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The Jump Shot

Coaching the Fundamentals

The jump shot is the most used basketball shot in the game, so it is important that all players know how to take one. Once your players are comfortable with a basic shooting form, and can shoot a set shot with reasonable accuracy and consistence, introduce the jumper.

The big difference between the jump shot and the set shot? Players will use a jumper in the game; they will very rarely be given the opportunity to use a set shot. If you want your shooters to score, they need to know how to shoot the jumper.

Fundamentals First

  • Jump shot fundamentals are the same as Set Shot Fundamentals, except that the player jumps so that he gains more power in the shot and can release the ball above the defense

  • Emphasize that the power in this shot comes from the legs, not the arms or shoulders

  • The ball must be released a fraction of a second before the top of the jump - this should generate the most power, while being as high above the defense as the player will get

  • The basketball shooting form is always the same - regardless of how far the player is from the basket, the same form needs to be used - the only difference between a shot from 5 feet out, and a shot from 15 feet out, is that the 15 footer will need more leg power in the jump; the rest of the shooting motion remains exactly the same

A Simple Practice Drill: Shooting with a Partner

  • Players line up in pairs about 10 feet from each other, facing their partner

  • Each pair has a ball

  • The players "shoot" the ball across to their partner, focusing on proper basketball shooting form

  • The coach then walks down the line, correcting form where necessary

Like the set shot, the jumper needs to be consistent. The more movement in the shooting form - e.g., elbow out, back arced, player floating to the side or forward or backward - the more difficult it will be for the player to develop accuracy in the shot. If the player is moving, the result is the same as the target moving - and it's very difficult to hit a moving target.

Once the basics of the jumper have been practiced, move on to more advanced drills.

More on Jump Shots and Shooting Fundamentals here

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