Holding a Basketball the Correct Way

The importance of knowing how to hold a basketball is often overlooked in favor of other aspects like stance, ball swing, and shooting form. A great release can be achieved through proper hand positions, which will lead to more accurate shots over time with regular practice! This guide will walk you through how to hold the basketball and shoot it the right way.

The Hand Objective


The Hand’s Objective

When we shoot, the goal is to create as much positive power in that motion as possible. The more straight up and aligned with the hoop, the more damage it will do on contact!

When it comes time to shoot, you need every advantage. You have two hands and a lifetime of experience behind you to back-the shooting hand on top of all that knowledge; what better way than to use them together… The key here is not which motion creates more force, but rather creating as much positive power with our arms/hands as possible.

Start by Measuring Your Hands

To make a good shot, it’s important to hold the basketball the right way. First, grip it with your shooting hand wide and then spread out your fingers for stability. Put one finger on top of another so you can control both the height of the shot and its direction, if needed. Make sure your fingers are close together and comfortable. Before you aim for anything, measure the distance between each point and their bones. This will help you aim better.

The way to get a good, firm grip on the ball is by ensuring that your thumb isn’t covering any part of it. If you have trouble getting enough space between one side and another, just spread out those fingers! The more width we give our thumbs, the better control they will have over where they will land when shooting, making for a more accessible game overall.

The Middle of the Hand Under the Center of the Ball

We want to get the middle of our shooting hand as close to the center of the ball as possible at release. To do this, we’ll focus first and foremost on getting it under us by a set point so that even if there are some inevitable wrinkles along its forward trajectory, they won’t affect where we’re aiming too much (or not at all).

Shooting Hand Finger Parallel to the Target Line

The angle of your finger on the basketball will significantly impact your shooting. Coaches tend not to focus enough time on talking about this crucial point, but I’m here for you! The elbow doesn’t matter; we can use its position as an indicator that our fingers should be aligned correctly and get into the “elbow in” format first.

When a player can get their shooting hand’s finger parallel with the target line, it will remain on the bottom of the ball throughout the wrist snap.

The most common/normal position for a right handed shooter is to have their elbow relaxed outward and the finger come out of alignment in one direction, but it can also happen if they get too far into this posture where there may be an opposite effect.

Guide Hand Coming Off the Ball at the Set Point

When the shooting hand is in the correct position, we can focus on getting off the ball. The only way you’ll truly make sure that your shot goes “on line” and not forward or backward depends if it’s by using one hand only (like a pencil) or having both hands occupied with each other; but there isn’t enough room for this so remember: keep them separated!

When lifting the ball, you need your guide hand to help hold it steady in order for shots to be accurate. The more stable and secure this position becomes- even at the triple threat position – then chances are high that an opponent won’t have much success against you!

When the shooting hand is ready to shoot, it needs support from a guiding hand until that moment when full power can be applied. The setpoint occurs at about waist height, where you start feeling supported and comfortable with what’s happening around your body – which means now would be an ideal time for us to take away some traction, so there are fewer opportunities available if we want these shots off quickly!

Guide Hand on the Side of the Ball

Your wrist position and the release of your arm have a significant impact on how easily you can come off of this ball.

The more comfortable we are with our natural motion, the easier it will become to repeat that same movement in practice or singles games.

When shooting a basketball, it’s important to find the most simple position that your hand can assist without getting in its way. 

I encourage players to hold onto their guide arm so they’re standing right next to where you want the ball when at the contact point with the-pointing fingers held up high above head level (or as high as possible). From here all we need do is lift off just one side—out of sight!

This is because when a player grasps the basketball with their guide hand towards top or front of ball, they need to make bigger moves which means more time and space.

In some cases, you may need to use a wider grip when catching the ball. However, this makes your shots more difficult. Since we can always work on improving skills, there’ll always be variation in how we shoot and catch the ball due to individual preference. If you’re struggling to find the ideal hand position, try using a simpler grip.

Read also: How To Dunk A Basketball – Complete Guide

The best way to release a shot or a pass is by using wrist action. The ideal position for figuring out how to hold the basketball depends on what you want to do. However, it’s always good practice to relax your hands, so that there’s no tension anywhere.

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