1. Always, Always Follow Through. As you may have heard this a hundred times before but it still remains true. A jump shot, after hours and hours of getting shots up, should become second nature. The muscle memory kicks in during games and you just rise up and shoot. By working on following through every time you shoot, your body will do it automatically in a game. A couple good tricks are for one to leave your wrist and hand after you follow through. Shoot the ball and just leave your fingers facing down and wrist bent for a couple seconds after a shot. Exaggerate it now to get the habit to stick. You also want it to be a soft follow through, not tense. Make sure that wrist is bouncy and loose. So after you hold that follow through, bounce your wrist up and down a couple times. Get it flexible and in the right motion.
If you keep having problems with your follow through, use mental notes to help you. Remember to “reach into the cookie jar” after you shoot or another note that will help you remember.
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2. Keep Your Eyes Locked In. This is extremely important as even if your shot is perfect, if you put too much or little on the ball it’ll miss. Whether dribbling or waiting for a pass, keep an eye out for the rim. That extra second or so you have to eye up the shot will mean the world. Now when you get the ball or when you’re ready to pick up your dribble for a shot, your eyes and mind will already be ready to shoot. A good way to practice this when shooting free throws is to always keep an eye on the basket, not on the dribbling ball. Or when dribbling into a shot, have a count in your head. Count at least two seconds that you are starting at the rim before you shoot.
3. Maintain Your Balance. When shooting you should land in almost the exact same spot as where you jump from to start your shot. This will help you keep your balance and steady and the ball on a straight trajectory. For practice put a piece of tape down and jump from that when you shoot. Look where you land. If you are not directly on the tape then try to jump more straight up and down.
4. Keep Reminding Yourself. There is memory involved with all these steps. Notice if you didn’t look at the rim before you shot last time, didn’t follow through, or ended up in a different spot than where you started your shot. When practicing just think for a second if you did all the right steps and if not, focus on that one step you missed the next shot.
5. Shoot Game Shots In Practice. When shooting around often you shoot three pointers or couple dribble pull up shots. Shoot more like gameÂ situations. Run off a fake pick to get a shot, pull up for a bunch of foul line jumpers in a row, pop up from the block for a shot. Shoot the shots you seem to take during the game. Warning you may need a partner for some one the off-ball shots.
6. Be Fluid. Shooting is all about doing the same thing every time once you develop the right mechanics. Your shot usually missed because you did something differently than you normally do. Be relaxed but confident at the same time. And practice shooting as many times as you can so you get consistent shooting the same way. Even bad form can become a good shot if they practice it so the shot is perfectly the same every time. Soon enough you shouldn’t even think when you shoot, just react and shoot the way you’ve practiced.
If you like this post, here are some others you may enjoy (click title to read):
1. A Guide To Rebounding Part One: Proper Positioning
2. Warm-Up Week: Five Drills To Get You Game Ready
3. Five Tips To Get Open Off The Ball