About two weeks ago I wrote an email highlighting how one of my younger basketball players that I work with for basketball skill development showed up at the gym and started chucking up jumpers from long range. To teach him a lesson, I walked over to the court and began doing some form shooting drills. All the while, I stayed close to the rim and focused on the fundamentals of shooting while he just continued to bomb away. After a few minutes, I asked him to tell me the difference between what I was doing and what he was doing, to which he replied, “You’re working on your shot while I’m just chucking up shots.” I had to laugh because he knew exactly what my point was and I hope that he has learned from it.
Fast forward to yesterday at the gym. Prior to my Elite Basketball Skills workout I was working on my own game when one of my younger players grabbed a basketball walked on the floor and proceeded to shoot three pointer after three pointer. He would spin the ball to himself, set up, check the wind, and let it fly. As one shot after another hit nothing but air, I couldn’t help but wonder why he was continuing to shoot these shots. Isn’t the point of the game of basketball to actually have the ball go through the hoop? So finally I asked, “Why are you shooting three pointers?” His response, “I can make them.” He said it with such confidence that I thought that I may have missed something. I was working out after all, so it is possible.
The rest of the conversation went something like this:
I replied, “Really, how many have you made since you walked on the floor?”
“One,” he said.
“One? Really? Are you sure?”
“How many have you taken?”
“Are you sure?”
We could have gone on like this forever, but I really wanted to finish my own workout.
Even after this conversation, he continued to let ’em fly until finally I heard him exclaim, ” I made one!” That’s just it, he made ONE and had taken so many. I just could not see the point. So I stopped my workout again and explained to him that taking hundreds of shots from long range with poor form and having them NOT go in the basket does not make you a good basketball player. In fact, it is quite the opposite as this will have a detrimental affect on your game. I encouraged him to work on the basketball skills and drills that we have been working on each week. To his credit, he did and he also had his absolute best shooting workout to date.
With this scenario becoming more and more typical, it is necessary that we fix the problem of young players just bombing away from long range without any care for form or whether the ball actually goes in the net, but how? First, it takes selling them on the idea that starting close and moving back only when you are able to is the right way. It also takes practice, discipline, repetition, and a great little drill that I like to use called, “The Find Your Range Drill.” This drill starts close to the basket, about four feet away, and requires the player to make a shot from that spot. Once they have, they can step back a foot and repeat the process. The drill ends when the player has missed three in a row from the same spot. This spot whether it is four feet or 10 feet is the range at which that player cannot go past for that skill development session. Consequently, all shooting drills will be set up for that specific player to take shots from that spot and in until they can advance past that spot. This is an excellent drill to start each workout with because it will ensure that the player will be shooting from the correct range and not becoming full time members of the bomb squad each time they workout.
Do you coach players that are members of the bomb squad? If so, let me know about your stories in the comments section below.
For information on how you can improve your jump shooting with Elite Basketball Training please view our training page on the site. We currently have a variety of basketball training and skill development programs going on right now. This includes: semi-private, private, small group, and team training.
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See you on the court.
Elite Basketball Training, LLC