Basketball Shooting Form: Consistency is the Key to Scoring More Points

The secret to great shooting is consistency.

Basketball shooting form that is automatic and fluid and effortless.

The result is high shooting accuracy and lots of points. 

Watch a pure shooter, and you'll see what I mean. They shoot with proper mechanics every time.

They make it look so easy.

Their shooting motion is smooth and rhythmic. Almost robotic.

Consistency isn't easy.

It takes discipline and dedication and persistence to do the little things.

Shooting is, without a doubt, the most important skill in the game of basketball.

Passing, dribbling, and rebounding are certainly important, but if players can't sink the basket when the team needs it, the other stuff doesn't matter so much.

Simply put, players have got to be able to put points on the board. Consistently.

That's the secret to shooting the ball well. Shoot the same way...every time.


This doesn't happen by accident.

The body is like a machine. It will perform what it's programmed to do. By training the muscles in the body to follow specific patterns of movement when shooting the ball, "muscle memory" kicks in to help the body replicate those movements automatically. 

That's what makes basketball shooting drills so effective. Shooting drills are designed to give players a lot of repetitions using the mechanics of good basketball shooting technique.

With enough practice, players can actually start to "feel" what a good shot feels like.

Experienced shooters can usually tell once the ball leaves their fingertips whether it will be long or short, off to the right or left, or going to hit nothing but net.

Consistent Mechanics

Learning how to shoot a basketball with consistency is all about the little things:

Breakdown of good basketball shooting form

Fix common common shooting errors

Each type of basketball shot has its own mechanics:

Consistent Practice

Learning all of the steps involved in shooting a basketball is just the beginning.

The hard part comes next. Practice. Practice. Practice.

We've all heard the saying, "Practice makes perfect," but I read a quote the other day that I thought was pretty good.

Practice makes permanent

Think about that for a minute.

Practice is absolutely necessary in learning how to do any skill because the learning process involves ingraining new neural movement patterns.

Can you see why players who don't practice correct basketball shooting form are actually doing themselves more harm than good?

Because practice makes bad habits permanent just as easily as good ones.

Make sure what your players are practicing is making them better. Learn more in he following articles:

Improve your technique with basketball shooting drills

Practice scoring under pressure with fun basketball shooting games

Improve your shooting percentage with better shot selection

Consistent Feeback

None of us does everything perfectly. That's why feedback is so valuable.

Feedback is information we get that helps us correct what we're doing wrong or repeat what we're doing right.

It comes in different forms.

Sometimes, a player shoots the ball, and can tell exactly what he did right or wrong based on how the shot felt as it left his fingers and where the ball ended up.

With that feedback, the shooter can make any necessary corrections (or none at all), shoot again, and get more feedback from the new results.

Often, though, it's hard for a shooter to know exactly what's going wrong, especially when it comes to some of the finer points of shooting a basketball.

That's where a shooting coach comes in who can watch the shooter's technique and provide the necessary feedback.

Would you like to help your youth basketball players shoot more consistently but not quite sure what to look for? Follow some of the links on this page for helpful coaching tips.

Tips to help analyze a player's basketball shooting form

  • As the player shoots, take a look at the shot from different angles. The basketball shooting form will look a little different from the front, back, and sides. You can get important feedback from each angle.
  • Have the shooter shoot the ball 10 times in a row. This will give you a chance to recognize some mistakes that are being repeated.
  • If you're able to video the shots from each angle, that's even better. It gives you the chance to replay the shots and look carefully for the mistakes that might have been hard to notice in real time. Taking pictures also helps identify incorrect body position that impacts the shot.

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