Science project

How to Make the Perfect Shot in Basketball

Research Questions:

  • Did you discover the best way to make the perfect shot?
  • Is it better to throw the ball from chest level or waist level?
  • Did you prefer getting a running start to make the shot or was it easier to make a shot standing in front of the hoop?
  • Does distance away from the hoop matter in determining the best type of shot?


  • Basketball
  • Basketball Court
  • A Piece of paper and a helper to chart/record your shooting skills

Experiment Procedure:

  1. Stand approximately four to five feet in front of the basketball hoop.
  2. Dribble the ball around to get a feel for the bounce and weight of the ball.
  3. Using an overhand motion shoot the ball towards the hoop from chest level. Continue practicing this about five times.
  4. Repeat step three, but try shooting the ball from waist level. Continue practicing this about five times.
  5. Next, repeat steps three and four, except try to shoot the ball towards the hoop while jumping slightly in the air.
  6. For the final experiment, place yourself halfway down the court, dribble the ball and get a running start. Practice this shooting the ball at chest level then try it shooting the ball from waist level.
  7. Based on the questions in the “research question” section, were you able to discover the best way to make a perfect shot every time?
  8. Follow the steps above and try taking some shots from the left side of the hoop and the right side of the hoop.

Terms/Concepts: proper form, accuracy, free throw, rim shot


Breakthrough Basketball (2011)

Nothing But Net: The Science of Shooting Hoops (Dragonfly 02/07/2011)

The Coach’s Clipboard, by James A. Gels (2001-2011)

Basketball Coaches Home: The Art of Shooting a Basketball (2009/2010)

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