Use The Magic Of “1” To Simplify Your Off-Season Training
The two keys to becoming a great shooter are 1) so much confidence that a missed shot doesn’t bother you in the least, and 2) great mechanics. The important thing to remember with mechanics is SIMPLIFY. “Less is BEST.” Less moving parts and less motion make it easier to shoot the same shot every time and drastically increases your chances of scoring consistently.
As you train during this off-season, simplify your practice by focusing on these three number “1’s”:
- 1 Finger
- $1 (No, that’s not a typo)
Releasing the ball with one hand is the FIRST step in simplifying your mechanics. The best way to learn this skill is to use the SHOOTING STRAP. (No, we are not saying this because we developed this shooting aid.) When the STRAP is applied properly, two things happen:
- The shooting hand is forced to provide ALL the control and power needed in the shot.
- The shooting hand has better TOUCH and BALANCE. How? Because the non-shooting hand is “restricted”, the brain AUTOMATICALLY switches ALL its attention to the free arm and hand – the shooting hand. This enables it to make better decisions as the ball is released. IMPORTANT: Make sure the STRAP is tight enough. When attached the right way, the arm cannot be fully extended when the thumb is pointing straight up.
The next step in simplifying your training is to focus on one finger – the index finger of the shooting hand. As the ball is released, consciously think about pushing most with this finger. The middle finger will also push but don’t think about it. When you hold the follow-though, glance at your fingers to make certain the index and middle are slightly lower and are in a vertical plane.
Looking at a small spot vs the entire rim as you shoot is the final step in your training program. “Aim small – miss small”. A good way to learn this habit is with the use of a dollar bill. Tape it to the front middle of the rim so it hangs down. Then shoot 100 free throws three times a week for two weeks. It only takes 15 minutes when you rebound your own shot. Just so there is no misunderstanding, you are NOT aiming at the money (spot), you are “looking” at the spot as you send the ball up and over the rim. “Shoot for the money.”
Recall in our introduction that we mentioned the importance of the mental aspect of shooting. It is so easy to lose confidence after a few misses. Here’s some good news. When you improve your mechanics by simplifying you will MAKE MORE SHOTS. When you make more shots you will raise your confidence.
Also, keep this TRUTH in mind. You can’t make a shot unless you shoot. When you shoot (in a game), you will miss 50% of your shots – and that’s considered AWESOME. So go ahead and become AWESOME – – – and don’t worry about missing. It’s part of the process.