How to Improve Your Three Point Shooting in Basketball


Authored by Victor Roffel in Basketball 
Published on 10-09-2009

Shooting the three point shot with proficiency is a skill which few can master. It is a risky maneuver; if successful, it can reward you with great dividends; fail and the momentum can shift greatly. Is it then worth it to invest your efforts and time in practicing the three point shot? Yes, it is.

Form shooting

One of the most common habits that players have when attempting to shoot three point shots is the change of shooting form. Shooting mechanics break down when these players attempt to shoot further than they can. It is important to shoot shots comfortably without the risk of losing form. These players lack both upper and lower body strength.

If forced shots are practiced too often, the shooting mechanics of the player will change for the worse. It is advisable to increase total body strength and practice shooting with perfect form before practicing the three point shot in excess. Start a strength training program and shoot at least 50 perfect form shots close to the basket every day.

Psychological barrier

Once you have garnered enough strength to shoot shots from long distances, you can now start practicing the actual three point shot. Now, if you find yourself leaning or taking a huge step forward before shooting the three point shot, you have what I call ‘psychological barrier of shooting’. If you don’t, you can skip ahead to the next section.

The most likely reason why you are doing this ‘leaning’ is because you think that you don’t have enough strength to shoot from long distances. This is mostly psychological and can be remedied by simply forcing yourself to stay in perfect from when you shoot. Give it time and you will be shooting threes normally again.

Shooting arc

The arc or arch of the shot is extremely important in shooting threes. If you shoot with a flat arc, there is less chance that your teammates will catch the rebound. You also sacrifice shooting percentage by eliminating ‘shooters roll’. By shooting a higher arc, the rebound will be long and your teammates will have more time to prepare to catch the rebound. You also have a higher shooting percentage by doing so.


No matter how you analyze and study the three point shot, nothing can beat practicing. To be good at something, simply do it more often. This cannot be stressed enough. If you want to be good at shooting three point shots, shoot more often.

When practicing to improve the three point shot, you are not limited to simply shooting from long range. You should practice close and medium range shots to better your shooting form and to complement your entire game. To give a rule of thumb, elite players make about 500 shots a day.

I’m not going to lie to you; shooting the three point shot with proficiency is difficult and hard. But if you are willing to put in the effort and time to practice and study the three point shot, you will find all that hard work worthwhile. Start practicing today and become the best shooter you can be!


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