What does it take to make the perfect jump shot?

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Michael Jordan, Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and other professional basketball players have perfected the jump shot. Feet set, step into it and knock it down.

The science behind the jump shot is being broken down. A jump shot is either worth two or three points. Two if the shot is made within the three-point arch. Three points if made beyond the three-point arch.

Many jump shots have been made throughout NBA history. Kyle Korver has an NBA season record of shooting 53 percent from behind the three-point line. So how can one get this good at making a jump shot?

Dave Hopla, shooting coach for NBA superstar Ray Allen says, “The most important part of the shot is having your shooting elbow in the letter ‘L’,” according to Stack Magazine.

To break down the picture perfect jumper, Bleacher Report’s Dylan Murphy analyzes Klay Thompson from the Golden State Warriors. First, his gather. The gather is crucial because it’s the start to every shooter getting a shot off. The gather is between the catch and the release, some players rotate the ball to line up their shot, and others bring the ball down to a point of comfort before driving it back up vertically. Thompson does all this like any other shooter, but he sets himself apart with his ability to execute these motions in a fraction of the time.

What Murphy examines next is Thompson’s balance. “Balance is tough. Most shots in the NBA are contested; there is a defender with a hand up trying to block it or make it more difficult to shoot. Traditionally, what is taught is that when a player is balanced, his feet are set evenly he jumps straight up and knocks down the shot. This is incorrect. What’s actually most crucial is keeping the body aligned.”

According to Murphy, “This means that the entire body is in sync with itself. If a player is fading away, his upper body must contort backward in the same proportion as his lower body leans forward. The hips are an axis, but the body never bends at the hip. Everything moves together.”

Murphy explains a mindful follow through last. Following through with your jump shot is taught to you when you first shoot a basketball. Murphy elaborates more on the final addition to Thompson’s jumper, “A natural extension of the previous point: minimal follow-through. It hammers home the point that the shooter does not short-arm the ball.”

There are definitely many steps to be focused on and practiced to be a great jump shooter. Work on the gather, balance and follow through and maybe you will shoot just like an NBA star too. Allen said, “When people say God blessed me with a beautiful jump shot, it really pisses me off. I tell those people, ‘Don’t undermine the work I’ve put in every day.’ Not some days. Every day.”

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