20 Tips To Improve Your Shooting

As basketball players, we all dream of having the ability to shoot like NBA superstar Steph Curry. But for every seemingly effortless 27-foot shot Curry swishes, hours of repetitious shooting and fundamental training went into it.

One of Curry's favorite shooting drills is taking 10 shots from five different locations on the three-point line, going back and forth until he takes 100. Looking for a score to beat? Curry once hit 94 out of 100, including 77 in a row. 77! 

To get you on your way to shooting like Steph, we asked our Ultimate Hoops' trainers to share their tried-and-true shooting tips.  Here are 20 of our favorites. 


1  Tim Wojcik, New Jersey

"Focus on repetition and muscle memory. Elbow over your toe and follow through with your fingers toward the floor, dipping into the rim. Your upper body should never change. Don’t forget to use your legs. Working on these details over and over will result in higher shooting percentages every time."


2  Kendrick Bryson, Dallas

"When shooting, 'grab the cookie out of the jar.' Just like sneaking a cookie in the middle of the night, stick your hand in the cookie jar & pull the cookie out. Push-up your shot, stick your wrist in the rim & finish your follow through with the"cookie" in your hand."


3  LeAnne Watson, Atlanta

"Align your body towards your target; hand/pointy finger towards the rim. Position the ball in your shooting hand with your wrist bent backwards.  Elbow elevated-up, with your hand set like a platter and the ball is the food. Bend your knees with the ball position in it's shooting form. Elevate up for the finish!"


4  John Christensen, Minnesota

"Work on your one-handed shot and see how much it differs from your normal, two-handed shot. If they are not close, you likely have too much off-arm involvement and complicated mechanics. Leave your follow-through out after you shoot as a self-reference. Pay attention to how high/low your elbow is, finger direction, and wrist turn."


5  Adrian Woodard, New Jersey

"You must build consistency into your routine. Shoot the same way every shot. You must put in the time to become better, it's not going to happen over night. The work you put in are the results you will receive."


6 Kimrossi Taylor, Chicago

"Follow your fingers through the hoop (three up, one down technique). Focus on the technique and not the make. Understanding 'every shot you take is your first' is key."


7  Peter Fabiano, New Jersey

"Shoot free-throws in game-like situations as much as possible.  Shoot either 1-and-1 or two-shots in-between drills. You will never shoot ten or twenty consecutive foul shots in a game so why practice them like that?  Lock-in mentally and do the same ritual every time to build muscle memory." 


8  Elijah Knox, Phoenix

"Flick the wrist! A consistent shot starts and ends with the follow-through. Every shot while practicing should end with your wrist and fingers pointed down in the direction of the rim. Start every training session making seven perfect makes at five spots, five-feet from the rim. It's not about making shots, its about consistency." 


9  Ken Koerner, New York

"When shooting, confidence and consistency is key. Seeing the ball go in the hoop 200-300 times in a session really builds confidence.  Make sure your shooting hand, elbow, knee, and foot are all is line with the basket while shooting followed by a good follow. Let's see the 'Goose Neck'!" 


10  Kevin Green, Dallas

"Shooting starts before you touch the ball.  Have poise,  have some swag. You can't be scared to take the shot or put your head down cause you've missed. Believe the next shot is going to fall. Also, your follow-through with the flick of the wrist will give your shot the spin it needs to 'pop the nets.' Now get some buckets!" 


11  Tony Delk, Atlanta

"Start on shots inside the paint. Feet shoulder-width apart, bending down into a triple threat position. Your shooting hand needs to be underneath the ball and your opposite hand on the side. Extend your arm high, breaking your wrist. Aim for the square and shoot it soft off the glass. Get used to making consecutive shots and to concentrate on a target." 


12  Brandon Crump, Houston

"Try the 'Keep Your Eyes On The Basket" method. Hold your follow-through and put your 'hand in the basket' and hold until the ball hits the ground." 


13  Dijon Knight, Chicago

"Use the fundamentals of B-E-E-F (balance, elbow, eyes, follow-through) on every shot. A drill to work on the fundamentals of “B-E-E-F” is form shooting, two to four feet in front on the basket. No dribble. Start from triple threat position, lift-with-bend rising the ball up above shoulder and shooting upward to the rim. Rebound and reset. Make 25 shots from the same spot to start." 


14  Gerald McCaslin, San Antonio

"Over-exaggerate your follow through, elbow to ear.  When you shoot end-up with your elbow to your ear, it allows you to get arc on the ball. Your arm will naturally lower but still keep height on the ball." 


15  Kevin Foster, Houston

"Repetition of anything long enough will allow you to become more confident in your shooting. You must religiously shoot the same shot. You should not have your palm on the ball at all. When you shoot with your fingertips and your follow-through is directly at the rim, you are able to maximize the control the ball. 


16  Kent Buckner, Atlanta

"Back In the day, we were told to look at the back of the rim. Well, welcome to a new era!  Aiming for the back of the rim does not cover you for corner shots. So aim at the loops that hold the nets to the rim.  Always aim at the back loop, for in order to hit the loop the ball has to go into the basket. Which replaces making the shot, to hitting the target.


17 Lorenzo Orr, Minnesota

"Start 2 feet from the basket and shoot a shot. If you make the shot take one step back, if you missed a shot you must stay in that spot. Each time you make a shot you take a step back. If you missed two shots in the same spot you start back at the beginning which is 2 feet from the basket. The goal is to work on your form and to challenge yourself to stay relaxed as you get further back while maintaining the same form."


18 Jazz Williams, Colorado Springs

"One of many things that is universal to having a consistent shot is your follow through. If you struggle with accuracy try starting out 1-2 steps away from the basket making 20 'nothing but net' shots. Focus on making sure your pointer and middle finger are pointing in the direction of your target at the end of every shot. Gradually work your way back to three-point line."


19  Will Kirkaldy, Philadelphia

"Have your shoulders squared to the basket, feet shoulder-width apart or one foot slightly in front of the other. Your shooting hand should have the ball on your finger tips, allowing one finger to slide between the base of the ball and the palm of shooting hand. As the shooting hand goes up, create the letter "L" with the forearm and bicep, knees bent, with an emphasis on getting the ball above the head, where the back of shooting hand hits forehead."


20 Tommy Fausett, Laguna Niguel, CA

"For free-throw shooting, you need to get comfortable. Have a wide stance to promote good balance. Take a few dribbles, spin the ball in your hands, or whatever else to help the ball feel good. Bend your knees, then a big exhale. Let your shoulders slouch a little. Take your time and slow everything down. Do the same thing before every shot. Then repeat so many times that eventually muscle memory kicks in and you will be able to shoot with your eyes closed."


Get started with your own customized basketball training program at Life Time.  Start by choosing your trainer today.