Basketball is a very physically demanding contact sport—one that requires players to be in tip-top physical condition while learning a wide range of skills and manoeuvres that can only be learned through proper and consistent training.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most basic basketball shots in the simplest terms possible for beginners and for newly minted participants of school holiday basketball camps, particularly those enrolled in Australia. We hope that this article will serve as an inspiration and as a practical guide for young people who are just beginning to learn the ropes of basketball.
The layup is one of the most common manoeuvers used in basketball—a great way to convert easy baskets. After all, statistics clearly show their advantage as high percentage shots. A layup is performed from a very short range by a player moving towards the basket. Dribbling the ball with their shooting hand, the player moves toward the basket while protecting the ball from defensive players with their off hand. The ball is then delivered by the player jumping off their foot opposite their shooting hand. They can lay in the ball either underhand or overhand, and then take advantage of the backboard by bouncing the ball off it, thereby helping it to drop into the basket afterwards.
The Jump Shot
Typically done in order to accomplish middle-range or long-range shots, the jump shot is another quintessential move in basketball, one that is used by players more than any other type of shot. The player takes an explosive jump into the air, leaping as high as possible before releasing the ball towards the direction of the basket. It’s a great way for a player to tower above defensive players for a shot towards the rim. When doing a jump shot, a player stands with their feet shoulder width apart while keeping their dominant foot in front to ensure proper balance. They then bend their knees and keep their eyes on the basket. In order to propel the ball properly, the dominant hand is kept under the ball while the off hand is kept on the side of the ball to support it. The player then jumps and releases the ball as they reach the apex of their jump.
The Hook Shot
The hook shot differs from the jump shot mainly because it is carried out with only one hand. It’s also a go-to move for a lot of players, one that can be executed while they’re facing the basket directly, although it is usually done while the player is at a sideways angle. The player takes an explosive leap while keeping both hands on the ball for as long as possible. Moments later, the player releases their off arm from the ball, even as they thrust their shooting arm upwards to take the ball as high as possible. Finally, the wrist is flicked out to pitch the ball towards the basket.
The Bank Shot
The bank shot is essentially similar to the jump shot, but it differs in that it takes advantage of the backboard in order to support the ball’s delivery into the basket. Bank shots tend to be high percentage shots because the backboard helps to slow down the ball, thus increasing its chances of falling into the basket. This is why they are favoured by a lot of basketball players. When doing a bank shot, a player usually assumes the same stance and movement as when they’re doing a jump shot, except that they will be throwing the ball at a higher angle than usual. This will account for the height that is needed to make the ball hit the backboard before it sinks into the basket.
When it comes to rebounding, many players tend to focus on developing the ability to grab the ball with both hands in order to continue controlling it for their team. Because this is not always possible, one can use the tip-in technique instead. If a teammate misses the shot and the ball bounces of the rim of the basket, another player can save the shot by stretching out their arm and tapping the ball back into the net. When attempting this move, one only has to be mindful not to touch any part of the basket while the ball is still moving through it because this constitutes a violation.
The Slam Dunk
The slam dunk is a shot in which a player shoves the ball down into the basket with explosive force. It’s arguably the most spectacular of all basketball moves, one that can help a player not just win the game but also win the admiration of everyone in the audience. Slam dunks rely on explosive vertical leaps that end with equally explosive slamming of the ball through the rim.
Practice Doing Shots with Other Essential Basketball Techniques
All of the shots mentioned above are fantastic manoeuvres that can bring your game to the next level. Whether you’re a school holiday programs Melbourne participant or a trainee in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, or any another location in Australia, these can definitely help you.
However, as a young basketball player, you shouldn’t just practise doing shots, you should also practice other techniques that are critical to helping you become a more well-rounded player. These include the following:
- Dribbling – Essential to helping you become a better ball handler
- Ball passing – Important in developing your ability to work with your team
- Vertical jumping – Critical to helping you improve the power of your leaps
- Form shooting – Allows you to develop the perfect stance and to achieve perfect balance while training your body to perform movements as fluidly as possible.
Just keep practising, and soon, you’ll be on your way to becoming the basketball player you’ve always dreamed yourself of becoming.