Basketball Shooting Aids
Every basketball player wants a smooth, accurate jump shot, but learning it is trickier than it seems. Shooting aids help make that process easier. They come in different forms like finger spacers, off-hand straps, and shooting hand straps, all of which are tailored to address the unique problems an individual might have.
What are shooting aids used for?
Shooting aids are training accessories which help players of all ages and skill levels learn the proper form to take a shot, ensuring better accuracy and power. Even while players cannot wear shooting aids in an actual game, they build good habits until the best form becomes natural.
The first shooting aids were mainly accessories for the hoop, but over the last 10 years they have evolved to help players reach peak performance more strategically. Coaches found that their team’s game was more improved when aids were used to help an individual player’s form. As a result the most common shooting aids today focus on the arm and hands, helping players with everything from learning to shooting one-handed to fine-tuning their aim and follow through. With the help of a coach or instructor, finding the right aid tailored to a player’s individual needs can up their game in no time.
Things To Consider
When looking for a Basketball Shooting Aid, you'll want to consider the following:
- What will you be using the shooting aid for?
- What part of your jumpshot are you looking to fix?
- How long have you been playing basketball?
- Do you have a shooting coach?
- How much money do you have to spend on a basketball shooting aid?
- How frequently will you be practicing your jumpshot?
The kind of shooting aid a player needs depends on the specific problem in their shooting posture.
Finger spacers are foam, rubber or plastic bars that fit over the player’s shooting hand to keep the fingers separated. To shoot properly, the ball should be balanced on fingertips which are kept webbed apart from the start of the shot till the ball leaves their hand. Spacers prevent the player from closing the hand on the follow through in particular.
Shooting Hand or Wrist Straps
Shooting hand straps wrap around the player’s dominant shooting arm above the elbow to help the player keep their arm at a strong angle while shooting. Some forms include wrist straps, which strap onto the wrist and are connected to the strap above elbow. It wraps around fairly tight to put tension on the arm and ensure the elbow is bent at a 90°.
Off-hand straps wrap around the non-shooting arm to prevent the wrist from rotating and interfering with the shot, while keeping the thumb out of the way as well. Learning to shoot one-handed is a key to accuracy. The off-hand strap is especially useful for those looking to break the habit of shooting with both hands.
The materials of a player’s shooting aids will affect the feel and flow of the shot.
- Nylon: Off-hand straps or shooting straps made with a high content of nylon have greater stretch, making them comfortable and reliably one size fits all.
- Polyester: Off-hand straps or shooting hand straps with a higher content of polyester are somewhat stiffer, making it ideal to keep the elbow and thumb at appropriate angles.
- Plastic: Finger spacers are commonly made of silicone for good flexibility, or with synthetic variants of foam.
Shooting aids aren’t as common as some other basketball accessories, but they can be purchased from several reliable brands which are growing in popularity.
- HoopsKing: Hoopsking is a popular brand which offers affordable prices. It has perhaps the widest range of training aids for players to choose from, and it offers instructional guides to assist players in training. Its products are reliable and work well for children and adults alike.
- Marksman: The Marksman is a brand within Hoopsking that is finetuned to help players learn the right follow through technique by providing quality shooting aids.
- KBA: KBA, or Korney Board Aids offers a range of normal to luxury shooting aid products, with a Star Shooter strap that comes in both an affordable standard and deluxe luxury options.
Shooting aids are overall accessible accessories, but it’s important to consider which is right for you.
Shooting aids can last for years, although most people will not need them after they’ve learned the muscle memory to make a jump shot with the right form. Stretchier bands with more nylon may lose their shape after prolonged use, but should last at least a year.
Off-hand shooting straps and shooting hand straps typically cost between $15 and $30, while the average finger spacer costs between $10 to $15. More expensive shooting aids may come with a soft inner layer which makes them more comfortable over a prolonged period of time, especially against the scratchy velcro.
Shooting straps and off-hand straps usually come in a one size fits all design, often with a generous velcro belt that can adapt to arms of all sizes. Some brands do sell youth versions for children 10 or under in particular. Finger spacers come most often in a bar that spaces all 4 fingers, but smaller versions putting a space between 2 fingers can also be found.
What are the benefits of using shooting aids?
Shooting aids help basketball players learn and finetune the most effective shot-taking form. They can assist players at all skill levels, though some aids like the off-hand strap address more of beginner mistakes. Anyone looking to break harmful habits like shooting two-handed, thumbing the ball, or not resting the ball properly on the fingertips of the shooting hand can benefit from shooting aids during training. It’s important to analyze the individual problems of the player while deciding on a shooting aid to use.
How much do basketball shooting aids cost?
Shooting aids are relatively inexpensive accessories, making them accessible for anyone looking to learn or up their game. Plenty of reliable off-hand or shooting hand straps cost $20 or under, while finger spacers can cost between $5 to $10. Even the luxury brands will typically cost under $40. Higher end shooting aids may come with the added benefit of a soft inner layer, making them ideal for comfort after extended wear.
What are the kinds of basketball shooting aids?
Shooting aids come in a variety of forms that tackle various issues a basketball player might face. More common shooting aids like finger spacers or straps for the guide hand or shooting hand help players learn better form that allows them to shoot with more accuracy.