In this month’s blog, I want to continue our talk about common shooting mistakes. One of the biggest signs of an inconsistent shooter is someone that misses left or right a lot. Ideally, good shooters, by in large should really only miss a little short or a little long. Here are several tips to help you avoid missing left or right when taking your basketball shot.

How to Correct Common Shooting Mistakes – Missing Left or Right
Tip #1: Lining Your Hip and Shoulder up with the Basket

When shooting a basketball correctly the first thing you need to do is line your shooting hip and shoulder with the center of the basket. This means for righties their right hip and shoulder should be lined up with the center of the basket.  And vice versa for lefties. This sounds like a simple, basic tip but many shooters do this incorrectly. YOU SHOULD NOT square up to the basket with all ten toes facing the basket. Although many coaches teach this, it is incorrect.  This will often cause righties to miss left because they are actually shooting across their body to some extent. If you look at all great shooters they are slightly turned when shooting. Some examples of this would be Ray Allen, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and many more.

Tip #2: Aligning Your Elbow and Forearm common shooting mistakes

The second key to shooting the ball straight is the alignment of your elbow and forearm. Your elbow should not be flared out to either side. As you are shooting you should make sure to keep that straight alignment straight up to the ceiling throughout your shot. You will see some examples of what I’m talking about in the video link with some pictures of Steve Nash, JJ Reddick, and Kyle Korver.

Tip #3: Don’t Twist Your Wrist

The third key to shooting the ball straight is to not twist your wrist in all different directions as you release the ball on your follow-through. Your wrist and fingertips need to consistently snap straight down. The ball needs to consistently go off your first and second finger.  Some shooters prefer to shoot it straight off their first finger, which is fine as long as it’s not going off your ring or pinky finger.


When you’re shooting a basketball and want consistent results you must have consistent habits and consistent mechanics.  If you’re serious about improving your basketball shot, your mechanics and all your fundamentals sign up for a FREE 7-day trial membership to where you will find my Starter and Advanced Skills Programs along with my PDF on shooting to also download for free.