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Old 11-06-2010, 04:55 PM   #1
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Significance of wrist strength in shooting a basketball

To all the ballers on Revscene, how important is wrist strength in the process of a shot?

I'm finding that I can't achieve a consistent form (the ball always comes off my middle,fourth and pinky, as oppose to the correct form, coming off the index and middle finger; also, I often find my wrist cocking inward, ie. I can see the palm of my hand, instead of cocking outward)
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:25 PM   #2
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it's not so much wrist strength as it is a smooth flick/release.
your power is more so generated from bending the knees, and carrying that momentum upwards to your triceps. your elbow--controlled by your shoulders--plays an undervalued role in maintaining that power.

wrist strength in this sense is more about steadying the ball and getting the spin on it. of course, your other hand also aids in stabilizing the ball and lining it up as you bring it up over your head for the shot.

i hope that's articulate enough, but otherwise youtube should have good guides, or i can show u IRL
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:34 PM   #3
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I don't think wrist strength does so much in terms of shooting. Wrist strength gives you strong crisp passes that you can make within a tenth of a second.

I found that after I started hitting the gym though (keep in mind, I did no specific wrist exercises), my shot became 10000 times better. I was able to release so much quicker, and my shot became more and more consistent in terms of form. The best part was that I was doing everything off the dribble. I was able to pick the ball up off the dribble from 5 feet behind the 3 point-line and release so quickly when there was a guy in my face and I would hit maybe 75% of my shots. It was ridiculous.

The key being a good shooter is consistency and I found that consistency came with simply hitting the gym hard.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:34 AM   #4
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Wrist strength only comes into major play if you have a jump shot like Lebron for example, if you look at this shot it's basically a simple flick of the wrist really. My guess would be since he's always been very strong he never really needed to learn how to shoot a proper jumpshot where you incorporate everything that Tiger mentioned like properly bending your knees to generate upward force and pushing the ball up with your arms to add upwards power before the release point.

so yea unless you gotta Lebron jumper, you don't need to work on your wrist strength, focus more on proper foot work and generating power with your arms during the point of raising the ball from your groin height to above shoulder height right around release point, because by that point all your wrist is really supposed to do is aim and fling the ball and give it proper spin, you're not supposed to use your wrist to literally PUSH the ball to give it distance, your arms and body moving upwards do that.


I'll tell you one thing though it ain't easy, changing my jump shot took me a few years, I used to fling it from the left side of my head (I'm right handed) so it looked pretty ugly. This was because In high school I was an athletic slasher and finisher around the basket, never really got into jump shooting since dunking was the coolest thing to do when you were younger... but now that I'm older and a few ankle injuries later slowing me way down I had to learn how to properly shoot, and the only adjustments are made were simple but they had a huge effect on my consistency. So yea the tips I would give you for a better jumper than turned me from a horrible shooter to a smooth operator from mid and long range would be.
Most important ones are listed first

1) Never shoot unless your feet are comfortably set in place and you can generate proper lift at the right angle (you'll be amazed how much this improves your shooting percentage)

2) Find the right amount of lift in your jump that gives you the most consistent result, meaning you don't have to jump super high when you shoot just to look pretty, for example my midrange jumpshot I jump fairly high I need too because defenders are in my face, and release high, it looks fckin sweet like an NBA guard but less accurate, but for my 3 pointers since I have a lot more air space to shoot I need more control so I jump half as much in the air and this gives me much better accuracy


For your issue with the ball coming off awkwardly from your hands, I suspect you have Kobe syndrome, (tiny hands) lol, Kobe is 6'6 but has the hands of a 6 footer.
For that a simple fix where repetition is key, I used to do this a few hours a week for weeks at a time, but it worked.

Lay flat on your back and get one of those small kid sized basketballs, the mini ones and just work on your arm motions shooting the ball straight up to a marked point at the ceiling, repetition of this will help your arm motions and since this exercise involves your wrists heavily because you are literally flicking the ball up it will really help out your release point wrist issues with your jumper, and the reason I'm telling you to use a small ball is because it's harder to do this with a smaller ball and it really makes your fingers do a lot of work, then once you get the hang of it with the small ball give it a shot with a normal sized basketball see how it feels.


Here's my jumper at work BTW, take a close look at how I generate lift for the ball to give it distance so by the time it gets to the release point I just use my wrist to guide the ball and give it spin. In the first video look at the 55 second mark the free throw jumper, you can really see it all work in unison, how I shuffle my feet together to give me the perfect stance before I jump and just a nice smooth upward motion, the wrist is doing very little work.. bahaha I just realized looking at these vids again in the second video, at the 46 second mark I literally stole the ball from my own teammate



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Old 11-07-2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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I'll tell you one thing though it ain't easy, changing my jump shot took me a few years, I used to fling it from the left side of my head (I'm right handed) so it looked pretty ugly.
haha if my imagination is correct, I think Lebron does or at least did that too.

but dude you're deadly
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:12 PM   #6
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Negligble............power comes from your legs, your hands/wrists are merely for aiming.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:19 PM   #7
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Negligble............power comes from your legs, your hands/wrists are merely for aiming.
I don't entirely agree with this. Yes power comes from your legs, but it requires strength in your arms to be able bring your shot up and have a quick release. I found my upper body strength is what made my release so much quicker.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:46 PM   #8
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I don't entirely agree with this. Yes power comes from your legs, but it requires strength in your arms to be able bring your shot up and have a quick release. I found my upper body strength is what made my release so much quicker.
Well I'm not saying that you don't need ANY arm/upper body strength. What I'm saying is you shouldn't concentrate power from your wrists. OP is almost saying you need herculean wrists to shoot, what I'm saying is, majority of power is generated from the lower parts of ur body, sorta like a punch. You then use your hands/arms to guide the ball.

