Solve Your Shooting Problems
“You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong then you will become very good at shooting the wrong way. Lower the basics and the level of everything you do will increase.” -Michael Jordan
When it comes to someone working on their shot, I think this quote is a great way to explain why fundamentals are so important. Michael Jordan is the best player to ever play the game of basketball. He has nothing but respect for the game and wants the players to achieve success the right way. With that being said there are several different aspects to shooting the ball and all of them have to be done right if a player wants to be a great shooter. The perfect formula when teaching the art of shooting with regard to beef. Let me explain…
BEEF is an acronym meaning balance, eye, elbow, follow up. This is a strategy used everywhere to teach good shooting form and is a very effective strategy.
B – Balance
Balance is very important when shooting a basketball. Players’ feet should be shoulder width apart as they prepare to shoot. It provides the perfect amount of balance on each side of the body. With knees bent, one leg should be slightly in front of the other. The foot that should be in front is on the same side as the player’s shooting hand. (If you shoot with your right, your right foot should be slightly forward) This is not only great for aiming but also gives you a nice aspect of where your foot should be pointing, at the basket! From here you should be balanced and bent over ready to move on to the next step.
E – Mata
Bend over in a ball position, you know you need to use your eyes to see the basket. Yes, this seems like it should go on without explanation, but there’s a bit more to it than that. The eye is your best tool for aiming the ball and you’d think most people know they have to look into the basket when shooting, but it needs to be more specific than that. Players who are great shooters don’t just aim for the orange ring on the board, they pick a smaller piece on the edge to see. This results in a more precise shot and results in a more accurate shot. I’ve always been taught to shoot the inside of the rim right in the middle, I know some people who were taught to aim at the front of the rim. I don’t really agree with that because if you aim at the front of the rim you will hit the front of the rim and it wo n’t go away. With that I suggest aiming for the inside of the back.
At this point you are balanced and looking at the right side of the rim. Now it’s time to start shooting. The most common mistake for players who have bad shots is that they don’t hold their elbows. The reason for this is because holding your elbows takes a little more effort (at least at the start, until you get used to him). However, people who take the time to notice it will see that they can get more power in their strokes because they have more muscle to push the ball. When you jump off both feet, tucking your elbows in you want to push the ball in the air towards the rim, don’t forget to keep an eye on the rim!!
F – Follow Through
Almost done with your shot but there’s still one last part… the follow-up. This is the most difficult part for me when I play. It is important that your hand is pointing towards the edge as you release the ball. Not only do you want it to point towards the edge, but you want your arms extended and your hands high in the air. At the end of the shot, your shot should basically be straight up and down. My problem was that after my shot my arm would be pointed to the edge instead of straight up. The importance of keeping your hand straight up is that it affects the curve of your shot. You want to have a high arch in your shot because it creates a better chance for your shot to go into the basket if it comes from above.