If you are able to knock down not only wide-open shots but also contested shots, there is absolutely no reason your coaches are taking you out of the game. So, if you want to become a better basketball player and gain more playing time on the court, then it is essential for you to become a better shooter.
What Makes a Great Shooter?
When I was young, I always thought that a good-looking shooting form is required when it comes to being a great shooter. So, I spent hours and hours of time every day just to practice my “perfect” shooting form. However, I didn’t notice any progress on my shooting percentage.
Due to frustrations, I give up on finding the perfect shooting form. Instead, I focused more on my mechanics and releasing speed of the shots using a comfortable shooting form. Surprisingly, I’ve had significant improvements in my shooting percentage in just a few weeks of practice.
Thereafter, I’ve learned that being a good shooter doesn’t require a perfect shooting form. Just look at the greatest shooters in the NBA like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson or Larry Bird. All of them have different shooting forms yet they’ve all become great shooters.
There are four keys when becoming a better shooter, technique, consistency, range and most importantly, accuracy.
Having proper shooting techniques are vital to becoming a better shooter. As today’s game of basketball put more and more emphasis on three-point shooting, many young players have abandoned practicing form shooting and close shots, which hinders them to build proper shooting mechanics.
When you are trying to build better shooting fundamentals, it all comes down to six basics:
- Shooting Stance
- Shot Pocket
- Follow Through
I’ve written an article with more details about building your proper shooting form and technique, click here if you want to learn more.
Every basketball player wants to become a confident shooter who knows you are going to knock down shots consistently. If you are one of them, then there are a few things you must keep in mind when shooting the basketball.
Balance – You must always keep your balance once you catch the ball, separate your feet about shoulder width apart and place your shooting foot slightly ahead of the non-shooting foot to have more balance on the shot. Keeping your balance all the time allow you to shoot any time you want more consistently and quicker so that you will basically be unguardable for your opponents.
Shooting Form – Finding a comfortable shooting form is important since you want your shooting form to be exactly same every time you shoot. So, if you are forcing a “perfect” shooting form which you find uncomfortable, it is not going to benefit your shooting consistency.
Practice – One of the best ways to practice shooting consistency is probably practicing with fatigue. Just because you can knock down wide open shots during practice doesn’t mean you can knock down wide open shots in real games. In real games, you will need to play defense and offense alternatively, which requires a lot more energy and will make you more worn out than during practice.
So, if you can complete your shooting drills in real game time speed and with fatigue, you are going to be a more consistent shooter in real games.
When it comes to increasing shooting range, we don’t want to change our shooting form. As I mentioned before, keep your shooting form exactly the same every time you shoot.
As you well know, shooting technique is key to becoming a better shooter, but some may not know that adjusting your shooting technique can actually increase your shooting range. One great way to do so is to lower your shot pocket. By slightly drop your shooting elbow, you will be shooting a couple of feet further from the rim instantly without changing your shooting form much. In addition to the extended range, you will also develop a quicker release.
Apart from altering your shooting technique, you can simply get physically stronger by weight training. Instead of lifting dumbbells only, work on your entire body. It would be best to focus on building strength on your legs and triceps.
Frankly, taking 1000 shots a day is the easiest way to increase your shooting range. By shooting that amount of shots on a daily basis, you will become more and more familiar with your shooting form and as a result, you will be more comfortable and easy to shoot from a long range.
Some coaches recommend practicing with a heavier ball. After accommodating the weight of it, switch back to a regular weight basketball to shoot from further out. Yet, I don’t agree on this type of training as I think it has a great risk of injuring our wrists or even impairing our shooting form. However, if you are running out of options, try it cautiously and see if it works.
For accuracy, one of the best ways to increase it is to correct your shot every time. For instance, if your last shot hit the front rim, tell yourself to shoot a bit higher and further on the next shot. Keeping reminding yourself and correct your shot every time you missed.
The last tip I would like to give is to locate the rim as early as possible. As soon as you are catching the basketball or pulling up for a jump shot, you should already target the rim as your brain is going to measure the distance on that split-second. So, as a matter of fact, the more time you can aim, the more accurate your shot is going to be.
Shooting is an indispensable skill for every basketball player to master regardless of what position you play in your team.
As cliche as it may sound, “practice makes perfect”. Everyone can become a better shooter if you are willing to work hard. So, don’t hesitate and go make some shots now!
I hope you enjoy this article. If you have any questions, please let me know and I will help you out as soon as possible!