Basketball Shooting: What should you look at when Shooting the Basketball?

July 1st, 2013

Shooting the Basketball, Basketball ShootingI always start my shooting workouts with close-in form shooting. One of the first questions I would ask a player is: “What do you look at when you are shooting the basketball?”  Even with some pretty good players I have heard answers like: “I look at the whole basket” or “the backboard”. 
It is vital that you look at a specific area of the rim every time you shoot the basketball.  By looking at a specific area of the rim, as opposed to the whole basket or the backboard, you will be more accurate. When you are shooting a bank shot however, I would have you look at the top corner of the square that is closer to you.
When I work with players on shooting the basketball, I sometimes use a machine called a Noah Select Shooting System. This state-of-the art machine measures the arc and distance of their shot. The makers of Noah state that the ideal shot has a distance of 11 inches. This measurement comes from where the center of the basketball goes through the rim. The rim is 18 inches”. The front of the rim is 0 and the back of the rim is 18 inches. By combining that distance with an angle of 45 degrees produces the best chance of the ball going in the rim.
I bet you are wondering why I went through all that science?  Well, ideally, if your best chance of making the shot is to put the middle of the basketball in the back half of the basket, then you would want to look at the back half of the rim or over the front of the rim. 
Verbal Cues:
• “Eyes on the rim”
Here’s a tip to help with this. From now on when you are starting your form shooting routine, really focus on looking at the same part of the rim on every shot. This sets the tone for you to get into that habit of doing that every time. ALWAYS make sure you are looking at a specific part of the rim when shooting the basketball. The more you do it, the easier it gets. 

Tommy Hulihan Basketball

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