It is also important that players stay “within range” when developing jump shooting technique, although many players will immediately want to move out to the three point line!

The advantage of a jump shot is that it enables an offensive player both to get additional strength in the shot and to shoot over a taller defender. However, when first developing the technique, players should begin with a small jump. Players may lose balance when jumping (particularly when they jump high), which can affect their shot even if it is only a moderate loss of balance.

A good way to improve balance when jumping is to have the player jump on a trampoline (a mini trampoline is best if possible). The player should jump only high enough so that they can point their toes to the ground while in the air. Have the player keep their arms still and concentrate on trying to land on the same spot on the trampoline. This will focus on them using their core strength and head position to remain balanced (often they will use their arms to balance).

A trampoline can also be used to practice shooting (again a mini trampoline is preferred).

A jump shot is exactly that - jumping to shoot and to gain an athletic advantage and power when shooting the ball. Everything else about the player’s shot technique must remain the same, including landing after the jump with feet in the same position as when they started (or slightly forward if shooting from long range).

Some players will jump back slightly, which is often caused by looking at the ball in flight (and moving their head back) rather than maintaining focus on their target (e.g. spot on the backboard, front of rim or whatever).

The hardest thing when shooting a jump shot is co-ordinating the timing of the jump and ensuring your shooting action works in motion with your jump.

Some important teaching points:

  • Prepare to shoot the ball before catching it, be low and ready;
  • Catch the ball in the air to develop rhythm, land and then jump into the shot;
  • Lock your feet (pointing at the basket) and head (focusing on the target);
  • Be balanced in a strong athletic stance;
  • Keep your feet apart throughout the shot and attempt to land in the same spot (or slightly forward). It can be good to start standing on a line on the court as this will easily enable the player to identify if they jump forward or backward;
  • Release the ball at the top of your jump, or just before the top of the jump, for maximum power. If the player shoots whilst they are on the way down, the power from their legs will have dissipated.