Real Ball Players

Master The 3-Point Shot

Basketball shooting tips will help you increase your shooting percentage and overall scoring efficiency through better decision making. Of course I can’t talk about basketball shooting tips without going through the principles of “BEEF,” but shooting “R-O-B-O-T” principles will also be discussed. Here are the acronyms in short:

  • B: Balanced
  • E: Eyes
  • E: Elbow
  • F: Follow through


  • R: Range
  • O: Open
  • B: Balance
  • O: One-count
  • T: Teammates

Triple-Threat Stance

The first you’ll always hear about basketball shooting tips is B-E-E-F. This is where anyone should begin to improve their shot: at the fundamentals of basketball shooting. The basketball shooting tips B-E-E-F principles won’t be as effective without proper body control. Because of this, before getting into that, let’s visit proper body control and positioning.

Once you get open, then you’re going to immediately get into triple threat position. Triple threat means that you are ready to shoot, dribble, or pass without any unnecessary additional movement that will slow you down. So, the most basic of the basketball shooting tips is the triple threat position, because if you’re showing a threat to do something other than shoot, then the defenders aren’t as likely to crowd you to prevent the shot.

Here’s the triple threat basics:

The Triple Threat Stance

  • You should be facing the basket, eyes on the rim so you can see the whole floor.
  • Balanced. Be evenly balanced, both side to side and front to back. Which leads to…
  • Knees slightly bent, back straight, feet about shoulder width apart slightly staggered (one foot slightly in front of the other), back straight.
  • Both hands on the ball, on your strong side so that you are able to shoot right away if open. Your strong hand should be behind the ball and your weak hand on the side.

The dribbling portion leads into some basketball shooting tips for shooting layups, the most basic of shots:

The basic principles of shooting layups are that you jump off of the opposite leg than hand you are shooting with. If you’re shooting a right-handed lay-up, then jump off of your left leg and vice versa. You have to be able to shoot both right and left handed layups. This is because you want to shoot with the hand opposite your defender to protect the ball. To help do this, time your last dribble with the step of your inside leg, then bring the ball up with both hands at chest level on the side away from the defender.

Next, you want to jump off the opposite leg and then bring the knee up of the non-jumping leg. Straighten it again just before the peak of the jump. Then, use a soft touch with either a overhand/”push” shot, or an underhand/”scoop” shot. Of course, use the backboard to your advantage.


Now that you know what to do when catching the ball, and layup principles, here (perhaps again) are the principles of B-E-E-F for spot-up shooting:

B: Balance
The triple threat stance actually takes care of this, but just to keep pounding this concept into your head:

Be balanced, even before the ball gets to you, because you want to be spotting up ready to get a quick, but non-hurried, shot up. Have your feet facing the basket, slightly staggered with your dominant foot slightly leading. You’re knees should be slightly bent with all of your weight centered (so you’re not leaning forward, backward, or to the side).

E: Eyes
Your eyes should be focused on the basket when shooting. Before shooting, see the whole floor, but when shooting, narrow your focus to not just the rim, but a smaller spot on the rim or square. Examples could be the back of the rim, imaginary center of the rim, or the top corner of the square. You should NOT move your focus from the narrow spot on the basket to a defender flying at you, this will definitely decrease your chances of making the shot a great deal.

E: Elbow
You want to keep your elbow “up and in” when shooting. The main thing you don’t want happening here is that you don’t want your elbow to swing out (or in). Instead, it should stay on a “single plane” in which you can pretty much draw a straight line up and down from the beginning of your shot to the end.

F: Follow Through
This is somewhat related to the second “E,” because following through means that you’ve fully extended your arm, with your elbow locked. “Flick” your wrist so that you’ve fully extended it and then “followed through” with it so that your fingers are pointed down and straight toward the basket, simulating your hand being in the cookie jar (not pointing down and off to the right or left). If you’re not shooting a free throw, then hold this for a one-count, because you’re going to want to follow your shot or get back on defense. If you’re shooting a free throw, hold it until the ball goes in.

The basketball shooting tips’ principles of B-E-E-F should be followed, but how can you be completely sure you’re following them?

Video tape your shot! The best way to improve your basketball shooting fundamentals is to video tape yourself shooting, both in practice and in games. Then you can see if you’re doing something like popping your elbow out or leaning, etc. You can also talk to your coach, teammates, or parents to see if they notice anything about your shot.

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