A great shooter never became one overnight. Proper mechanics, confidence, an understanding of where they shoot the best on the court, and most importantly, repetition make a shooter great. Shooting a basketball is more like a batting stance than shooting a soccer ball: no two players do it the same way. The unique, unorthodox shooting style of one player can yield more success than a player that seems to have all the proper mechanics down.
I used to think [and had coaches say] that when I struggled I needed to re-adjust my shot completely from the classic middle school two-handed shot. Instead, I made a simple re-adjustment by shifting my left hand over to the side of the ball and use it as an assist hand only. This allowed me to have more consistent success with my shot and develop a jump shot as well. Now as a coach myself, far too often I see kids shooting around just to shoot, without any intention to improve their shot. The reality is few players actually want to be great shooters. The good new is, ‘working on your shot’ can still be fun. I used to shoot free throws until I made 10 straight, I would play ‘around the world’ against myself from around the key then the 3 point arc. If you have a hoop and a basketball, you can be a great shooter. One of the first things I knew about myself was I could shoot a basketball. It was a way to prove myself—while others hoped to make every shot, I made every shot. This wasn’t the reality, but it was and still is my thinking. I would spend hours in the driveway working on my shot, never satisfied with getting enough shots in a day. And that is the secret to shooting. While its important to have your elbow in, square up the feet, follow all the way through, have proper backspin on the ball, even more important is the willingness to be okay with a miss yet always anticipating a make. The success is in the repetition and the seriousness to which the shooter takes to the skill.
Hoopaholics Anonymous is a monthly newsletter written by various Hoopaholics staff. The views and opinions written in this newsletter are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the Hoopaholics organization.
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