The Form Shooting MISTAKE Most Players Make
The Form Shooting MISTAKE Almost Everyone Makes
Every basketball player practices form shooting. The problem is, most practice the WRONG way. The typical routine is – they stand five feet from the basket and bring the ball up with one hand – then they attempt to MAKE the shot using a SLOW release. This scenario has two basic problems:
1 – Shooting at a basket transfers the focus from “mechanics” to “making” the shot.
2 – Poor muscle memory is “banked” because the shot is NOT delivered at GAME SPEED.
The Error of Form Shooting At a Basket
The purpose of “form shooting” is to perfect’ the mechanics of the shot. But as soon as practice is performed at a basket, the main focus is automatically on MAKING the shot. Although proper positioning of the elbow is addressed before the shot – directly below the wrist – the action of the fingers during the release cannot be monitored. Here’s why.
During the release, the last two fingers that should touch the ball are the “index” and “middle” fingers. It is absolutely critical that they move in a vertical plane for greatest Left / Right accuracy. But when the eyes are focused on the rim, they can’t also focus on the fingers. If the fingers kick out to the side – a normal occurrence – it takes time to transfer focus from the rim to the fingers. During that time – and it’s only a fraction of a second – the fingers will automatically move into “proper position” and everything looks correct when they are checked. This phenomenon occurs when the athlete “understands” what a perfect release looks like. The mind makes the correction AFTER the release without the athlete even aware of what’s happening. As far as they are concerned, they believe what they see – fingers in the correct position.
Shooting at a Basket Banks Poor Muscle Memory
In order to make a shot, the body must calculate the distance and supply the proper amount of power to get the ball to the basket. This is called distance accuracy and it is the most difficult because 1) it is constantly changing, and the margin of error is about 50% less than Left /Right accuracy. This is due to the path of the ball entering the basket is at an angle. The BEST way to create muscle memory is to make shots in a row while shooting at GAME SPEED. The problem is, most form shooting is performed at a SLOW speed.
Here’s the negative consequence to such practice. During “game situations” when a shot is taken from the distance the athlete uses to form shoot, the body has milliseconds to reach into the memory bank and come up with the correct amount of force needed from that distance. When most of the practice reps have been at a speed SLOWER than GAME SPEED, it reduces the chance to come up with the right answer. It’s like saying 2+2 = 5 fifty times in a row – then, when the right answer is needed in a SPLIT SECOND, the chances are pretty high that you will come up with the WRONG answer. That’s why all attempts from the floor, except free throws, need to be practiced at GAME SPEED.
The RIGHT Way to Practice Form Shooting
Here’s a proven method of form shooting that we advocate. It allows 100% focus on mechanics AND does NOT require each rep to be performed at GAME SPEED while the athlete is learning.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to use The SHOOTING STRAP with all three drills to isolate the shooting hand and create better balance and feedback.
1.) Model a Perfect Release – 10/10 times. STARE – at the tip of the index finger. It must move in a Vertical plane. Start with the wrist fully flexed to create a faster release.
STARE at the tip of the index finger during the entire motion of the shot. Start by looking at the NAIL and finish looking at bottom of the furthermost pad.
HOLD the POSE to check the entire shooting hand. Little finger out – thumb NOT under index finger – two shooting fingers slightly lower than 4th finger and parallel to the floor
2.) Air Shots – 10/10. Using a ball and referencing the valve stem, position the two shooting fingers – index and middle – in their best position. Our second video – Secrets of Effective Practice – demonstrates how to find the best position for “your” length of fingers. If you have not determined this, straddle the valve stem with these two fingers. STARE at the index finger all the way through the release. Do NOT look at the ball. Hold the release and check the entire hand. PERFECT means perfect Vertical Alignment with the Index and Middle fingers.
3.) Cover the Line Shots – 7/10. Stand on a line on the gym floor and position the shooting foot (right foot for right hand shooter) so the line runs from heel to toe. Following the same procedure used in #2, make the ball land so it covers the line 7 of 10 times.