As the school year is wrapping up for the majority of your players, it is time to begin thinking about individual player development. Regardless of how active your team is in the off-season, it is vital that players take responsibility for their own development through working out on their own daily. Below you will find some thoughts on individual development, as well as a full shooting workout that players can complete each and every day throughout the summer.
3 “F” Shooting
Shooting is a complex skill, and if a player resolves to worry about every aspect of their shot all at once, they will be hard pressed to improve. Often times when trying to improve shooting, paralysis by analysis occurs. I believe that players need to keep their shooting stroke simple and that they focus on one aspect of improving their jumper at a time.
“F” #1: Feet
Having proper and efficient footwork on the basketball court is essential to being a good player. Paying attention to and refining one’s footwork through their own workouts can be a great way to improve their overall game, not just their shooting ability. Here are some footwork essentials that all players must have:
- The ability to step (both left-right and right-left) and hop into their jump shot. Good players can hit shots off all types of footwork. More often than not the footwork that you use to catch the ball is dictated by the defense, as well as by the quality of pass that is thrown your way.
- The ability to move forwards, backward, laterally, and diagonally and stop on balance.
- The ability to drive both feet equally into the ground when shooting to ensure proper balance.
“F” #2: Flow
The best shooters have a shot that looks smooth and effortless. Always remember that an effortless jumper is the result of tons of practice effort. Shooting with flow and rhythm allows the shooter to increase their range, get their shot off quickly, and shoot with consistent accuracy. Here are some various ways to improve the flow of your jumper:
- Regardless of your preferred footwork, when the ball is in the air, your feet are in the air. This will allow your body to create a smooth and natural shooting motion.
- A small dip of the ball prior to shooting will also provide a nice smooth motion as you shoot. Think of your body like a spring, you need to contract before you can expand, therefore, a small dip will help you with the motion.
- Play music as you practice and shoot to the beat. This will help eliminate any stops or hitches in your jumper.
“F’ #3: Finish
Provided that the basketball is centered in your shooting hand and you have a clean release, the basketball will go wherever your fingers are pointed. That being said, finishing with your fingers on your target is an essential aspect to the shot. Additionally, shooting straight and low will result in a lot of misses, so it is important that you have a high release point for the shot as well. Below you will find some tips of having a proper finish:
- Hand placement on the catch is essential. Placing your shooting hand under the ball (do this on your quick dip) and spreading it wide will give you good ball control.
- Proper arc will help correct and forgive some shots that do not come out clean. A simple way to ensure that you have a good arc on the ball is to have your elbow at eye level on the release. I use the teaching reminder to “shoot toward the ceiling” rather than “shooting at the wall”.
- The ball will follow your fingers. By finishing with your shooting fingers in the net, the likelihood of the ball going straight is huge.
Solo Summer Shooting Workout:
Below you will find a shooting workout that your players can do own their own this summer. I recommend making no fewer than 200 shots a day, 6 days a week. Be sure to remind your players that there is no magic in the drills, in the facility, or in the coach that is with them, the magic is in the work. Improvement has a knack for following consistent work ethic and persistence.
Click Drill Diagrams for full description
Drill #1: Solo Shooting Warmup
Drill #2: Balance Shooting Series
Drill #3: Box Finishes
Drill #4: Spot Up Series
Drill #5: Drift and Lift Series
Drill #6: Ball Screen Shooting Series
Drill #7: Transition Shooting Series
Drill #8: Beat the Pro
Drill #9: Money Ball
Drill #10: Fire 7 Shooting
Drill #11: FT Golf
For a PDF copy of the drills, as well as a weekly shot tracking guide, please click here. It’s time to get to work!