When you shoot a basketball, you judge how far from the goal you are and then aim the shot accordingly, at a target on the goal. Aiming allows you to decide how hard or far to shoot the ball with the goal of making the basket. Different players use different targets when they shoot the basketball.
Just Over the Front Rim
Coaches often teach players to aim for a spot just over the front of the rim. That imaginary point should allow players to make the shot if they hit the spot, and it also gives shooters a margin of error if they are a little off. This means that if you miss the target short or long and even right or left you still have a chance to make the basket, since balls that hit the front of the rim often get a friendly roll and bounce into the basket, whereas shots that are too long do not get as true of a roll.
Aiming for the back of the rim is another common shooting technique and the Coach's Clipboard website suggests using it as the prime target. The idea is that players will adjust and hit just short of the back rim, which will put their shot in the basket. With this technique there is little margin for error, because only leaving the ball short will give you a chance to make the basket; shots that are long or off to the side will hit the rim and usually bounce out of the basket.
Middle of Hoop
Many players simply aim for the middle of the hoop or do not even pick a target at all. These players are usually more experienced and are able to know how hard to shoot the ball from various points on the floor. The Youth Basketball Tips website suggests aiming for the part of the inside of the hoop farthest from you because this gives the shooter a little margin for error in all directions.
Shooting a bank shot or shooting off the glass requires a completely different target spot for the shooter. The square behind the basket helps to make this target, though the square is not actually the best target alone. In fact, it is easier to aim for the upper corner of the square that is closest to you. Aiming high is especially important on shots outside of 15 feet, since this enables you to get the ball high enough to make the bank shot instead of having the ball hit the rim if you were to aim straight for the middle of the square.