It’s been a long journey.
Since the age of 8, basketball has consumed my life. Now, over 20 years later, I’ve finally recorded the formula that I’m certain will take your shooting to the next level. How am I so sure? Well, as a college basketball player the formula allowed me to break every shooting record in my college’s record book. And, as a coach, I’ve trained thousands of players that I’ve watched reap the benefits of the formula!
Before I jump into the formula (itself), I have to be clear on a couple of things:
- If you really want to be a great shooter, you have to apply yourself EVERYDAY. No player has ever become great overnight! It’s going to take practice. Trust the process, use the formula, get the reps, and you will see improvement in your shot. That’s a guarantee!
- It has taken me years of experimenting, researching, studying, and traveling to put this formula together. As a player and a coach, I’ve had “lightbulb moments”; moments, when I learned a new technique or teaching tip that I knew, was going to be a shooting game changer. Those “game changers” have finally come together to make this awesome shooting formula that I’m finally ready to disclose.
Let’s get started.
- Get your hand to the center of the ball! This is an absolute must! People have asked me, “Ant, if you had to say what is the most important aspect of any shot, what would it be?” My response is always the same, “You have to get your hand to the center of the ball”. When young basketball players finally make this adjustment their shot accuracy dramatically increases. As a guide, use the pinhole (the place where you put air into the ball). Put your pointer finger on one side of the pinhole and your middle finger on the other. This is a great starting point.
- Let your dominant fingers work!Your pointer finger and your middle finger should be the dominant fingers when you shoot the basketball. Of course, your entire hand contributes to the shot, but your pointer and middle finger should be doing the majority of the work. If you break you’re shot down in slow motion, those two fingers should be the last two touching the ball. That being said, they control where the ball is going (direction) and rotation (backspin) on your shot. Those are the two most important aspects of your shot, so do not underestimate this aspect of the formula.
- Get your elbow under the ball during your shot!
During your shot, your elbow should be under the ball. Do not get confused when coaches instruct you to keep your elbow “tucked” or “in”. Sure, popping your elbow “out” is not good, however, it’s important not to over-exaggerate the “tuck in”advice. Your elbow should not be touching the side of your body on your shot, and it should not be so far in that it’s pointing towards your belly button (which I’ve seen a lot). Keep your elbow comfortable under the ball in a relaxed position off of your body.
- Keep your shooting hand behind the ball!
This is super important! Everyone thinks that because their elbow is under the ball (during their shot), that their hand is supposed to be completely under the ball. NO! Do not fall into that trap. Your hand has to be slightly behind the basketball. You have to be able to push forward. If you keep your hand underneath the ball, you are never going to get the range that you are capable of getting.
- Square your feet to the basket and keep them perfectly even!
You may never be perfect at this, but keeping your ten toes pointing directly at the rim and having them evenly lined up with each other is very helpful. Lots of shooting instructors advise players to keep their strong foot in front of their weak foot. I usually advise players against that. Ultimately, it’s unnecessary and makes the game more difficult than it has to be (specifically, when it comes to shooting off the dribble and off the screen).
- Get the ball to your “shooting pocket”!
If you are not familiar with the term “shooting pocket”, it’s the starting point for where your shot begins. Keep in mind, one of the most basic concepts in the shooting is that the ball should be angled up when you shoot. Make sure that you do not position your “shooting pocket” down by your hip; that would be incorrect. For the large majority, your shooting pocket is about shoulder high. By getting the ball up into your shooting pocket you eliminate the chance of making any mistakes on the way up into your shot. In comparison, if you start the ball low (by your hip or below your shoulder), you increase the chance of losing the ball to a defender or having something go wrong on the way up into your shot. Getting the ball to your shooting pocket immediately after receiving a pass or picking up your dribble will ultimately increase your shot accuracy.
- Guide hand fingers towards the rim!Everyone knows that you have to snap your SHOOTING HAND towards the rim when you shoot. However, many neglect the fact that your guide hand should be pointing toward the rim as well. Of course, your guide hand has no business shooting the basketball. Your guide hand should only be used to balance the ball at the beginning of your shot, after that, be sure to release it from the ball. However, in the end, make sure that both arms are fully extended and your guide hand palm is facing towards your shooting hand. This is going to help keep your off shoulder from popping out, and it is going to give you more balance on your follow through.There you have it.Young players should start implementing these aspects of shooting immediately. There is no doubt that by doing so you will see tremendous improvement in your shot. In addition, you will be setting yourself up for success in the future. Every basketball team has room for an additional shooter – providing that shooter put in the time and the reps.
Trust the process and get comfortable with the formula.