Wrist Action and Shooting Technique

Having the wrist "cocked", so there are wrinkles at the wrist joint will help with back spin in the shooting technique
Having the wrist “cocked”, so there are wrinkles at the wrist joint will help with back spin in the shooting technique (Photo Source: LearningLark)

The Wrist during a player’s Shooting Technique helps push the energy generated into the ball form the rest of the body. As one of the last parts of the body to be involved in the shooting action, the wrist can have positive or very negative affects upon a shots outcome. A coach should be very focused on this final part of a players shooting technique so they can make adjustments, which in some cases can have very significant effect on the players performance.


One common scenario for players having to change their shot is if they transition from being an interior player to a perimeter orientated player as they grow and mature. In this situation, the development of the player around their shooting technique will be a challenge, but must be a task confronted with discipline and effort.


There are going to be a some common problems associated with a players shooting technique at the wrist that every coach should be able to recognise straight away.


Many players fail to finish with the correct rotation of the wrist. The wrist of the player should start initially “cocked”, with the hand and fingers point up. By doing this as the player is shooting this will allow the wrist to follow through so in its final position it is pointing down to the floor. This increased movement will help provide backspin to the ball that helps when the ball makes contact with the basket to spin into and through the hoop.


An interesting point is as the player initially focuses on this part of their shooting technique their range of motion and strength will increase with time.


A common issue is that many players do not control their wrist so it flows in the controlled motion from up to down. Some players finish their shot with their wrist rotating and in so doing spin the ball incorrectly. Apart from spin, the force of this action also often pushes the ball to side of the basket or the other.


To assist with this issue a coach can start to breakdown players shooting technique into very specific movements. For example, have a player undertake one handed form shooting from within one to two feet of the basket. This will force a player to be more controlled with their action and leave less parts of the player’s body in motion because of the reduced distance. When supplemented with constant feedback from a coach this will be a very effective tool to be used in correcting this aspect of a players shooting technique.


Following this close range shooting continue with the one handed shooting gradually moving further and further away from the basket. Even though the distance is increasing there will still need to be a focus on technique above all else in regards to the shooting action.


The wrist is but one part of a very complex movement that makes up a players shooting technique. By looking to focus on this easily overlooked aspect, a coach can help a player fine tune their shot and make a lasting difference.

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Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

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