop step (jump off one, land on two).
  • Drop into a hop.
  • He's a hop guy off a catch and a 1-2 guy off the dribble (it's quicker), although he uses a hop to square up when dribbling to his right (otherwise has to shoot across his body). Going left he normally 1-2 steps, the shooting elbow is straight even if he is not squared up.
  • Coming off a screen or on the move for a shot, instead of a 1-2 use a 3-step push-off, catch with the outside foot on the floor [a gather step], then 1-2, gives you distance and balance.
  • Running off a screen, a lot of players struggle with the footwork because they are running away from the basket, when they get a catch they are slow to turn and get squared up because they have to turn so quickly, it’s slower and you shoot a worse percentage. Come off the screen shoulder to shoulder, then as soon as you get off the screen start turning (“turn, turn, turn”) so that by the time you catch you are basically almost squared up, you may need to turn 15 or 30 degrees but not the full 180 degrees.
  • On a one-dribble pull-up, it's a 3-step move going to his right (R-L-R, ball and right foot hit at the same time), going left it's a quick crossover 1-2 to keep space (R-L), or a 3-step crossover move to gain space (R-L-R).

Catch and release

  • On a catch, dip the ball down to the bottom of the shot line while coiling up, that's your rhythm.
  • Open "T" with the thumbs
  • rotate the shoulder, bring the ball up the shot line to the set point above your eyebrows, your arm should make a backwards "C".
  • Wrist cocked, you can flick your wrist, get back spin.
  • When ankles-knees-hips snap at the same time, the ball needs to be at the set point.
  • Once you leave the floor snap the elbow and wrist, early for more power and range (a one-motion shooter).
  • Natural for legs to kick out a little bit.
  • A two-motion shooter has a later and higher release point.

Shooting form

  • Down and up, down and up
    • slow motion, shot pocket (loaded up) to set point (legs extended, up on toes), repeat
  • Waiter position
    • set point, no guide hand, bend knees, extend and shoot (down and up), focus on the release point
  • 1-2-3
    • rhythm one-hand shooting, hold the ball out in front resting on the shooting hand, 1) raise and rotate it to the set point), 2) bend knees, 3) extend and shoot
  • Set point
    • guide hand on the ball, start from the set point (fewer variables), down and up, shoot
  • Shot pocket
    • start about 3 feet from the basket, ball in the shot pocket, bend the knees but don't jump off the floor, shoot for swishes
  • 1-2 step
    • rock back on the right leg, step left-right, dip the ball, shoot
  • Drop shooting
    • for two-motion shooters
    • drop down, touch the ball to the floor, go up into a shot, variation - partner rolls a ball to you (when you shoot in a game you go down then up, it's hard to make shots if you get a low pass, you can't go down)
  • Chair
    • sitting in a chair, dip the ball a bit from the set point, shoot (remain seated)
  • Range
    • take a big step back if you make 2 in a row, step in if you miss 2 in a row, work your way back.

See The Art of Shooting (pdf), Keys to shooting, Shooting - Nash block, Tauer form, Form.up

© 2007-22 Eric Johannsen