How to Throw a Basketball (with Pictures)

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How to Throw a Basketball (with Pictures)
How to Throw a Basketball (with Pictures)

Knowing how to throw the ball correctly is the most important skill for basketball players. It is necessary to improve it in order to be a professional. Basically, basketball is a simple sport, as the goal is to make baskets; however, as it progressed and received more and more quality players, the long-range shot became more and more important. Even for people who are not very tall, throwing ability is something that can be controlled. With correct posture and movement, it will be possible to develop your technique in this sport!


Part 1 of 4: Learning Correct Throwing Posture

Shoot a Basketball Step 1

Step 1. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly “off” the floor

It is necessary to place the pitching foot – which is the foot that is on the same side as the arm and hand in which the ball is tossed – a little ahead of the other. Therefore, for right-handers, it will be the right foot, and vice versa. The feet should face the basket, but keep them apart and in the same posture.

Step 2. Bend your knees slightly

Keeping your legs straight takes the balance out of the throw; doubling them will allow the player to jump as soon as they receive the ball.

When learning how to throw, remember that it is very important to maintain correct stance. Train more and more to know the correct stance and use it whenever you shoot. The goal is to get used to it, so that it becomes automatic. It's critical to position yourself quickly and in the right way during the game to make a nice shot before the call arrives

Step 3. Strengthen the throw by bending your knees and hips further

If you want to develop the throw from further away, it is important to ensure that its strength comes from the stance, as the accuracy and natural movement when trying to “throw” the ball using the strength of your arms and chest will be much lower. The stance should remain balanced, but you'll be able to hit the shot farther by bending your hips and knees further, as well as slightly lifting your heels off the floor. Practice this foundation without making the pitch.

Part 2 of 4: Holding the Ball Correctly

Step 1. Position the ball to the side of the body

The throwing movement starts on the side of the body (the same side as the “good” hand), holding the ball a few centimeters above the waist, the so-called “shot pocket”, in English. The ball and the player's view of the basket must form a straight line.

Holding the ball too high or too low affects the accuracy of the shot. Pay attention to the position in which the ball is being held, that is, just above the waist, which is the best place to start the throwing movement

Step 2. Position the elbow so that it is lower than the ball, not straight and to the side

Learn to position the ball this way whenever you get ready to take a shot. When another player passes the ball to you, the ideal is that the pass is made a little above waist height (the “shot pocket”); if this does not happen, you will need to position yourself to make the shot, allowing the mark to arrive.

Shoot a Basketball Step 6

Step 3. Hold the ball correctly

Position your tossing hand so your fingertips are perpendicular to the seams of the ball. This is the hand responsible for pushing the ball; place the other on the side of the ball to give direction to the shot. The palm of the hand must not touch the ball during preparation for the shot so that the player controls the ball using fingers and thumb.

Leave a little space between your palm and the ball, allowing the ball to glide smoothly from your fingertips during the toss. When preparing to take the pitch, it should rest on the "pads" of the fingers, which should be well apart for greater control of the ball

Part 3 of 4: Taking the Throw

Shoot a Basketball Step 7

Step 1. Note where the basket is

In order for the ball to hit the “target”, it is necessary to look at the basket. If you want the ball to hit the backboard and enter, keep an eye on where on the backboard the ball should hit. The eyes are a fundamental part of a good basketball shot; don't stare at the ball or the way it's positioned.

Step 2. Jump and keep your knees straight

Use your legs to give the ball more momentum, jumping up while your dominant hand throws it. Move your legs, torso, and arms together in a coordinated fashion to shoot accurately.

Step 3. Jump forward a little while taking the throw

The player must not fall in the same place where the throw was made, as this puts a lot of tension on the shoulders and neck; this does not happen when jumping forward, in addition to giving a bigger arc to the throw.

Do not lean forward while jumping. If the body is balanced, the jump should have a natural movement, making the throw much more precise, balanced and natural

Step 4. Push the ball up with your throwing hand

As your hips are gaining momentum and you begin the jump movement, the ball should go from the shot pocket to eye height in one smooth, fluid motion. The hips will come up with the elbow when throwing the ball.

The ball must not be behind or to the sides of the head. Throw it naturally, making a progressive movement without forcing. The hand that is to the side of the ball serves to guide the ball and keep it steady while shooting with the other

Step 5. Release the ball

Just before reaching the highest point of the jump, release the ball with the shooting hand aimed at the basket. Keep your elbow straight and apply force with your fist so that the ball gains an arc and does not hit the basket in a straight line. When releasing the ball, the hand supporting the ball should drop to your side.

The ball should pass through your fingertips and go towards the basket. The effect applied to the ball (the way it spins, for example) indicates whether the shot was made correctly. The lines on the ball should rotate symmetrically, indicating that the ball has been placed in the right place

Step 6. Complete the move

After the ball leaves the player's hands, it is necessary to finish the throwing movement; being unable to do this takes away too much of the accuracy of the throw. As soon as the ball is released, the hand that threw it must bend and be pointed downwards, ending the throwing motion.

Part 4 of 4: Perfecting the Technique

Shoot a Basketball Step 13

Step 1. Develop “muscle memory”

Basketball is a fast paced game where there's no time to think about the shooting mechanics, especially when time is running out and opponents are trying to steal the ball from you. It is very important to practice throwing all the time, so that the throw – from the correct posture and way of holding the ball, to the jump and the throw itself – is natural, almost automatic.

Train from multiple angles. Shoot from all sides of the basket and from various distances, using the same stance and movement every time, regardless of whether shooting from the three-point line or closer to the basket

Step 2. Practice free throws

Free throws are taken from the line which is located 4, 5 m from the basket. It's a good distance to practice shooting, and it usually allows the ball to come back to you after a throw, avoiding the need to “chase” it at all times.

Step 3. Start using the table

The backboard can be very useful, especially when shooting close to the basket. Depending on the position on the court, it is necessary to make the ball touch the table in different ways. When standing on the right side of the court, for example, the player needs to aim for the upper right corner of the square on the backboard; if it is on the left side, the ball must hit the upper left corner of the square.

Use the backboard to make trays, which are held in motion, not stopped, like long shots

Shoot a Basketball Step 16

Step 4. Practice simulating game situations

When you become more comfortable with the pitch, training alone, call some friends to form a collective or even set up a team and enter a championship to play some games "for real". Shooting under pressure from opponents during a match is much more difficult and different than alone and without commitment, as you need to catch passes, control the ball well and pay attention to the strategy that the coach and other players expect of you. However, by training the correct movement and developing “muscle memory”, it won't be difficult to become the “basket” of the team!


  • The legs are very important in relation to the throw distance of the ball. You need to use your entire body to throw, not just your arms.
  • Practice using the "good" hand to shoot the ball, standing in front of the basket and trying to get it inside using only the same hand. As you get a little farther away from the basket, use your other hand to hold the ball, but it shouldn't exert force in the shooting motion.
  • Use your hands to guide the ball and use your body to release it.
  • Always take the ball down before shooting, unless the shot comes out shortly after you break free of the mark or the ball is already at a very low level. This move gives more strength and makes the throw more natural, in addition to helping a lot if the player is having difficulty hitting the three-point shot.

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