The best jump shot is not born in a day, rather it is crafted over many hours of consistent, and repetitive shooting. Reggie Miller, Jeff Hornacek, Clyde Drexler, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and Pete Maravic all perfected the art of shooting, after many hours in the gym.
To perfect the best jump shot, you must know the basic fundamentals of shooting. If done correctly and consistently overtime, then your craft can be perfected. These basketball players mentioned the above shot consistently everyday for years, often shooting over 1000 shots per day. In the process they mastered the fundamentals of the perfect shot.
There are four steps to the perfect shot. The foundation, elbow, pocket, and follow through. When all are inline, and working in synergy, the perfect shot is born.
The perfect jump shot starts with a good foundation. When catching the basketball your legs should be bent, and feet pointed at the basketball hoop. Your hips, chest and shoulders should be square to the hoop.
After taking the shot, all of these components should line up in the same manner. Ones feet should be pointing at the basket, and your hips, chest and shoulders square as well.
After the shot, the player should land in the same spot that they jumped from. Straight up and straight down is the motto.
Ones shooting elbow should be square to the body. One method of teaching this, is to have the shooter keep his elbow touching the side of his/her body. As the ball is brought up to the pocket (shotgun), the elbow stays touching the side of the body all the way up, until the elbow is at a perfect 90 degrees, and the ball is just above the eyes. This is what I call the shotgun pocket formation.
The basketball players fingertips should be on the ball, with the palm off. There are a variety of shooting aids to help with this fundamental. The non shooting hand, is usually the cause of a ball not shooting straight.
Growing up, Jeff Hornacek's dad, had him put an elastic band over his thumb and index finger of his non shooting hand. This forces the elbow to be square over time, and keeps the non shooting fingers out of the way. Often the thumb, gets in the way of a perfect
With a nice window of air between the ball and the palm of the shooting hand, you are ready to shoot. Your body is square to the hoop, as is your elbow and shooting hand. As you shoot your hand goes "up and over the cookie jar." The player keeps his hand and fingertips pointed at the hoop after the shot, for at least two seconds. The shooting hand elbow comes to rest just above the players eyes. This is the perfect follow through.
Here are the keys to gaining a consistent shot. Start with one hand form shooting. This is done about 4 feet from the hoop. The player brings the ball to the shotgun formation, and shoots one handed with perfect form. A good shooter will warm up with about 50 form shooting shots a day. While shooting, put the elastic band on your non shooting hand to keep your thumb off of the ball. Over time the elbow will be brought in, and the non shooting hand is trained to stay off the basketball.
In summary, stay square to the basketball hoop, before and after the shot. Keep your elbow in at a 90 degree angle. Bring the ball to the shotgun formation, with a nice window between the ball and your palm. Shoot up and over the cookie jar, while keeping the non shooting hand straight vertical, instead of crossing into the path of the shooting hand. Hold your follow through for at least two seconds, and come down on the spot you shot from. By following these four fundamental steps you will master your shot, over many months of shooting in the gym.