Last week I was challenged to multiple shooting contests during our down time at the facility and me being the competitor that I am, I had to accept. At the New Jersey Sports Academy, we have three of the famous, “Guns” which is actually a nice piece of equipment for working on your shooting ability. I think the best part of the “Gun” is that it will actually keep track of the shots you have taken and the shots that you have made and then give you your shooting percentage. This can be a very valuable piece of information when it comes to charting progress. Which brings me back to my first sentence of the shooting competitions. The guy that challenged me suggested a variety of shooting games such as first to 10 shots made or best of 30 shots taken. Let’s just say that I won each contest handily (I’m not bragging, I really won that easily), but that is not my point. My point is that I was winning so easily that I began to compete against myself and I was using the Gun’s tracing device to accomplish this.
Let’s use our best of 30 shots contest as an example. We competed in this event three different times. The first time around, I made 67% of my shots. I decided that that was not good enough and new I could make more so when my turn came around again, I buckled down, focussed a little more and made 73% of my shots. However, I was still left wanting a higher percentage. This is part who I am, but also partially because I knew I missed a few shots last round that should have gone in. So for the third round I zeroed in and lit it up for a whopping 80% from the floor!
Honestly, my point is not to tell you how well I can shoot that basketball with no one guarding me. It is actually to get you into two habits for your shooting workouts. First, keep track of how many shots you take and how many shots you make. Not everyone has access to fancy pieces of equipment like the “Gun” but last I checked, a note pad and pencil worked just as well.
My second point is to make sure that you are competing and constantly changing the game. Incorporate various games/competitions into your shooting workouts, even when you are alone. Examples of this include:
- A total number of shots made in specific period of time.
- Making a certain number of shots in a row from varying spots.
- Making a certain number of shots in a row before you move your spot.
- Number of mades shots out of a specifc number (like out of 30 or 50)
- Setting a specific number of shots to make in your workout, either as a total or from varying spots (ex. from three point range, off the dribble, in the lane, etc.
These two items, charting your progress and making your workouts competitive may seem simple but in all honesty, how often do you do it? I would venture to guess that the average player would answer that question with a, “not often.” Yet this is a necessity to improving your shooting workouts. Competitions will add a challenge, alleviate monontony, and make the shooting workout as difficult or more difficult that an actual game. While charting your progress will show improvement. So next time you head out to the court to practice, preplan a list of shooting competitions for yourself in your notepad and chart your progress and I guarantee that you will see results.
See you on the court!
Elite Basketball Training, LLC
Ps. If any of you have any other ways to improve your shooting workouts or just your basketball workouts in general be sure to let the Elite Basketball Training community know by commenting in the comments section below.