The wait is over! Constantly hit up the last few weeks by young men and women eager to enhance their skills, I am proud to announce that our blog will now serve as a platform for weekly drills and training tips. These drills will not only challenge our network of young athletes, but encourage them to utilize and take advantage of every minute they spend on the court. Stop wasting time and start making a difference. Kicking off our “Elevate Your Game Training Series” I have decided to start with something basic yet effective; Form Shooting.
Be honest, when you step onto the court to work on your shot, the first place you go is the three point line? Maybe not every time but it has definitely happened more than once. I think I can safely say that everyone would like to be a good shooter but most people don’t know how. Shooting in my opinion, consists of three main components: form, repetition, and the biggest of the three is confidence. I remember speaking to a group of camp participants last year about Boston Celtic Ray Allen, and his incredibly poor performance in the NBA Finals a few years ago. He couldn’t buy a bucket. Although I am a huge Celtic hater (lol), my point was not to bash on Ray. Ray didn’t forget how to shoot (he is perhaps the best shooter to ever play the game). Rather he lost his confidence and as a shooter myself I know that all the practice in the world will be for nothing if you don’t have confidence.
Form Shooting was introduced to me as a high school player and something I worked on far into my collegiate and semi professional career. Although I was born with the ability to shoot the heck out of the basketball, I still found myself constantly working to improve. I would begin every workout with Form Shooting, standing no more than three feet from the basket to get my shot warm. Here’s how it works:
Form Shooting’s purpose is to train players to shoot with the correct form. Begin by standing 3 feet from the basket (spots are numbered 1-5 above). From each of the 5 spots:
1.) Make sure your feet are square to the rim and about shoulders width apart.
2.) Make sure your elbow is in and straight. Do not shoot with your elbow out.
3.) Bend your knees.
4.) Work on finishing high and holding your follow through, finishing every shot with your hand pointed at the basket.
DO NOT USE THE BACKBOARD and instead try and swish everything. Your goal is to make 5-10 shots from each of the 5 spots before moving on to the next. See how many shots it takes you to make 10.
Move back! From around 6 feet out, do the exact same thing. Make sure that you are still maintaining the correct form. Repetition is the key to this drill. You are training your body to break bad habits and shoot with proper form. If you would like to challenger yourself a little bit, make a consequence (push-ups or running) for every time you miss. For example set your goal at 7 makes. Every time you miss, do 3 push-ups. So if it takes you 15 tries to hit 7 shots, you would do 24 push-ups. Do the push-ups at the end before you move on to the next spot instead of stopping every time you miss.
Keep moving back! Every time you complete a round of 5 spots, move back a few more feet. Remember, only move back as far as you can while maintaining proper shooting form. If you find yourself struggling to maintain your form, go back to where you are comfortable shooting. TIPS: Your power as a shooter is in your legs. If you are missing short, it is most likely a result of not using your legs and trying to use your arms too much.
Form Shooting is great to do a couple times a week, and an excellent way to warm up your shot every time you arrive at the gym. You will begin to notice significant changes in your shot if you are doing this effectively and often. Your shooting percentage will improve, your form will improve, your confidence will go up, and if you have accepted my challenge and have made consequences for yourself, you will get stronger (from all the push-ups). Hope this is helpful, have fun with it, and stay tuned for more drills and training tips to come.