To get that sweet "swoosh" every basketball player craves, you do not just fire the ball at the basket. You set your feet, rise in the air and shoot the ball with touch and backspin. The type of shot is always determined by your angle. You have to adjust your aim, loft and follow-through depending on the proximity of the defender and the difficulty of the shot.
If you are standing at the free-throw line or if you are further back, but looking straight at the basket, concentrate on the front rim. You want your shot to go just inside the front rim. Help yourself by making sure you get significant loft on your shot so that it goes over the rim and drops down softly. If you are a little bit off on your shot in terms of depth, you may get a bounce off the front rim or backboard and have it go through the hoop.
The elbow is the spot on the basketball court where the edge of the free throw line hits the semi-circle. When you are at this spot or at a point where that line extends toward the sideline, you are approaching a 45-degree angle when you shoot the ball. At this point, you may want to shoot the ball off the glass and have it angle into the basket. While most players prefer the shot directly at the basket, you may want to go off glass if the defender is in your way and has a chance to block the shot. Using the backboard gives you another option.
Big men with a size advantage who are shooting from just outside the lane at a distance up to 10 feet often prefer to use the glass for their shot of choice. Players practice the short shot off the backboard because they know they will get the same action on the ball every time they shoot it. Hitting the proper spot on the board when you shoot from an angle will result in a made basket most of the time.
The shot from deep in the corner can be one of the most difficult shots in the game. At this point, there is almost no margin for error. Unless your shot is perfectly delivered, you will either front rim it or back rim it. A ball shot off the rim from the corner will fail to go in the basket 98 times out of 100. However, a shot with a high loft that has a smooth delivery and follow through will nestle nicely in the net.
Mix It Up
A great shooter will not deliver the same shot at the basket every time he shoots. Instead, he will adjust his shot depending on the angle he is at when he faces the basket. If a player is playing tight defense, he may have to use a ball fake to get the defender up in the air or off balance. The closer in the shooter, the higher he may shoot to make sure the ball goes softly through the air and gives him a favorable bounce. Changing your angle is essential for players who want to be good shooters.