How to Shoot A Basketball

One of the greatest things about learning how to play the game of basketball is that everyone is taught different methods on how to shoot the ball. This article features some of the basketball cliches and techniques that are taught to people who are typically first learning how to shoot a basketball.

Put your shooting hand in the cookie jar

Let me rewind to the basics. In basketball, you’re taught that your shooting hand (the dominant hand) is used to follow through. While your guide hand (the hand that does not shoot the ball/the least dominant hand) is there to hold the ball in place.

When I was growing up I was told to make sure that my hand was bent when I followed through as if I was putting my hand “in a cookie jar.” It’s a method taught to many beginners as the perfect shooting form.

For those who don’t know this technique, you’re probably thinking “what in the world does that mean?” When you bend your shooting hand to release the ball, you want to think of the days you used to sneak in the kitchen to steal some cookies. You typically can’t dig in a jar without bending your hand.

Pose for the picture

This concept may be a little easier to understand and is best learned through demonstration. When you’re learning how to shoot, people show you how to do the shooting motion, and at the end say: “pose for the picture”, meaning that after you release the ball you hold your follow through until the ball gets to the rim.

If you ever want to remember “pose for the picture”, just refer to the scene on the hit movie Love and Basketball when Monica Wright had to hold her follow through for THE WHOLE ENTIRE PRACTICE.



Flick at the top and never stop

The last one is a quote to make people remember one of the most important parts of shooting a basketball: “flick at the top and never stop.” Flicking your wrist and holding your follow through go together, but it’s also the answer to having a shot as pure as the shooters in the Curry family. Once you release the ball you want to ensure that you are flicking your wrist at the top EVERY TIME.

For those who don’t know these methods, I’m glad I could teach something new and for those who know… you know that always work!