Shooting is one of the most important skill sets a player can ever master. While defences stop the opposition, they never win games on this premise alone. At the end of the day, there is always a need for a player to put the ball into the basket and capitalise on the hard work established by the defence.


Shooting covers a wide range of skills and the lay-up is one of the most common.
Shooting covers a wide range of skills and the lay-up is one of the most common (Photo Source: Air21 Express)

Within The category of shooting, there are a number of fundamental skills that a player will need to be exposed to. These include:


  • Dunk
  • Form Shooting
  • Jump Shot
  • Lay-up
  • Set Shot


All of these fundamental technical skills (except dunking which has obvious physical requirements) should be attempted by players. The mastering of these skills will make the sport of basketball more enjoyable and in doing so promote the length of time a player will choose to be affiliated with the sport. A coach must provide an opportunity for each and every player to benefit from exposure to these skills.


It is not unusual for many players to focus on distance shooting when they are warming up or practicing by themselves. It is very important that the significance of each individual shooting fundamental is practiced and refined.


The Dunk is the highest percentage shot in basketball. It does of course require a certain athletic ability and for some players it will not be possible to reach these physical demands. However, if a player has the ability and physical attributes then they must learn to use the dunk as it can be, a highly effective skill. All too often, it is often overlooked and not appreciated for its emotional power and raw energising affect.


Form Shooting is as it sounds about the shooting form of the player. Used often for the correction and refinement of a players technique. The shooting action is often performed at a slower and controlled pace so the activity is focused on “perfect practice”.


Lay-ups are the bread and butter of many different player positions. A player must ensure they can perform the fundamental technique of a lay-up with both their left and right hand. There is no exception to this, it is a necessity for players to master quickly otherwise run the risk of finding themselves constantly being exposed to their weakness by their opposition match-up.


The Jump Shot is the other widely used fundamental technique used in scoring. The jump shot is the skill performed when the player is not able to reach the basket and subsequently lay the ball up. The jump shot out of all the skills involved within the shooting category probably has the greatest amount of variation with regards to aspects such as distance or shooting range and technique.


The Set Shot is used in a number of contexts. Within a game when a player can just catch and shoot they will often use a set shot. A set shot is used by a player when they look to catch and shoot from either short, mid or long range. Without a dribble or any other movement outside of the shooting action. This is at game pace and form some players provide the higher shooting percentage option to that of the jump shot.


Shooting TechniqueArticle Title
GeneralThe Evolution of a Player’s Shot
The Different Phases of Shooting for Improvement
DunkThinking about Dunking
Form ShootingWrist Action and Shooting Technique
3 Reasons Why Form Shooting Should be Important to You
Transitioning from Form Shooting to Game Shooting
Jump ShotHow to Teach a Jump Shot
Problems and Solutions for a Players Head and Vision during their Jump Shot
Lay-UpAdvice for Teaching the Technique of the Lay-up for Junior Players
How to Teach a Lay-up
Set ShotUpper Body Problems and Solutions for a Players Shooting Technique
Three Lower Body Problems and Solutions for a Players Shooting Action