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Basketball Shot Types

Basketball is a creative sport in that there are so many ways for players to shoot and make baskets. Get ready to learn about some of the shot types like jump shots, hook shots, bank shots, dunks, and layups.

Basketball Shot Types

In basketball, there are only two ways to score points - with field goals and free throws. In both cases, a player must shoot the ball into his team's net. This may sound easy enough, but players on the opposing team are there to stop them. As a result, players have developed an arsenal of shot types to use in various game situations to give them the best chance at making baskets. Here is a list of the basic shot types in basketball:

Basketball Backboard

The backboard is a piece of equipment in basketball that is used by players on various types of shots. Backboards are especially useful on bank shots and layups. As a player, you should use the backboard to aim and frame your shot.

Basketball Backboard

Basketball Swish

A swish in basketball is a shot that goes into the net without touching any part of the hoop or backboard. It is called a swish because it makes a swish-like sound as it goes through the net if you listen closely.

Basketball Swish

Basketball Layups

A layup is the most basic shot type in basketball. Layups utilize the backboard by bouncing off of it before going into the net. On a layup, players approach the net and toss the ball towards the backboard with an overhand or underhand motion. When performing a layup, you pick a side of the basket to approach, either the left side or right side of the net. As a player, you should practice making layups from both sides of the net because you never know when side is being guarded by defensive players.

Basketball Layup

PRO TIP: A layup that doesn't use the backboard is called a finger roll because the ball rolls of the fingers of a ball-handler's hands and into the basket.

Basketball Dunks

A dunk, or slam dunk, is a type of shot where the ball-handler leaps into the air and places the ball into the net. Dunking requires a player to jump higher than the ring, which is 10ft above the floor in college basketball. On a dunk, a teammate can also pass you the ball. As a player, you should practice driving towards the basket and dunking in a one on one situation.

Basketball Dunk

REMEMBER: When dunking, you must be careful to be called for a travel violation. When you pick up your dribble you are allowed to take two steps before your pivot foot is established.

Basketball Jump Shots

A jump shot in basketball is exactly what it sounds like. On a jump shot, the shooter will jump into the air as he releases the ball from his hands. Jumping helps the shooter get a height advantage over the defensive player who is guarding him. Players practice jump shots frequently, so jumping also helps with the timing of the shot. As a player, you can utilize jump shots from anywhere on the court.

Basketball Jump Shot

Basketball Hook Shots

A hook shot in basketball is an overhand shot, typically made with one hand. Hook shots can be made while the shooter is facing the net directly or at a sideways angle. As a player, you should utilize hook shots when inside the three-point line near the lane or when you're posting up.

Basketball Bank Shots

A bank shot in basketball is a type of shot that relies on the backboard. On a bank shot, the ball bounces off the backboard before going into the net. As a player, you should practice bank shots because they are a high percentage shot. Learning to use the backboard as a tool is critical for mastering the bank shot.

Basketball Tip-ins

A tip-in in basketball is more of reaction to a missed shot rather than a shot type. On a tip-in a teammate will tap the ball into the net if it looks like it's going to miss. As a player, you need to have a quick reaction to make a tip-in.

REMEMBER: No player can touch the hoop or any part of the net while the ball is on it or moving through the net. This is called basket interference and it's a violation that results in a turnover.

Basketball Free Throws

A free throw is way for teams to score points after a foul is called on the opposing team. Here are the best shot types for making free throws:

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