How To Improve Your Shooting
It’s no secret that the Golden State Warriors rode of the wave of incredible three-point shooting en route to their first championship since 1975. On the backs of our very own Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors flipped the script and ignored the ideal that a jump-shooting team couldn’t win it all. Those two are, indeed, two of the NBA most special players, but their hot streak is no accident -- their dedication to shooting was a big reason for their continued success. Like anything difficult, if you practice it enough, you’ll eventually grow better and better, even if improvement is ultimately slow at first.
What that means is that you won’t just get better overnight, only diligent practice and effort can aid your abilities. Getting up shots every day is key towards becoming a better shooter -- practice makes perfect, after all! Use these simple scenarios and drills from CoachUp every time you work out so that you can start hitting from any spot in no time.
Catch and Shoot
Simply put, just getting as many shots up as possible can do wonders for your form, technique, and habits. Choose a spot on the floor from which to shoot, then have your partner feed you a chest pass. The partner that makes the pass should come out to challenge the shot, while the shooter catches the chest pass and shoots, all in one motion. Have the defender track down the rebound, while the other partner finds a new spot on the floor and the drill resets again. This will help you develop a quick release coming off of screens or at the end of a possession.
Catch, Shot Fake, And Shoot
Just like the last one, begin with a chest pass from your partner, but instead of a quick catch and shoot, throw a shot fake to get the defender in the air. Then you can either draw the foul or step right or left and take a jump shot. This can be an effective move after you’ve already shown your opponent that quick and deadly release. An effective shot fake will cause the defender to overcommit and result in a foul, or they will try to avoid contact and give you an open jump shot.
Catch, Shot Fake, And Drive For A Layup
Once more, start with a chest pass to the shooter, but when the passer comes out to defend, throw a shot fake, then dribble right or left into the lane for a lay-up. If you have a third person, you can practice this drill by driving the lane and dishing to the third player for what would hopefully be an open look in a game.
Around The World
This can be used for a casual warm-up or a competitive game. Start by making a shot at the free throw line. Once you make the shot, fire from five marks placed around the three-point line. Go all the way around and make your way back -- you'll sink a total of ten buckets in the three-point range. Finish it off by sinking a free throw. Around the World is a drill that can be used to keep your focus and confidence up during competition.
Develop Good Habits
Even if you’re not the greatest of shooters now, your drive and desire to be better can carry you to great heights. There’s an incredibly great brilliant anecdote from Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins’ feature on Stephen Curry, it reads:
“When Brian Scalabrine joined the Warriors as an assistant coach in 2013–14, he told Curry about a drill that Atlanta’s Kyle Korver completes after every practice. Korver takes 10 threes from five spots along the arc, and then repeats, working in the opposite direction, for a total of 100 shots. Scalabrine announced that he once saw Korver sink 99 when they both played for Chicago, and 94 regularly. “The whole team called bulls--- on me,” Scalabrine recalls. “They were like, ‘No way, that’s impossible, Steph is the best shooter in the world.’ I said, ‘Not spotting up, it’s Korver.’ Steph got mad. I still don’t know if he likes me because of it.” But Scalabrine noticed something shortly after the exchange. Curry started using the drill, and almost two years later, he still does.”
Curry took Scalabrine’s comments as a personal motivator and wasn’t hurt, but just worked that much harder to reach his peak. If you think you’ve shot enough, shoot more. If you think you’re ready for any situation, practice more. The best shooters get up hundreds of shots every day, so make sure you’re working on your game as much as you can.
(Related: Read about controlling your body here.)
In the end, shooting a basketball is an easy task to learn, but an undeniably difficult challenge to master. It takes years and years of intense, focused practice to reach the levels of Curry and Korver, but you can too if you put the time in. Use our drills daily in order to start getting an in-game mindset, preparing for the actual scenarios you’ll come across when they matter most. However, if you’re still having trouble with your shooting, consider booking one of CoachUp’s private trainers to help you out. Our expansive team has the knowledge and know-how to fix your bad habits and will have you confidently shooting in no time -- what are you waiting for?