6 Different Types of Basketball Shots

Basketball is all about scoring points against your opponents, and scoring points is associated with free throws and field goals. In both of these scenarios, you are required to throw the ball into the net of your competitor. It might sound like an easy task, but it is not because players from the other team are there to stop you. To tackle opponents, and throw the ball into their net, players have developed diverse basketball shots.

By now, there is a lot more to shooting in basketball than slam dunks and layups. Here in this article, I will tell you about the different types of basketball shots and how you can execute these moves on the court while playing against your competitors.

If you are new to this sport, you have much to learn, let us start with the fundamentals of shooting and then move to the basketball shots list.


Fundamentals of Shooting in Basketball

To throw the ball into the basket, you must bend your knees a little bit to let your thigh muscles offer power for you to shoot. Put your fingers of shooting hand under the ball and push your elbows close to your body to offer enough momentum for the jump.

Release the shot by flicking your wrist in the direction of the hoop, and your index finger should be the last part of your body that touched the ball before it went away from the hoop.

This is simple enough to listen, to yet requires huge practice. So, having learned about the fundamentals of shooting, let us look into the details of different types of basketball shots.


Different Types of Basketball Shots

How to play basketball like a pro? The question is tricky, yet possible to answer with strong arguments. Followings are some of the best basketball shots that help you lead on the court, lets us learn about them:

Different Types of Basketball Shots


1. Jump Shot

The jump shot is one of the most common shots performed on the court for shooting beyond the arc, and for mid to long-range shots. To achieve balance in the shot, it is preferable to square your shoulder and bend your knees.

Then make an upward movement that should follow the shooting of the ball. When the ball is released, keep your elbows straight to ensure that it is in the direction of the basket. Make a good practice of flicking and twisting your wrist, it helps you to provide the ball with the necessary spin and enough momentum.


2. Free throw

A free throw is no less than a blessing. This shot is to be taken by the player who was fouled, and this shot is taken while standing behind the free throw line. Before shooting, you must be careful about your balance, and you must be sure about the free throw line. If you are right-handed move your right foot, and if left-handed, move your left foot for shooting.

Your elbow with your shooting hand must loop like ‘L-Shaped’ with fingers under the ball for enough backspin. Focus your eyes on the basket, and release the ball. Do not look at the ball when it is in your hand.


3. Layup

This is a short-range shot executed by the player heading towards the basket. To perform a layup shot, dribble the ball with your right hand if you are right-handed, and vice versa. Approaching the three-point line, or being within two meters distance from the basket, take a powerful jump to the hoop that must be followed by the release of the ball towards the basket.

You can either throw the ball directly to the hoop, or you may strive to make it hit with the top corner of the backboard and then fall into the basket.


4. Slam Dunk

For me and most of the basketball players, a slam dunk is the toughest shot. Meanwhile, it is the most spectacular one for viewers. Other than having good shooting skills, this shot requires very good jumping skills. To execute this shot, have the ball in your hand, dribble, and charge in the direction where the hoop is.

As you approach near to the hoop, jump as high as you can, lift the ball above the rim, and then push it forcefully through the rim. Most of the players leap by bending one knee while keeping the other one straight, but if you jump using both feet, it will provide you with a better and higher bounce.

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5. Hook Shot

The Hook shot is one that is made when your body is not in the direction of the basket. While executing this shoot, you focus on the baskets sideways. This is also used to help guard the ball against your competitors. This shot is usually the most difficult one to prevent because when the ball leaves for the basket from your hand, the distance between the player and its counterpart is minimum.

To execute this shot, jump with your left foot if you have it in your right hand, and vice versa. The shooting arm should be a little bent at the start and then thrust upward when the ball is to be released. Use a flick of the wrist to bring enough backspin for the ball.


6. Pull-Up

Pull-up is defined as a two-motion jump shot. In this shot, the player heads towards the net while dribbling the ball, then stops, and again jumps to throw the ball into the basket. This shot is executed from a three-point line.

To execute this shot, take the ball in the hand which is to be used to throw away the ball, and move forward towards the net. Stop at the point-three line, and then jump to throw the ball into the net. Release the ball with a flick of the wrist.


Final Words

In basketball, the focus of all players remains on throwing the ball into the basket. Shooting the ball in the basket comes down to your command of fundamentals and your ability to align your movements. Other than that, you need to be highly responsive with the ability to show the right response at the right time, and it is only possible with practice. As a good basketball player, you must be able to accomplish tough as well as simple basketball shots – this is what I strived for a long, and now it is your turn.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the most common basketball shot?

The commonly observed shot is ‘Jump Shot’ which is executed to shoot beyond the arc along with mid to long-range shots. To perform this shot, make a leap, and release the ball in the direction of the basket with a flicking wrist.

What are good shots in basketball?

Every shot that brings score point to you is good shot. However, following are some of the most practiced and fruit bearing shots:

  • Free throw
  • Layup
  • Hook shot
  • Jump shot, and
  • Slam dunk

What is the easiest basketball shot to get?

The answer me be different for different players. However, layup is one of the easiest shots to get in the basketball.

Michael Heywood

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