Before Kobe Bryant was drafted by the Lakers in 1996—the first guard to go straight to the pros out of high school—he met Dave Hopla, who would become his shooting coach during his first four years in the NBA. Their first workout together began at 5:30 a.m. (Kobe arrived at 4:45 a.m. to warm up) with this drill:
Half-Court Shuttle Drill
Set Up: You need a few cones, a ball and a partner to rebound and pass. Place one cone at mid-court and two cones at the free throw line extended (three feet from sideline).
- Beginning at mid-court, sprint to the free throw line for a jump shot
- Sprint back to the mid-court cone, then sprint to either outside cone for another jump shot
- Sprint back to mid-court, then sprint to the other cone for a jump shot
- Finally, sprint back to mid-court, then sprint to the basket and finish with a dunk or layup
If you miss any shots, continue until you make the shot from that spot. Don't get discouraged if you miss. The first time Kobe performed the drill, he nailed his first three jump shots but missed his final dunk, so he had to sprint back to the half-court line and go up again.
Repeat the drill at your own will, and record your best time. As a guideline, a good time is less than 21 seconds.
In a STACK interview, Gilbert Arenas discussed the way Kobe trains his shot: "He'll go into the gym and say 'I'm gonna shoot over my right shoulder. Turn, over my right shoulder. I'm gonna shoot 1,000 today'...he'll go and work just on that shot."
Hopla says, "Kobe has a sense of urgency with everything he does. Every rep, every shot, every drill is important to him." To be a consistent shooter (and Kobe-clutch), you must have the type of hunger that drives you to the gym before practice, before school and makes you stay until the gym lights are shut off.
For more tips from Hopla, one of the most accurate shooters in the world, check out his guide to successful shots.
Source: Alan Stein, http://blog.strongerteam.com/
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock