Improve Your Jump Shot by Breaking Bad Habits

The motion of shooting a basketball should be a simple motion. Should be…but rarely is. We all start out shooting a ball that is probably too big for us on a hoop that is too high. We develop bad habits and it’s no one’s fault, just the way it is.

Dave Love as guest coach at Canada Senior National Team Camp
Dave Love as guest coach at Canada Senior National Team Camp

We do need to break some of the bad habits as we get older and more experienced. A good shooter typically has relatively simple technique because simple can be more easily repeated. If your shot is easy to repeat then you develop stronger muscle memory. Stronger muscle memory means more makes.

Young players especially tend to think of their shot as being the motion that their arms make, but that is only part of it. Don’t lose sight of your feet and their role in keeping your shot simple. Your feet will help put you in a position to shoot a simple, balanced, high percentage shot, or a complex, difficult, low percentage shot.

So how do we do this?  Get your feet hip width apart, and keep them hip width apart. My definition of “hip width” is being able to fit your hips in between your insteps. It is the same idea as shoulder width apart, but easier to see.

Why is this helpful?  The wide base will make the player more stable, minimizing some of the unnecessary movement in their shot. The player should also work to maintain that width as they shoot so that they don’t finish off balance.

Spend five minutes a day shooting shots where players focus on balance. And just because this is a basic idea doesn’t mean that it is for younger players only. I’ve got NBA players that I work with who do frequent workouts just to improve their balance.

Simplicity, muscle memory and balance will translate into more buckets.

However, it begins with breaking bad habits.



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