Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, all great athletes, all great basketball players but even more so, they all had a great jump shot. Basketball shooting is a skill that takes years and years and hours and hours a day to perfect. We’ve all heard the story’s of the long hours Jordan would spend in the gym honing his shot. Kobe will take an additional 200 to 300 shots after a game if he feels he needs the work. The old adage is true, practice makes perfect.

The mechanics of good basketball shooting is pretty broad. Everyone shoots a jump shot differently. Yes, you need a high arch and good back spin but there is much more involved to get the desired result. Let’s start off simple.


Your basic stance should be whatever is comfortable for you. The main thing to focus on is to not get to wide or to narrow. This will make it hard to explode through your toes as you jump. Hip or shoulder width apart with a slight stagger is ideal.

Ball placement

Keep the ball at chest or shoulder height. We’re not gun fighting or shooting granny shots. When the ball is low it’s easy for a defender to knock it away from you, so keep it at chest height to ensure ball security and a quick release for effective basketball shooting.

The Jump

Exploding off the floor with good elevation is a key to proper basketball shooting. The higher you jump the more force you can translate into your jump shot and get a better view of the basket over defenders. A good ¼ to ½ squat ensures a transfer of energy from your glutes all the way down to your toes as you jump. While elevating, bring the basketball into your shooting pocket right in front of your shoulder.

The Release

The release is the final peace a good basketball shooting. As you reach the apex of your jump, keep your shooting elbow tight to the mid line of your body, pointing it directly at the basket. Keep your other hand lightly balancing the ball on the side. With the ball resting on your finger tips, extend your arm and flick your wrist towards the basket. Hold your follow through until you land from the jump. Your arm and wrist should resemble you reaching high into the air into a cookie jar.

Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to put in the work. Muscles memory is the most important aspect of great basketball shooting. You need to practice hours, days, weeks and maybe years to train your body to perform those basic movement the same way every time. In the beginning it’s not even important that you’re making the shots but that your shooting motion is consistent. The shots will start to fall after enough practice.

Article Title: Basic Basketball Shooting Mechanics of the Jump Shot