Shoot Like A Pro By Practicing At Game Speed

Shoot Like A Pro By Practicing At Game Speed

While recently visiting Phil Martelli, coach of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and one of the great teachers of the game, we discussed this very question. His contention, as is ours, is that practicing at LESS than GAME SPEED is the #1 reason for poor game shooting.

What’s the science behind this assertion? Learning the proper amount of power needed to score from a particular distance (developing muscle memory) requires a great deal of repetition. If practiced at a slow, comfortable speed, the athlete is not TRAINED to deliver the shot at the speed required in game conditions – when defenders are trying to block the attempt. What most do not realize is that before a shot is taken during a contest, with exception of free throws, the shooter only has milliseconds to determine the Distance and then and come up with the right answer for the amount of power needed to score (muscle memory).

TRUE STORY: A college player we worked with struggled with game shooting success even though he shot 500 shots a day for 5 days a week during the off-season. The problem was, he shot at ¾ speed. It was hard for him to understand why he couldn’t score in games since he worked so hard and practiced so much. We then gave him this example. If you say 2+2 is 5 and say it 500 times a day for 5 days, what answer will most likely FIRST pop into your head if asked, “What’s 2 + 2?”. That’s when he got it.

QUESTION:What kind of misses do you think the player in the above story had during a game? Short or Long? Hint. The faster the body extends during the shooting motion, the MORE power is produced. If you said LONG, send a quick email to let us know that you get it. Send it to or

Tip for practicing at GAME SPEED. As soon as the ball starts upward in the shooting motion, say “Game Speed” as fast as you can. The ball must be released before the “d” of Speed is heard. After you become more comfortable executing at this level, you don’t have to say it for every shot but do check yourself from time to time throughout your practice – especially if you start coming up short.

Coaches: Just think if ALL your coaches and players were “saying “ and “doing” the same things concerning shooting – at all grade levels!

Most athletes improve their accuracy within the first 45 minutes of our Star Shooter camp.That’s how we get their attention. Keep in mind that we conduct our shooting camps the entire year. Many schools schedule a camp right during the season simply because they want to score more. Contact us TODAY.

“After shooting 50% from the line, I made 91 out of 100 free throws just two days after attending a Star Shooter camp and 90% the 3rd day. All it took was changing my release so the ball came off my index and middle fingers instead of my middle and fourth fingers. I just couldn’t believe how such a little change could make such a HUGE difference.” – Daniel Shaykevich – Glendale, WI