What Does BEEF Mean in Basketball?

If you’ve ever watched a basketball practice or sat in on a coaching clinic, chances are you’ve heard coaches refer to the “BEEF” method. But what does BEEF mean when it comes to basketball shooting technique?

BEEF is an acronym used to summarize the key components of proper shooting form in basketball. It stands for:

  • Balance
  • Eyes
  • Elbow
  • Follow through

Let’s break down each element of BEEF shooting and why it’s important for players to master:


The “B” in BEEF refers to balance. This is the foundation of a player’s shooting stance and jump shot. Without proper balance, it’s nearly impossible to shoot accurately and consistently.

Here are some key points on balance:

  • Feet should be shoulder-width apart
  • Lead foot slightly ahead of trail foot
  • Knees bent for stability
  • Weight evenly distributed

The exact stance may vary by player, but keeping the feet aligned under the hips and knees bent prevents leaning and maintains balance through the shot.

Young players especially need to focus on steadying their base and not jumping or moving the feet too much during the shot. Solid balance transfers power from the legs up through the shot.


The “E” emphasizes the importance of what a shooter focuses their eyes on throughout the shot process.

Some common eye focus targets include:

  • Front of the rim
  • Back of the rim
  • Center of the rim
  • The “diamond” at the top center of the backboard

There’s no universally correct place for a shooter’s eyes. But it’s vital for players to choose a target and keep their eyes locked there as they shoot.

This consistency boosts focus, rhythm, and accuracy. The eyes should remain fixed even after the ball is released.


Aligning the shooting elbow under the ball is critical for precision. The “E” in BEEF shooting reminds players:

  • Keep elbow under ball
  • Do not flare elbow out
  • Align elbow, hand, and rim

The elbow joint should form around 90 degrees with the shot pocket and wrist cocked back. As the shooter pushes up into the shot, the elbow rises and straightens to full extension.

Poor elbow alignment causes shots to go astray left or right. Proper elbow position keeps the ball tracking straight toward the target.

Follow Through

The final “F” emphasizes finishing the shot fully. Two keys here:

  • Wrist snaps forward
  • Arm stays extended

As the shooting elbow reaches full extension, the wrist releases and “flicks” the ball off the index and middle fingers. This imparts backspin for a soft landing.

Following through with arm extended anchors the motion and allows the wrist snap to propel the ball true to the target. It also helps balance the shot forces and prevents falling away.

Why the BEEF Method Works

BEEF shooting summarizes the biomechanics of a properly executed jump shot into one simple catchy acronym. This makes it easy to remember and apply the major form points.

It provides a sequential checklist for players to run through as they set up and perform each shot:

  1. Balance feet
  2. Focus eyes
  3. Align elbow
  4. Follow through fully

When all four elements come together efficiently, the result is a smoothly rhythmic shot with accuracy and consistency.

BEEF builds a strong foundation first with balance and focus before layering in the shooting mechanics with elbow alignment and follow through.

While advanced players certainly need more nuanced shooting instruction, BEEF covers the basics well for beginners. It allows them to self-diagnose issues and correct form errors.

If shots are missing left, it’s likely poor elbow alignment. Shots falling short indicate insufficient follow through. BEEF reminds players what to focus on.

Teaching BEEF Shooting

BEEF is commonly used by youth basketball coaches to introduce sound shooting fundamentals. The simple mnemonic device helps young players remember proper technique.

Here are some tips for teaching BEEF shooting:

  • Use visual aids like posters or videos to demonstrate proper form
  • Break down each element and have players practice them individually before putting all together
  • Emphasize one letter at a time to isolate and correct errors
  • Be positive and encouraging, don’t criticize or lose patience
  • Repeat cue words like “balance” and “eyes” while they shoot
  • Focus on consistency first before worrying about distance or makes

Learning any new skill takes time and repetition. Stick with the BEEF method through thousands of shots over weeks and months. Players will gradually integrate the movements into muscle memory.

Adapting BEEF for Advanced Players

While BEEF shooting provides an excellent starter framework, elite players will need more advanced technical shooting instruction to take their skills to the highest level.

Some ways to build on BEEF fundamentals:

  • Vary foot placement for different situations like catch-and-shoot vs off the dribble.

  • Integrate motion across screens and into the jumper.

  • Practice different release points and trajectories.

  • Work on countermoves into the shot like stepbacks.

  • Master one-foot, hanging, turnaround, and fadeaway jumpers.

  • Shoot under pressure and with defenders.

Still, even NBA All-Stars continue working on foundational basics like balance, elbow position, and follow through. BEEF shooting remains valuable no matter the skill level.

So next time you hear coaches referencing “BEEF” shooting, you’ll know they are emphasizing the core pillars of proper shooting technique. With balance, focused eyes, elbow alignment, and full follow through, players learn to execute textbook jumpers from the ground up. Mastering these fundamentals through the BEEF method provides the base for consistent, high-percentage shooting.

Skills & Drills B.E.E.F Shooting Technique


What is the term beef in basketball?

The important thing to remember when doing this drill is what B.E.E.F actually means. B= balance, E= eyes on your target, E= (shooting) elbow straight, F= follow through. To begin, the shooter should position him/herself about a foot away from the bottom of the rim.

What does beef stand for in PE?

Treat is the BEEF (Balance, eyes, elbow, follow-through) training model and the Drill training model.

What is a steak in basketball?

In basketball, a steal occurs when a defensive player legally causes a turnover by their positive, aggressive action(s). This can be done by deflecting and controlling, or by catching the opponent’s pass or dribble of an offensive player.

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