I don’t believe in “right” shooting. There is no such thing. I believe in a basketball shooting drill that involves training your legs, eyes, arms, mind combined with practice and experience.
The most important thing, if I can boil it down, in developing shooting skills is practice. That is THE most important basketball shooting drill. Because you see, when you buy a special DVD on shooting, they tell you stuff like: “After you shoot the ball you have to keep your hands hanging there”.
Or “the ball has to be in line with the shooting eye”. Or “this is where you need to look at the rim when you shoot from here, this is where you should look if you are shooting from the base line”.
What a bunch of ballony. You think the greatest NBA shooters ever did any of that stuff? You look at players like Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Pete Maravich and so many others to list here. And if some of them did some of the things that I mentioned, it was just by accident. No one ever told them to do that.
Some “experts” say you shouldn’t have rituals when you shoot free throws. Now, what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with Jason Kidd, Gilbert Arenas or any other pro baller?
I’ve also heard that having big hands will make you a better shooter. Take Michael Jordan for example. But you can also take Shaquille O’neal for example.
Is he a good shooter? And bear in mind, he had private shooting expert to work with him for hours and hours on his shooting.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy special DVDs on shooting or anything like that. No. I’m saying to be critical when buying any of the advice that is given to you. Use your logical mind with every single basketball shooting drill.
Here are couple of things that I’ve heard enough to believe they work. And why shouldn’t I when I’ve tried them myself. These are kinda like principles for better shooting. It’s not my advice, it’s not anyone’s advice. It’s just the way it is.
These are facts..
Alright, let’s start from the foundation. Your legs. A lot of basketball players forget about the legs but they are crucial when working on any basketball shooting drill. They can be difference between you making a good shot or not so good shot.
The legs should be about shoulders width apart.
Want to know why? Because if they are too close to each other it will be more difficult to jump (in case the opponent tries to reject you) and you don’t have a good balance. If your spread your legs too much (not as if you are having a baby:) then you’ll be more static. In other words, in case you want to move quickly, or your opponent steals your ball, it’ll be harder to move.
It’s just a fact.
Positive mental attitude is crucial for good shooting. Nobody can deny that.
There are only a few players like Robert Horry, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Dwayne Wade and others of course (those came to mind), that can have a very positive mental attitude in the last seconds. Where the rubber meets the road. You know what sets them apart from the others? They don’t overthink the situation. They aren’t paralyzed by analysis. They just go for it.
I remember watching Robert Horry buzzer beater against Sacramento, back when he was playing in the Lakers in 2002. The reporter asked him, what were you thinking before you shot. He said: “I didn’t really think too much. I just wanted to make sure the ball goes in and we win”. Or something like that.
The point of this is that, he wasn’t overthinking the situation. Ballers who do that, don’t make it. Also Dwayne Wade said he doesn’t really think too much when shooting clutch shots. So don’t analyze too much. Don’t think to yourself, okay are my legs fine or should I look at the rim on that place because I’m shooting from 10 feet?
The psychology behind this is that when you think too much, especially in those critical moments, the heart rate increases thus more blood rushes through your limbs in a short period of time and it’s harder to control them. Both your arms and legs. The harder it is to control your hands, the greater the chance to miss.
Another very important basketball shooting drill is warming up. A lot of ballers need to catch fire before they start throwing good shots. Well, why not catch that fire in advance? I know it’s not the same when you are in an actual game. You need experience for that. But what can you do? Fake it till you make it.
Do some warm up drills like shooting the ball from different places on the court. It’s better if you can find someone to pass you the ball after you shoot so that you can get the “feel” from different places on the court. And if you can’t find one, that’s okay, just shoot your way up, practice like a maniac.
That reminds me. You know what Reggie Miller said when they asked him how did he develop his shooting skill? It most certainly wasn’t doing the stupid “basketball shooting drills” I mentioned in the beginning of this text, I tell you that:-). He actually said three things: Practice, practice, practice.
Ahem, let’s see, what else? Holding the ball in a higher position when you shoot is definitely going to be harder for your opponent to block your shot. But if you are used to shooting by holding the ball in a lower position and you shoot pretty good, then, don’t change your style.
Remember, keep practicing. It’s the only way. I’ve played one on one against better players than me but at the end of the day, I was the one to win the game. Because my shooting was better. I remember when I wanted to make 10 consecutives shots in my backyard. This is a great basketball shooting drill by the way. I started shooting the ball about 5/6ish p.m and I ended up shooting till 10 p.m even though it got dark.
And that’s when I finally did it. I made 10 consecutives shots at night. It was probably about 20 times when I missed on the last shot. But I said to myself: You got to practice.