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When I was a younger basketball player coming up in the NBA glory days of the 1980’s and 90’s, there used to be a Wendy’s commercial where an old lady would ask, “...WHERE’S THE BEEF,” as she opened a hamburger bun to find a barely visible hamburger patty. Well... as I watch basketball players of all levels struggle with shooting free throws, mid-range jump shots, and poor shooting in general, it makes me want to ask… “WHERE’S THE BEEF???”


Of course I am not talking about a hamburger, but the B.E.E.F. shooting method for proper shooting technique and shooting form! Many ball players do not have good shooting results because they start with poor shooting form and technique.  Good shooters incorporate the B.E.E.F principles of shooting on EVERY shot that they can because it increases their percentages of making the shot.  B. E. E. F. is an acronym that can be used to help a shooter to remember to incorporate proper mechanics in their shooting form.  


B -- The B in the B. E. E. F. method of shooting stands for BALANCE.  This means that the shooter’s toes should be facing the basket and their body and shoulders should be square to the rim when shooting..  A good shooter will work hard before receiving the ball to ensure proper foot positioning for good balance for the shot upon the catch. Fade away shots and other shots which do not have proper balance are more difficult to shoot, and should only be used in special situations.


E -- The first E in the B.E.E.F. method of shooting stands for EYES.  This means that the shooter’s eyes should be focused on their target, the rim.  A good shooter not only looks at the rim before they shoot, but specifically focuses in on an exact area of the rim while shooting.  I advise shooters to focus in on the back lip of the rim.  If the shooter focuses on getting their shot over the front lip of the rim, and hitting the back lip of the rim, they will experience a higher shooting percentage. When a shooter aims at the front lip of the rim and misses the shot a little bit short, the ball will fall away from the basket and will not go in. However, if a shooter aims for the back lip of the rim and misses the shot a little bit short, the shot will still have a great opportunity of going in the basket.   A good shooter will begin EVERY practice session by training their eyes to see the back lip of the rim from any angle on the court, by starting with form shooting from next to the basket.


E -- The second E in the B.E.E.F. method of shooting stands for ELBOW.  This means that the shooter’s elbow should be underneath the basketball at a 90 degree angle, for proper form when beginning the shooting motion.  The shooting motion is also affected by the position of the elbow in regards to where it ends up at the completion of the shot.  The shooter’s elbow should end up above his eyebrow to ensure a proper arch is used on each shot.  A rule of thumb for making sure the shooter has proper arch on their shot is to have the shooter think about the concept of “SHOOTING OUT OF A TELEPHONE BOOTH.”  By concentrating on having each shot exit the imaginary telephone booth without touching the side walls, the shooter's shot will be on the correct trajectory to have the proper arch.  Remembering the following concepts will help ensure your elbow is in proper placement for good shooting form:  1) Keep your elbow underneath the basketball at a 90 degree angle at the beginning of the shot; 2) Make sure your elbow ends up above your eyebrow at the end of the shot, and; 3) Shoot each shot out of a telephone booth without touching the side walls.


F --  The F in the B.E.E.F. method of shooting stands for FOLLOW THROUGH.  This means the shooter will remain with the shot and will extend the shooting arm until the elbow ends up above the eyebrow in a gooseneck position.  The follow through is a very important aspect of the shooting motion because if not done properly, it can have a significant negative impact on the outcome of the shot.  A shot with a proper follow through will have a backspin that will increase the chances of the ball hitting the rim, and remaining in and around the rim to have a scoring opportunity.  A good shooter will hold their follow through until the ball comes through the net and hits the ground, to ensure that the shot is not being rushed and short armed.


Becoming a good shooter is not a difficult task, but it does take a lot of hard work.  Incorporating the B.E.E.F method of shooting into every shot that is taken in practice and in the games will help build habits which will help every basketball player become a better shooter, IF they practice the drills with a purpose.  Always remember… Practice does not make Perfect… PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! Practice hard and pay close attention to details to make sure you are practicing the correct way!







See you in the gym!


Coach James Johnson

Assistant Basketball Director
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