Confidence is the Most Important Factor in Shooting
Believe in yourself. You have to have confidence in your ability to make the shot every time you shoot. Confident shooters control their thoughts, feelings, and shooting skill. Shooting is much more than good mechanics. It’s the feeling, thoughts and belief in yourself that comes first. Basketball is a mental, as well as a physical game. Developing the mental aspect is a key to enhancing shooting as well as performance in all fundamentals.
Three and One-Half Balls Fit in the Rim
To help your confidence it is important to know that the basket is big. The basket is so big that three and one half balls can fit in the rim. This surprises most players. You can get on a ladder and fit three balls side by side over the rim and have enough space to fit and turn your hand between each ball. Realizing that the basket is so big should give a psychological boost to your confidence.
Act Like a Shooter
To also help confidence, keep your follow through straight up until the ball reaches the rim. This is not only mechanically correct, but more importantly you will look like a shooter.
Feel positive that each time you shoot the ball will go in. Good shooters stay confident even when they hit a cold streak and miss a few shots. After a missed shot, mentally correct the miss and visualize a good shot. Positive affirmation statements ( “I’m a shooter!” All net! or “Count it!” for example) that you can say to yourself can promote confident thoughts about yourself and your ability to shoot. You can also remind yourself of past successes to boost your confidence.
Being able to shoot under pressure distinguishes great shooters from the good shooters. You want to take the shot not only when your team is ahead, but when the pressure is on.The direct correlation between shooting confidence and shooting success is the most consistent factor we recognize in great shooters.
Rhythm is the Second Most Important Factor in Shooting
Skills should be smooth, free flowing, and rhythmical and this is especially true in shooting. Mechanics are important, but you want to have good mechanics without being mechanical. Your shot should be smooth and rhythmical rather than mechanical. All parts of your shot should flow together in a sequential rhythm.
Rhythm and Range Come from a Down and Up Motion of your Legs
To help our rhythm and range we use a down and action of our legs , rather than lowering the ball or stepping into the shot. Start with your knees slightly flexed; Bend your knees and then fully extend them in a down and up motion. Saying the keywords Down and up! from the start of your shot until the release of the ball will trigger the down and up action of your legs that provides rhythm and force for your shot. Your legs and shooting arm move together. As your legs go up your arms go up. As your legs reach full extension, your back, shoulders and shooting arm extend in a smooth, continuous forward and upward direction toward your target. It is important to keep the ball high with your shooting hand facing rim.
Use the down and up motion of your legs for rhythm rather than lowering the ball for rhythm. Keeping the ball high fosters a quick release and also provides less chance for error. Stepping into your shot may help your range, but your shot becomes a two count shot. Using the down and up method allows you to shoot in one motion or one count. When shooting off the catch the down comes just before the catch and the shot goes up as your legs go up providing for a quicker release.
Basic Mechanics of Shooting
Basic mechanics of shooting include sight, balance, hand position, elbow in alignment, shooting rhythm, and follow through. To develop your shot it is best to concentrate on only one or two mechanics at a time.
Key Words Enhance Shooting Confidence, Mechanics, Rhythm and Range
As important as confidence is, accurate shooting takes more than positive thinking; it takes shooting skill. Neither mental confidence nor mechanics alone is enough. Success results from the integration of the mental and mechanical aspects of shooting.
When you think, you are in a sense talking to yourself. That talk can either be positive or negative. A technique called positive self-talk can help you integrate the mental and mechanical aspects of shooting, speeding the improvement of your shot. Positive self-talk uses key words to enhance performance.
Select words that help you learn correct mechanics, establish rhythm , and build confidence. The keys words should be positive, concise and personalized.
A positive word that you associate with a successful shot is called an anchor word. Identify an anchor word to positively reinforce the visualization of a successful shot. Select your own personal anchor words that allows you to visualize your shot going in. Examples are: In! Boom! Net! Swish!Bucket!!
Words that key the correct mechanics of your shot are called trigger words. Examples of trigger words are: High!- to start your shot high and prevent lowering the ball.
A Good Hoop
And finally, practice, practice and more practice. Make sure that you have a good hoop, rim and space at home when not practicing in a gym.
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