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By TeamSnap’s Guest Author Kyle Ohman, co-owner of BasketballHQ.com
The way that you win a game in basketball is to be able to score more points than the other team, and the way you get points is to make shots. So it makes sense to want to be the best that you can at shooting the basketball. I was blessed with the ability to play division 1 college basketball and also professionally, and one of my strengths was being able to shoot.
Going into my senior year of college I was ranked the 19th best shooter in the country by Fox Sports. I spent countless hours in the gym working on my shot. During my playing career, I was able to learn what it takes to be a great shooter. So before you go get in the gym and start working on your shot, I want to give you some tips that I picked up along the way that will hopefully help you become a better shooter.
Learn the Fundamentals
One of the biggest mistakes that players make is that they don’t learn the basketball fundamentals of shooting before they get in the gym and start practicing their shot. They start practicing shooting the wrong way, and before they know it, they develop some bad habits that become hard to fix later on. Make sure that you are first shooting the ball the right way. A good way to do this is to look at someone that is a really good shooter and try to follow what they do. In the video below you will be able to see how I shoot the ball, but you can also watch players like Ray Allen or other really good shooters and try to copy their form.
Get Your Work Done Early
As a shooter you never want to catch the ball standing straight up, or with your body not squared up (or getting squared up) to the basket when you are going to shoot the ball. Being able to get your work done before the ball gets to you will not only help your shooting percentage, but it should also help you be able to get your shot off quicker. Watch this video to see some different ways to prepare for a shot before the ball gets there.
Show your hands to receive the pass, and as the ball is the in air coming towards you, move into your shot. You always want to try and have your momentum moving slightly in towards the basket, unless you have to fade away on purpose to get your shot off.
Have Game Speed
When you are in the gym doing basketball drills for shooting or when warming up before a game, you want to practice shooting at game speed. It is okay to warm up at first and go a little bit slower to start, but when you start really working out, you need to try and shoot at game speed. It doesn’t make sense to practice shooting at a different speed than what you are going to shoot in a game. Treat every shot you shoot like you are in a game situation and shoot it at the same speed as you would in a game.
Trust Your Muscle Memory
When you go to brush your teeth in the morning, you don’t have to think about how you are going to move the toothbrush back and forth over your teeth to get them clean; you just do it. Your muscle memory takes over for you since you have already done this action a countless number of times. This is the same way that it should be for your basketball shot. When you get in the game and take a shot, you shouldn’t be thinking about what you are going to do.
Allow your basketball training to take over, and let your muscle memory make the shot for you. Trust your shot. I always noticed in my playing career that I was shooting my best when I was just playing and not thinking about my shot. You have to be able to just catch and shoot the basketball without having to think about it.
Have Confidence in Your Shot
I am sure that you have heard the saying, “shooting is all mental.” Well it may not all be mental, but if you don’t have confidence in your shot, you are most likely not going to be a good shooter. If you have done these first four tips, then you have earned the right to be confident in your shot. You have spent the time learning the fundamentals, being prepared to shoot, practicing at game speed, and developing muscle. That means that you should be confident in all your hard work.
You have to have the mindset that no matter how many shots you missed before, the next shot is going to go in. As long as it is a good shot, then keep shooting. One of my basketball coaches used to tell me, “even if you missed the last 5 shots, keep shooting, because you might make the next 5.” You have to have that mindset as a shooter.
Now go shoot!
Kyle Ohman was a thousand point scorer at Liberty University (div. 1), was ranked the 19th best shooter in the country by Fox Sports his senior year. Kyle has also played professionally in Spain. Most recently he coached a high school team that played on a national level and beat the 12th ranked team in the nation. Coach Ohman is the Co-Owner and founder of BasketballHQ.com.