It's easy to go by the adage "practice makes perfect," but we forget that we don't just have to keep shooting and shooting to get good at basketball. We can use various tools to improve our shot and create a much better shot than before.
We'll look at what we consider the best basketball shooting aids available right now, as well as a buying guide to aid in your choosing.
Best Basketball Shooting Aids
It's a little on the expensive side, but the iC3 Basketball Shot Trainer challenges you to improve your arc to make a perfect shot into the basket. The trainer can attach to almost any basketball hoop, both indoors and out, letting you continue to develop muscle memory no matter where you practice.
Even if you miss a shot, the wide net can catch the shot and deliver it into the basket. That way, you won't have to go chasing the ball across the court or even across the street.
The trainer is tall enough you need to arc the ball to make it into the basket. Plus, a special ramp attaches to the hoop to deliver the ball right back to you.
The trainer also attaches easily to your hoop, and you can store it in your garage or the back of your car.
Built for the outdoors, the robust frame should withstand wind and rain, though we do recommend you remove the hoop during extreme weather. Sometimes missed balls get stuck between the rim and the net, but there are plenty of fixing suggestions to help that.
- Easy to set up
- It gives you plenty of time to shoot with two balls
- Works great to help improve your arc
- Allows you to shoot over 100 shots in an hour
- The rod extension rods collapse and fold in for closer shot practice
- Missed balls sometimes catch between the rim and net
- Requires a ladder for taking down and removing stuck balls
- Customer service is not the best
Basketball shooting training is not just about getting the ball into the basket. The SKLZ D-man is a portable hands-up mannequin that mimics a taller player or just another obstacle on the court.
You can practice shooting a perfect arc over their heads or set them up as defensive players to break around.
The D-Man is lightweight and easy to set up, so you can stow them in the back of your car or gym locker and then set them up just minutes before practice. The extending pole allows you to adjust the D-man to a height between 6.5 and 8 feet tall.
You can use them during a team practice or individual practice too.
Keep in mind that you're not supposed to treat the dummy harshly. You either run around or try to shoot around it since the plastic pole is a little weak and might break if mishandled.
- Provides excellent visualization for games
- A solid obstacle to try and shoot over
- Allows coaches to observe shooting skills in detail
- Players can practice shooting or drilling without a partner
- Adjustable size simulates all kinds of player heights
- Not the best for outdoor use
- The plastic extending pole is not the strongest
- No weight to hold the product to the floor
To make a good shot, you'll need to keep your off-hand from rotating and interfering with your shot.
The HoopsKing shooting aid wraps around your arm and keeps your wrist from turning, allowing you to make straighter shots into the basket. It'll also keep you from pressing your thumb into the ball and making it go off course.
You can also wear the strap on your dominant hand so you can shoot weak-handed layups and not push the ball too high.
The strap itself is quite comfortable, made from neoprene material in a one-size-fits-all fashion. You can adjust how much tension you have on your arm, and you can wrap as many times as necessary around your wrist.
It works great for improving muscle memory, soon allowing you to wear the strap fewer times and create an excellent shot.
However, the one-size-fits-all length might be a little long for some younger or skinnier players. The size works well enough for them, but it might not be as tight as you might prefer.
- Keeps everything in proper form
- It stays in place for a while
- It keeps excellent tension on the thumb
- Comfortable neoprene material
- Straightforward, fun tutorials for how to use
- Kind of confusing to put on
- The strap might be a little too large for some players
- It might not fit all child players
Some players make the mistake of putting their palms against a basketball before shooting.
The AllNet shooting aid helps raise the ball onto your fingertips, giving you more control over your shot.
Getting used to where the basketball lies on your fingers should help improve your muscle memory and consequently your shot.
The AllNet shooting aid comes from durable, high-quality ABS plastic covered with a one-year warranty if it wears out more quickly. It only takes about a minute to take it on and off, and you can adjust it to your hand and finger size.
The product might not work best when you do some drills because suddenly catching a basketball can put uncomfortable pressure on your fingertips. The loops might also be a little big for children under eight years old.
- It forces you to understand the feel of the basketball
- It works as an excellent warmup tool
- Can use it on either dominant or off hand
- It appears to help show improvement after several hours of shooting
- Works best for adults and older children
- Not the most comfortable for catch and shoot drills
- Plastic might not last as long as promised
- It does not always adjust to smaller hands
Sometimes, all you need to make the mark is a bright yellow target to aim for. The SKLZ shooting target stations itself right in the center of your basketball hoop, giving you something to aim at.
