Coaches must remember that it is very hard to change habits once they are ingrained and so:

  • With players that are just learning to shoot – do not over complicate. Focus on them being balanced and give them lots of opportunities to practice. Where possible, use lower rings, smaller balls and even vary the target (e.g. hitting the ring may score a point with 7-8 year olds);
  • With players that have an established shooting “technique” – do not make changes just because their approach is not “textbook”. Identify key changes to be made (e.g. shooting with a high arc instead of flat) and give the athlete the opportunity to explore how to best achieve that.

What to Teach



With young athletes (8-9 year olds), focus on them stopping and bending their knees (getting balanced) before shooting.


Lay-up footwork can be introduced at a young age and athletes should practice both “right-left” as well as “left-right” footwork. Have athletes catch the ball with their feet in the air and then take two steps (one foot landing and then the other).


There are probably as many different shooting techniques as there are basketball players!

Key aspects for shooting are:

  • Balance;
  • High arc on the shot
  • high release point;
  • backward rotation (backspin) on the ball
  • Power comes from the legs (pushing up)