Is Your J Missing One Of These Essentials? Jump Shot Checklist


Ray Allen's Jump Shot Motion Through Time

As a rule of thumb; the simpler your jump shot, the better. The more unnecessary movements and complications, the harder it is to repeat consistently especially in game situations. Compare your shot to these following basics and see if you’re holding yourself back from a better J.

Square your feet and shoulders to the basket

Despite seeming like one of the most basic aspects of a jump shot, I can guarantee that this is where most people go wrong and I used to be one of them. As a right hander, I used to shoot with my right foot in front, forcing my chest to turn to the left.

When you’re trying to get the ball to fly through the air as perfectly straight as possible, why not align your body that way too? That includes standing completely up-right. If you don’t, all you’re doing is creating unnecessary angles and increasing the difficulty. Leave that to the defense.

Generate power from your bigger muscles

Generally speaking; the bigger the muscle, the greater its control and endurance. In basketball terms; the greater the consistency. With that being said, too many people rely on their arms and wrists to generate the power behind their jump shot as opposed to their legs.

As you get more and more tired, the smaller muscles will begin to waver quicker and that has detrimental effects to your jump shot. 95% of your jump shot should be powered with your legs which transfer this power through to the smaller muscles in a coil-like motion. Your arms and wrist are responsible for the release.

Lock your elbow, follow through with your wrist

Your release needs to be as consistent as possible. Bring the ball as close as you can to the center of your chest and use the power from your legs to push the ball straight up. Locking your elbow ensures that you release the ball from the same spot every time and that your arm is straight. The final detail is the wrist. Your hand should move in a perfectly vertical motion from 12 to 6 on the face of a clock as you  release the ball.


Try these out and tell me what changes you notice. I don’t believe in completely changing someone’s jump shot but there is always room to make minor tweaks.

Remember that things might get a little worse before getting better so stay focused on the long run.

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