"How Should I Teach My Child To Shoot?"

by Scott Jaimet

The author, Scott Jaimet, lives in Oregon. He grew up playing basketball in Indiana. He always wanted to teach his son to shoot but became very frustrated with the lack of knowledge on behalf of most coaches. They could teach the set shot and the bunny hop jumper but no one seemed to know how to teach the big time pull-up jump shot like he saw in the NBA. So he decided to figure it out. He knew that there must be some simple scientific principles that would apply, just as they do in all of the other sports.

“Great coaches make great teams, great parents make great shooters.”

This is one of the truest sayings in basketball. Today’s basketball coach doesn’t have the time and often lacks the knowledge to teach your child to shoot. He only has two hours of practice, three or four days a week to get an entire team ready. He must teach defense, rebounding and offensive patterns to the team which leaves little or no time to teach shooting. So unless your child is very lucky and picks up shooting naturally, you will have a child that plays hard but is not a “shooter”. It’s too bad that basketball has to come to this, when shooting is such an important part of the game, but that’s the way it is.

So if you want your child to have the gift of shooting, you will probably need to get involved. But where and when do you start? The first question that you must answer is what method should he/she learn? How good do you want him/her to be? The answer that I believe is “the best”! Why place a limit on your kid’s ability?

It’s fairly easy to determine what’s best by looking at the NBA and picking out the best shooters and copying their method. That what I did.

Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Michael Finley, Wally Szczerbiak, Robert Horry, Glen Rice, Oscar Robertson, Walt Frazier and Larry Bird are some of the greatest shooters that I chose to examine. The basic form of all their shots was the same.

The most important part of their shot is, with the ball overhead, when their stroke begins. At this point their shooting hand is flat under the ball, with the shooting elbow at eye level and the arm is bent at the elbow 90º. They are balanced and at the top of their jump. This is the BEST way to shoot a basketball. Now how do we get your child to this point?

Keep it SIMPLE when they are young. Forget the 3-point line! So many kids have bad habits picked up from shooting 3-pointers, that when it is time to teach them a jump shot, they will have a hard time learning,

So when they are young teach them to face the basket with their body in a square position (A). Their feet are  on a line perpendicular to the basket with the right foot slightly ahead. Their right arm should be bent at 90º and their shooting wrist wrinkled.


They then start the shot by bending their knees (B) and simultaneously bringing the ball up. Their shooting arm first moves under the ball. They then push up through the bottom of the ball (C).





Then, as they leave the floor in their jump (D), the arm unfolds and extends toward the basket, resulting in a nice shot that has a good arc on it.



They end up holding their follow-through with their fingers dipped in the basket (E).



Their landing is square and balanced. It is important that you always stress that they focus on being balanced in their technique.

That’s it! That’s all you need to teach them until they are twelve to fourteen years old and strong enough to shoot a JUMP shot. Always teach your child to focus on their shooting form. Let their form determine how far they shoot from. If a longer distance forces them to alter their technique, make them stop. Distance will come later.

When they are older, stronger and ready to shoot a JUMP shot is when your real work as a parent begins. Either hire a shooting coach or get involved. A great guide for you as the coach of your child is, The Perfect Jump Shot: The Science and Art of Shooting a Basketball.

For more information about the book's content and to order, go to: http://www.perfectjumpshot.com