Bottom line is don't push the ball like a grade school kid LOL.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:12 PM   #9
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Anyway, the guy is saying he is finding that his shot form is inconsistent. Here's what you do to make it consistent. Work out and do form shooting (skip to 0:40):


Start doing this right in front of the basket. When you make 3 swishes in a row, take a step back and repeat process; make 3 swishes in a row and take another step back, etc. If you miss 3 shots in a row, take a step forward. This also works as a range finder.

Make sure you are holding the ball the same way every time you shoot too. You want your fingers to be spread out as much as possible on your shooting hand.

Last edited by 1-Slicer-1; 11-07-2010 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:33 AM   #10
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Make sure you are holding the ball the same way every time you shoot too. You want your fingers to be spread out as much as possible on your shooting hand.
The best advice in their entire thread. The OP is complaining the ball is coming off the wrong fingers, I suspect he's not spreading his fingers wide enough to have control of the ball.

If you want to see how effective this is, try teaching a bunch of 8yos to play ball. Their small hands highlight the benefit from keeping fingers spread, the difference is noticeable right away.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:53 AM   #11
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probably sure slicer and gspec covered most of it.

Just practice aiming the ball. Spread fingers, and have a follow through, and extend the arms have fun !
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:20 PM   #12
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actually Slicer thats a hella good tip there that video you posted, that's pretty much what I do before games, I start off taking easy little baby jumpers all around the paint area, then I move on up to the free throw line work that and the elbows as well. Then once I feel my shot is really warmed up and I have a good sense of form and distance, I start going out to midrange and eventually finishing my pre game warmup with 3 pointers.

This helps my shot in games tremendously, if I don't do this before games my overall shooting percentage goes significantly down. I know the difference well because for some games I arrive late no time for warmup and I can definitely feel my shot being more than just a bit off.

Ray Allen for example shows up 4 hours before game time just to shoot jumpers and get comfy and loose in the gym, he's always the first player in the arena, and we know what kind of shooter he is, lol, the second greatest right after Reggie Miller.

And another useful piece of advice I will give the OP, is if you feel your shot is shit at any point, what really helps is actually taking a few weeks a month off from basketball or shooting, you can still play ball just dont shoot jumpers.
I do this from time to time and what it does for me is it basically resets my jumper to it's natural form, I have a tendency to get fancy with my jumpers often which throws my form and percentage out the window, so I just don't play ball for about 2 weeks then when I shoot those first few jumpers it feels weird and awkward because I havent shot the ball in a while, but only until my memory kicks in and basically reverts my jumpshot back to normal and I'm good again, try that as well it really does work for me and I do it every few months.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:22 PM   #13
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Time for a rs bball meeet!!
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:37 PM   #14
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imo there is no right way to shot a ball. I see dudes in open gyms whos shoots like hes got Parkinson's or something; but if he can score so be it.

in terms of the "proper form" i've been taugh B.E.E.F, bent knees, eyes , elbows, *flick*,, the strength of your wrist really depends on your preference. I played PF when i was in HS, so I tend to use lots of wrist to avoid bricks + with bigger hands is a natural motion of flicking the wrist.

again, like what a poster said, keep your form consistent, and practice until you find a form that works for you.. In a game of ball, people dont get mad at you for using wrong form or not using your wrist, they get pissed when you miss all the time.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:17 PM   #15
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imo there is no right way to shot a ball. I see dudes in open gyms whos shoots like hes got Parkinson's or something; but if he can score so be it.

in terms of the "proper form" i've been taugh B.E.E.F, bent knees, eyes , elbows, follow through ,, the strength of your wrist really depends on your preference. I played PF when i was in HS, so I tend to use lots of wrist to avoid bricks + with bigger hands is a natural motion of flicking the wrist.

again, like what a poster said, keep your form consistent, and practice until you find a form that works for you.. In a game of ball, people dont get mad at you for using wrong form or not using your wrist, they get pissed when you miss all the time.
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Old 11-11-2010, 03:29 PM   #16
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imo there is no right way to shot a ball. I see dudes in open gyms whos shoots like hes got Parkinson's or something; but if he can score so be it.
Correct in a way, but incorrect in a way. You have to be able to get your shot off with a defender in your face so that means you have to have a proper, relatively high release point....Unless your release is stupidly quick like Shawn Marion.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:20 AM   #17
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I like marions shot. Its so unique but the ball goes in he hoop lol
Just practice shooting off the 3 fingers. It takes time to develop.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:31 AM   #18
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I like marions shot. Its so unique but the ball goes in he hoop lol
Just practice shooting off the 3 fingers. It takes time to develop.
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