When it comes to shooting mechanics there are lots of little details that go into developing great form. Earlier in my blog I discussed footwork which is where proper form starts and it should build from there. A player must always have his hands ready to shoot. Catching the ball with the finger tips and quickly getting the ball on the palm (not heel) of the hands helps to speed up the shot. When hands are properly on the ball the thumbs should be about 1-2 inches apart and form a "T".
The next step is critically important and where many players falter. As the shot begins, the ball should be brought up into the shooting pocket which is just off the shooting hand side of the head. For me as a right handed shooter, my right thumb is pointing at my right side temple or forehead when the ball is in my shooting pocket. At this point the shooting elbow should come up underneath the ball forming a 90 degree bend in the arm. A key point here is that the elbow should be pointing at your target. The big mistake I see players making is that they never get the ball out to their shooting pocket correctly. They let the ball rest on their off hand which usually puts the ball closer to the middle of their forehead. With the ball in this position it is almost impossible to get your elbow underneath the ball. This is why I am a big proponent of one handed practice shooting because it forces correct ball and elbow placement.
At this point it all boils down to the single most important part of the shot, the follow through. From the shooting pocket the first movement should be up, extending the elbow above the eyes and finishing with a flick of the wrist. It's important on follow through to put your fingers in the rim. Depending on how you hold the ball you may be more inclined to finish more with your middle or pointer finger. Also a good practice is to envision a spot in the middle of the rim and shoot the ball to land on that spot instead of straight at the spot. This will help get the arc needed to develop a shooters touch.
This was a brief overview of proper shooting mechanics and some important points that are key for any shooter. As I mentioned before, shooting is like a golf swing. Every day I see guys without perfect form make shots. Why? They practiced the same way over and over - repetition, rhythm, and muscle memory.