Having seen enough basketball at the lower levels, there is no doubt that a “bad jump shooting” epidemic has developed in basketball. Most of the coaches, parents, and players that I have spoken to have chalked it up to the notion that either their team just does not shoot the ball well or that their son or daughter is just not a good jump shooter. This rationale is ridiculous! Jump shooting is a basketball skill and it can be developed like any other skill through proper technique and hard work. The problem is not that these players and teams are simple “bad shooters,” it is a lack of devotion to learning the proper technique combined with continued repetition of that poor technique through repetitive drills that further exacerbate this jump shooting problem.
I have made the case over and over that good jump shooting is about learning to shoot properly and then doing it over and over. Recently, while reading Alan Stein’s article, “14 Things Great Shooters Do” I came across this fantastic quote that lends street cred to my philosophy. “Great shooters go to the gym to make shots; not take shots. Anyone can take 500 shots. The name of the game is to put the ball in the basket.” Players need to begin to understand that shooting just to shoot is not going to make you any better especially if you have improper jump shooting form. In fact, this can actually make you a less effective jump shooter because it is furthering bad habits through repetition. Similar to a person continuously ramming his head into a wall and expecting his headache to stop. Repeatedly doing to wrong thing over and over is no way to correct or fix your problem. Fixing the problem, in this case the inability to shoot the basketball consistently well, requires players to fix their improper technique first.
Correcting improper technique can be a maddening thing for a player who is accustomed to shooting a certain way. First and foremost, it requires the player to unlearn bad habits that have been developed over a prolonged period of time. Muscle memory has ingrained these habits into the fabric of their minds, creating strong roots that are very hard to dislodge. It can, however, be done through concentrated practice. When fixing your jump shot, it is not good enough to simple go out and shoot. You must learn your jumper and know where you miss your shots on the rim and why, and then make your corrections based on those misses. For example, if a right handed player continuously misses to the right then chances are they are following through off the outside three fingers. They must therefore realize this and begin working on reaching their index finger through the center of the rim on their follow through, ultimately keeping the ball straight.
Beyond learning your jumper and the cue to correct your misses, you must also learn to accept that through the course of learning the proper technique and working to correct your jump shot you will experience even more missed shots…at first. This is your body adjusting to something new and it will take time to make that adjustment. However, once it has, your makes will begin to increase more than ever before. Do not let this discourage your quest towards a great jump shot. Ask yourself, do I shoot more like Kevin Durant or “Little Johnny Down the Block” (my apologies if you are “Little Johnny Down the Block)? If you answer is Little Johnny, than you have nothing to lose and you need to fight through the initial period of misses in order to make great gains.
“Great shooters go to the gym to make shots; not take shots. Anyone can take 500 shots. The name of the game is to put the ball in the basket.” Having read this quote on Alan Stein’s blog it further supported my notion that great shooting comes with learning how to shoot the basketball properly and then doing it properly over and over. In today’s game, this is not always the case as many players and coaches have disregarded learning or teaching proper shooting technique, and have chalked their myriad of misses up to just being a bad shooter or shooters. The focus of these players is all wrong and they are only making themselves worse at jump shooting because they are not learning their jump shot, how to fix it, and correcting their poor technique. Instead players are exacerbating the problem by repetitively shooting the same incorrect way over and over thereby building on bad muscle memory and making it even harder to correct their form. We as coaches, trainers, and players need to stop this madness immediately and start to cure this poor jump shooting epidemic. Coaches need to take the time to make corrections on players jumpers. Players need to learn from these corrections and concentrate on fixing their problems. Then and only then will we as a basketball community solve this poor jump shooting problem and players can go to the gym and focus on making shots, not just taking shots.
For more information on learning the Pro Shot System and how to shoot the way the pros do, contact me today for personal jump shooting workouts.