Shooting is the most important skill in basketball. At the end of the day, the objective is to get the ball in the basket, and whichever team does that the most times during a game win. Hence, improving your shooting should be a priority, no matter what standard you are.
Here are 9 tips that will transform you into a better shooter for your team.
Even the best players in the world practice shooting all the time. Steph Curry (one of the greatest shooters the world has ever seen) still takes 1000 shots after each practice session. During the offseason, he takes it up a notch, shooting over 5000 shots a day!
This may seem like a no brainer, but plenty of people shoot the ball without actually looking at where they want it to go. Focus on the target (the rim) early so your brain knows where you should be aiming, and subconsciously calculate the distance to the basket. Once you’ve shot the ball, you should always keep your eyes on the target and not the flight of the ball.
Being comfortable is crucial when it comes to good shooting. Having your feet shoulder width apart will ensure you are balanced before taking the shot. Your feet should also point in the general direction of the basket, but not necessarily directly at it. Find a position that is comfortably to you, but the key is to then get into that same position on every shot.
Holding your follow-through (until the ball hits the rim) helps maintain a good shooting technique also allows you to identify if your arm, elbow, or wrist need better positioning. Your elbow should extend in a straight line and your wrist should always be relaxed.
Thinking about your shooting technique during a match is one of the worst things you can do. It can distract you from the flow of the game and won’t help you improve. Put all the elements out of your head during the game – it’s okay to miss shots. Think about the fundamentals of your shot during practice or when you’re attending basketball camps. Over time, it will become second nature during the game anyway!
Learning from the best can help you become the best. Watching footage of the best shooters will ensure you develop a technique that helps you improve. Some of the best pure shooters are Ray Allen, Klay Thomson, Reggie Miller, Larry Bird, Kyle Korver and of course, Steph Curry. Spend some time watching their videos on YouTube and take note of everything they do. Then try to replicate it.
Taking things, a step further, you may even want to record your own shot (both in practice and in games). This can shed light on what you are doing right or wrong and allow you to make adjustments to help you improve your percentage.
A return device helps get the ball back to you quicker and can literally double the number of shots you take while practicing. So, if time is limited, a return device is a great idea. Similarly, having a partner to rebound for you will allow you to get more shots quicker and allows you to get into a better rhythm.
Yes, this tip is exactly the same as number 1. But the importance of practice cannot be overstated. To become better, you need to put the work in. Repetition is the key!
Good luck, and for one-on-one help developing your shot, take a look at our private basketball training sessions.