How to Shoot a Basketball

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Face the basket and place your feet shoulder width apart. Point your feet in the general direction of the basket. Your feet should be slightly staggered, with your dominant foot, referred to as your "shooting" foot for these purposes, slightly in front of your non-dominant foot. Take a comfortable and balanced position. There is no perfect stance; the important thing is to find a stance that helps you launch your best shot.

Bend your knees slightly. Locking your knees makes it easy for you to get knocked off balance. Bend your knees comfortably so you're in position to jump as soon as you have the ball.

Some people prefer a closed stance, in which their feet point squarely at the basket, while other prefer an open stance, with their feet pointing slightly toward the side of the basket opposite their shooting hand. For example, if you're right handed, an open stance would mean pointing your feet slightly toward the left side of the basket.

Keep your stance in mind as you learn the art of shooting and begin to practice. Once you find the stance that suits you best, use it every single time. The goal is to get so used to the stance that you don't have to think about it before your feet take the right position to let a great shot fly.

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Position the ball in your shot pocket. You shoot the ball from your "shot pocket," located on the shooting side of your torso a few inches above your waist. The ball and your shooting eye should form a straight line to the basket. Holding the ball too high or too low greatly affects the accuracy of the shot. Make sure the ball is positioned right in the pocket, a comfortable launching point just above your waist.

Position your elbow so it's under the ball, not cocked to the side.

Learn to position the ball in this same place every single time you get ready to take a shot. When someone passes you the ball, they should aim it right for your pocket. If you don't catch it there, you must...
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