When a 4-foot-tall young boy is trying to shoot a basketball that's bigger than his head into a hoop that's 10-feet high, his form is most certainly not going to look like Michael Jordan's. But someday, he won't be small anymore, and if he doesn't develop the correct shooting mechanics when he's learning the game, he'll look like Shaq at the free-throw line.

One of the most common habits you'll see in youth basketball is a tendency to throw the ball, rather than shoot it. A lot of that has to do with the fact they aren't very tall or strong, but if they try to shoot the ball with just their arms, they're going to have difficulty and resort to using their shoulders to push the ball toward the basket.

It's difficult to teach, but with the correct shooting form in their arms and wrists, they'll be able to use their legs to drive their body up and that momentum will be more than enough to project the ball from even beyond the three-point line.

Be sure to ingrain the following shooting mechanics into your young players:
♦ Use the tips of the fingers as the hand's primary contact with the ball. The palm should be less than an inch from the ball, but should never touch it.
♦ To start the shot, their arms should be at 90 degrees - no more, no less.
♦ The shot should finish with their arms locked at the elbow and perfectly straight - not leaning to the left or right. If you have a team of young boys, you can tell them their wrist should be pointed at the basket like they are Iron Man and are shooting a missile at it.

With this form, they may not be able to shoot as far as they could when they were pushing or throwing the ball, but that's why it's important to help them use their legs to shoot. Your own shooting form may not as good as it was in your heyday, so if you want to show your team a player to model their shots after, look no further than the greatest three-point shooter of all time - Ray Allen.