How To Maintain Your Shooting Touch With Limited Time
After working hard all Summer improving your shot, you want to be sharp when you begin the new basketball season. You want your coaches and teammates to see the NEW and IMPROVED version of YOU. The problem is, if you play a Fall sport – football, volleyball, soccer, for examples – there is little time to maintain your new level of skill when you factor in team practice, games, and homework. Well, we’ve got some good news for you. THERE IS A WAY and it’s as easy as One – Two – Three.
ONE: MAKE TIME
The first challenge will be to set aside a certain period of time in each day. How much time? No, it doesn’t require an hour or a half hour. All you need is a minimum of 15 minutes. But, there’s more to it.
TWO: FREE THROWS
What to practice is very important in maintaining shooting skill. The best way to spend your 15 minutes is by shooting free throws. Why? Because the free throw is executed at a much slower speed than a shot from the field. At this slower pace there is plenty of time before each attempt to put your body in the BEST MECHANICAL POSITION. Perfecting your mechanics on the free throw line will also improve your mechanics when shooting at game speed from the field. For a routine that will give you 90% and better, watch our DVD, “Shooting With A Passion For Excellence”.
Things To Check While Shooting Free Throws
Check the RELEASE. FREEZE your follow-through and check your fingers after releasing the ball. Your fingers tell a story of how the ball came off your fingers. The two shooting fingers – index and middle – should be in a vertical plane and slightly lower. We call this Vertical Alignment.
TIMING is another key point to monitor. As your body unfolds and reaches its highest point, your wrist should snap and the shooting arm fully extend – all at the same time.
Ball position at the start of each shot. To simplify the motion, begin each attempt with the ball out in front of the shoulder with the wrist already flexed backward to its maximum point. When beginning the shot, DO NOT DIP THE BALL. It’s path should be one motion – upward and outward.
Narrow your focus to a small spot on the front of the rim. This will give you the greatest accuracy.
THREE: SWISHERS DEMONSTRATE ACCURACY
Shoot in sets of 25 and keep track of the number of makes. But don’t be satisfied with just “making” the shot. Your goal should be a perfect swisher. Why? Perfect swishers demonstrates the best possible accuracy. We’ve seen many palyers who were good from the free throw line but poor from 3-pt land. After workingwith them we found that many of their makes were “rim in’s” – the ball would strike the left or right side of the rim and then go in. When this happens, it means that the path of the ball was off center by 4.5 inches. Although the shot was made from free throw line distance, it would have missed from 3-pt distance which is 6 feet further away. So don’t be satisfied with simple makes.
Another stat to keep as you shoot in sets of 25 is to see how many perfect swishers you can make in a row. 5 or more in a row demonstrates excellent shooting skill.