In the first article of this series, we reviewed Evan’s 360-degree basketball shot analysis. Now it’s time to hit the gym and correct the errors. We do this through perfect repetitions performed over and over again.
After reviewing a shot analysis, we give the athlete three rules:
- Don’t rush. It’s better to start slow and focus on perfect repetitions.
- Fix one error at a time. One habit is hard to break. Fixing two bad habits at once, especially in something as complex as the basketball shot, is almost impossible.
- Avoid games as much as possible. Fix your shot during the off-season when few games are played. Why? If the new habit hasn’t fully taken hold once you step on the court, you’ll naturally fall back into your old ways as soon as you start shooting. This will confuse your body and reverse some of the hard work you put in.
When we reviewed Evan’s shot, our primary concern was his follow-through almost completely crossing his body. We narrowed it down to one of two possible causes:
- The right foot
- The right elbow
To find the root of the problem, we attack each possible cause one at a time. I always start with the lower body, because once lower-body issues are fixed, the upper-body ones often clear up on their own. Thus, we focus on Evan’s right foot for a few weeks. Our goal is three to four 60-minute shot workouts per week.
Evan’s Basketball Shot Corrective Drills
1. Left-Foot Basketball Shots
Starting underneath the basket, stand on just your left foot and shoot the basketball. Your right foot should only touch the ground after you shoot the ball. Top-half mechanics are still important:
- 90-degree elbow and shoulder
- Ball over wrist, wrist over elbow, and wrinkle in the wrist
- Follow-through ends with elbow at the eyebrow and middle finger “dipping” into the center of the rim.
Start with set shots. Take it slow. Set up your top-half mechanics and push into the ground with your left foot as hard as you can. Make 10 shots and then take one step back. Continue until you make it to the 3-point line. Once you’ve mastered the set shot, perform the same progression off the pass. Our goal is 100 made baskets for each type.
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2. Right-Foot Basketball Shots
Follow the same instructions as above, this time while standing on your right leg.
3. Two-Feet Mini-Hurdle Jump Shots
Set up a 3- to 6-inch mini-hurdle directly in front of you. Start 4 feet from under the rim. From the triple threat position, jump over the mini-hurdle, land on two feet and explode into your jump shot.
Before you shoot, check your feet as soon as you land. If both of them are not pointing directly at the basket, do not shoot. Start again. Make 10, and move one step back. The goal is 100 makes. Once you make 100 set shots, perform the exact same drill off the pass, and make another 100 shots.
Evan’s problem appears to be an imbalance between his right and left foot during his initial takeoff. By using the one-foot drills, we teach his body that both feet should push into the ground during the takeoff. Once each foot becomes comfortable pushing into the ground, we use the two-feet mini-hurdle drill to hopefully finalize the new, balanced push and turn it into a part of his normal shot.
How often Evan performs the above workout will determine when we analyze his shot again. If he performs the workout four or five times per week, it may only take two to three weeks. If he only hits the gym twice a week, it may take two to three months. Repetitions are key. The more repetitions he gets, the faster he will improve.
Once he’s confident he has the issue fixed, we analyze his shot with video. If it’s improved, we move to the next issue. If it’s not improved, we try a different set of corrective drills. For example, if his follow-through doesn’t improve, we focus on his right elbow winging to the outside.
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In addition to the video analysis, we often use the 94Fifty basketball for feedback on shot arc and shot speed if the problem includes one of those two variables. Because Evan’s problem was an issue with follow-through, which didn’t affect arc, we didn’t need to use the sensor basketball.
That’s exactly how you train hard and smart. Analyze. Correct. Retest.