Now, the bright yellow basketball will show you exactly where to shoot the ball when you shoot for the hoop.
Don't worry: the little ball won't easily fall off your hoop. The ball is two inches in diameter and has flexible bungee cords holding it to the hoop.
Strong plastic hoops should repeatedly keep the ball in place, and you don't need any tools to assemble it. The color is also bright enough to see from anywhere in the court.
Depending on how many balls you're shooting, the balls might fall more slowly with this product. The plastic hooks holding the cord to your basketball hoop also do not close, so that some occasional adjustments might be necessary.
Some might find the plastic hooks a little bulky as well.
- Fluorescent yellow color stays strong
- The flexible cord allows the ball to fall right through the hoop
- You can see the ball from any vantage point on the court
- No tools necessary for attaching to the hoop
- It helps improve eye focus before making shots
- Hooks do not close around the hoop
- Plastic hooks might be too bulky for some
- It might work better for short-term use
Yet again, SKLZ does not let us down! Their basketball shooting trainer attaches to most official-sized basketballs to create a visual aid that helps improve shooting technique.
It does so with the yellow triangles, which provide a reference for ball rotation, proper hand alignment, and your position with the hoop.
The silicone strap helps hold the triangles in place on the ball. Every time you shoot a ball, you should have instant visual feedback on your technique. It might be slightly tricky to see when the ball spins fast, though. You can attach bright duct tape around the strap to provide better visual feedback.
The strap might also make it hard to dribble the ball. In that case, you might use it best as a shooting aid rather than something you keep using during a game. Some might have a little difficulty putting the strap on, though that might be to keep the strap on while the ball flies.
- It stays tight to the ball even during a fast shot
- Provides good visual feedback for shooting
- The strap stays solid even after a few uses
- Generally easy to see ball rotation
- Fun and safe for kids to use
- Yellow triangles might be hard to see in fast flight
- The strap is a little hard to get on and take off
- It makes the ball hard to dribble
Basketball Shooting Aid Buying Guide
As you can already see, there are plenty of shooting aid types, whether for your hoop, your ball, or even your arm. You might require a variety for a whole range of practices.
We'll discuss what you'll be able to do with each of these tools.
Bodily Training Aids
Sometimes, you need something that gives you direct feedback about what you're doing with your body.
A body wrap, for instance, can help you position yourself so you can make a successful shot. An arm wrap will wrap around your arm and hold your thumb, so you won't accidentally rotate your hand during a shot.
On the other hand, a foam finger bar or a series of fixed plastic loops will help keep your fingers in the right alignment. Many players accidentally keep their palms flat against the ball when they need to use the tips of their fingers. One such tool can help with that.
Defense Training Aids
If you have anxiety about shooting too low over other players' heads, defense training aids might help.
Shooting a basketball well might also mean improving your ability to move around other players. If you are a coach, you might like to set up defense mechanisms to help your players move better and improve their arcs' height.
Plus, you can stand to the sidelines and watch the arcs with greater detail.
Defense mannequins are usually adjustable so that you can change their height. They look like basketball players holding up their arms to defend their court.
You improve your arc with them by trying to shoot high over the tops of their raised arms. You can also dribble your way across the court and move around them to improve your speed and agility.
Shooting Aids for the Hoop
Several basketball shooting aids attach to a hoop to not only improve your arc but improve your eye focus when shooting.
Some aids provide a target you need to aim for to make a perfectly centered shot. You'll usually attach these by hooks or clips, and the target will stand on a flexible cord so you can shoot a basketball repeatedly without adjusting the target.
The target will also be a bright color so that you can see it from anywhere in the court.
You might also find shooting aids available as special net attachments. Some shooting aid nets have high poles that force you to make a higher arc, but the net catches the ball, depositing it into the basket, so you don't have to chase after missed shots.
Such attachments also allow you to shoot balls without having to wait for one ball to go through at a time continually.
Creating an excellent shooting arc in basketball comes from training your eye and body to release the ball naturally.
Whether that means using a body wrap, a special net attachment, or even a defense dummy, many of these products also come with drill guides so you can improve in other fun ways. So have fun and see which type of aid works best for you.
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