For a basketball player, becoming a great shooter takes time and countless hours of practice in the gym.
The reason star players such as Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry shoot so well is not just because they practice, but because they dedicated time to developing their form and shooting technique.
We’ve all heard the saying “practice makes perfect,” but that doesn’t always hold true. If you’re practicing the wrong way, you are reinforcing bad habits, which will negatively impact your performance, not help to improve it. (Discover 20 basketball drills to help improve your shooting form)
Before you spend hours in the gym working on your jump shot, check out these four basketball shooting tips to ensure that you are shooting the correct way and maximizing your on-court practice time. You can also watch the above video to learn about the fundamentals of shooting a three.
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Tip #1: Get Your Work Done Before the Ball Gets To You
When catching the ball, don’t get caught standing upright and then get into your shot. Instead, you should be in a down and ready position when the ball is coming to you. This will allow you to step or hop into your shot, enabling you to get your shot off quicker. (Watch video of sharpshooter J.J. Redick perform the Catch and Shoot Drill.)
Tip #2: Strong Base + Jumping Straight Up and Down
A strong and balanced base will allow you to jump straight up when you shoot the ball. Without a solid base, you’re more likely to drift away from the basket when shooting. Maintaining a strong base helps reinforce correct shooting form. The only time you should be drifting or fading away is if you are doing it on purpose to get your shot off over a defender.
Tip #3: Shoot the Same Way Every Time
Use the same shooting form in practice as you do during a game. That means that when you practice your shot, you need to lock in and shoot at game speed. The reason why is that you are developing muscle memory, and it is counterproductive to practice it multiple ways. Come into your shot and shoot the same way every time.
Tip #4: Finish Your Shot
Too many players shoot the ball but don’t follow through, or they land off balance. Stay in your shot until it makes or misses. The goal is to land in the same spot from where you jumped; this will help you determine if you’re getting your body squared on the shot.