Since a team must score to win, shooting is undoubtedly an important fundamental of the game. If there is a secret to good shooting it is countless hours of practice and more practice. Why do coaches love to see a goal on the side of the garage or on a pole in the back yard? It is because such goals give opportunities for more hours and hours of practice. Probably more shooters have been made in the back yard than anywhere else.
The first step in developing good shooting technique is to stand close to the basket about one metre from the back-board just slightly to one side of the ring. Set the ball in front of the face about level with the chin. For this basic shot the ball should rest in your right hand if you are right hand shooter and left hand if you are a left handed shooter.
The lay-up shot is the easiest shot in the game to take and yet many players tend to make it more difficult than it should be. Beginning players will improve quickly if in the initial stages care is taken using correct footwork and shooting technique. The object of the lay-up shot is to get as close to the basket as possible before releasing the ball and then laying the ball softly off the backboard. The footwork and timing for the jump is important while the release of the ball is the same as explained for the set shot.
When a player is a strong driver and can advance the ball quickly up the court defenders will tend to retreat away from the driver to prevent him from going all the way to the basket for an easy lay-up. The counter move for the offensive player is the jump shot. In recent years the jump shot has become the most potent weapon for the offense. Players have extended their effective range to well beyond the three point line making it even more difficult for the defense to counter the offensive strategies.
Since the advent of the jump shot fewer players are spending more time on developing the hook shot. But the hook shot is still and effective shot when taken close to the basket. Whilst it is usually a favourite weapon of the taller players all players should work on the skill so they can take full advantage of opportunities which otherwise might be wasted. A smaller player will often succeed with a hook shot, whereas a jump shot is more easily blocked by a taller opponent.