What are the Five Fundamentals of Shooting?

five fundamentals of shooting

Written by Aliesha

August 11, 2021


If you are interested in becoming a deadly jump shooter, then you have to learn about the five fundamentals of shooting the ball. The basics will allow you to understand and enjoy shooting more. You must know how to shoot a basketball correctly in order to improve your confidence level in your shot and your overall game.

Unleash the Shooter in You: Learning the Five Fundamentals of Shooting

Are you looking to master the art of shooting in basketball? If so, it is recommended to start the process with the basics. Yes, learning the five fundamentals of shooting is the first decisive step on the road to becoming a skillful and efficient shooter.

Keep feet shoulder width apart for balance

One of the five fundamentals of shooting is to keep your feet shoulder width apart. This is almost as important as practicing shooting and should be practiced daily. This is good for the beginning shooter as well as the expert shooter. By keeping feet shoulder width apart you are providing maximum leverage for shooting. Having too much, or too little, distance can disrupt your balance and take away from your concentration on making baskets. A good rule of thumb is to follow the line on the floor which has an equal amount of space in front of each foot.

Also, this strategy will allow you to use more of your muscles as you take off running or enter the lane since your body has to follow an imaginary line laid out by your hips and shoulders. The narrower your stance, the less control you have over the ball; the wider your stance, the more control you have over the ball.

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Learn to be an elite shooter with this Art of Shooting Worksheet – written for serious players, by Coach Watts who led the PAC-12 in 3pt shooting percentage and was UW’s leading scorer.

Eyes on the rim 

The most fundamental element of shooting in basketball is sight. You cannot get better at shooting unless you learn how to look directly at the basket and take perfect shots with full concentration. The best way to develop this skill is to practice shooting with a partner. When you practice with a partner, you can practice making individual shots and then team shots together at the same time. Doing this all day long will slowly improve your ability to fire off flawless shots consistently.

A good grip

Having a strong grip on the ball is one of the five fundamentals of shooting in basketball. Many athletes have poor range of motion in their non-dominant hand (very common in basketball). Developing a good shooting grip can allow you to use more powerful movements while maintaining good control over your shot. This helps you develop maximum power output while maintaining a good form that is easy for other people to watch and mimic. 

Utilize leg power to propel your shot 

One of the five fundamentals of shooting efficiently in basketball is leg power. Power helps transfer the energy of your jump shot from your hips to your upper body which ultimately puts pressure on the ball and helps deliver a perfect delivery. Think about it this way, when you run fast, your legs work harder to power your forward momentum and end up pushing through obstacles. This creates an innate advantage when playing basketball because you have extra momentum going into each contact point on each shot.

Plus, the main reason that so many athletes strive for perfect form, particularly in the leg area, is so that they can generate more power on their shots. The knees must have proper space to travel through the air, and the hips must be pulled in properly so that the weight of the body can be shifted forward onto the legs instead of up onto the back. When you use proper form in any sport, it not only helps you generate more power but can also minimize the risk of injury to your lower extremities.

Improve your basketball skills!


A solid base will allow you to maximize all of the physical and technical benefits of shooting while minimizing frustration and pain. At its core, follow-through begins with maintaining sight alignment and sight picture through the entire range of motion during each shot. 

Once you master this principle, your accuracy will increase as you will be more likely to make good targets without moving your feet or compromising your stance. During a match or practice, it’s easy to get frustrated by making potentially easy shots. You should try and imagine yourself as another player and take things slowly

Become a Scoring Threat on the Court

Learning the five fundamentals of shooting is one of the most important aspects when it comes to improving your game. There are no shortcuts to success in any sport, and shooting is no exception. However, with these fundamentals, you can become successful on the court by improving your overall skills.


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