With the NBA Summer Camps in full swing and many of the NBA’s biggest stars playing in tournaments such as the Drew League, this is the time basketball players work on their shooting form and basketball fundamentals. In particular for teams looking to rebound from a bad year such as the Los Angeles Lakers, players like Julius Randle are analyzed closely under the microscope. Although his athleticism and explosion has increased due to the hard work he put in during basketball jumping training after his leg break, his shooting form has been much maligned. We’re not John Wooden or even Coach Krzyzewski, but we did play some college ball and fundamental basics are universal regardless of competition level. Read on to find out the secrets of becoming a basketball shooting machine … aka Stephen Curry.
We have seen players like Shawn Marion chuck up shots and wonder how he made it to the NBA, but eat a huge slice of humble pie when he sinks the jump shot. It works for Marion, but might not for you. With that said, always shoot with good fingertip control – the ball should not sit in the palm of the hand. It allows for good direction and backspin (English) on the ball, increasing the likelihood of it falling through the hoop. When you shoot, your dominant hand is the shooting hand, and controls the ball. Your weaker hand merely acts as a stabilizer prior to the release. In other words, make sure that hand is on the side of the ball, and not affecting the release and trajectory. Once you’ve mastered these two important process where it is second nature, proper elbow alignment is a must – the shooting arm’s elbow is ideally close to the body and pointed at the hoop. For the release of the ball, do it with your wrist, not your arm. Ensure proper follow through by spreading your fingers upon release of the ball and keep them pointed at the hoop for a prolonged period. In regards of the trajectory, make sure the arc is sufficient, and your shot is not “flat” – a nice arc ensures a higher percentage of the ball going in, since it will approach the rim at a good angle that is easier for the ball to get a lucky roll or bounce to fall in, done only when you put proper backspin on the ball. Practice these important basketball fundamentals without jumping, as any type of movement will increase the degree of difficulty (ala free throw). Once sound and second nature, progress to the jump shot.
The next shot to progress to is the stationary jump shot. Ideally, this shot is done with you having already set up for feet and body positioning, and your teammate is passing you the ball. In the jump shot, everything is the same as the basic free throw shot, but you are going to incorporate the legs to shoot over another player. Most important to this is that the stance, rhythm, and timing are perfect. In regards of when to release the shot (flip the wrist), do it at the peak of the jump, right before you start to descend to the ground. A word of advice here is to not float – try to come down at the same spot you originally jumped from. Start from a shorter distance to the rim and build up range. As you increase the distance of the jump shot, incorporate more of your legs – don’t ever use your arms more to increase the range, because it will affect your shooting accuracy. If you are looking to increase your vertical, incorporate Strength Shoes to this drill to develop powerful leg muscles.
These bare bones fundamentals are often neglected and forgotten about, so master these skills and don’t ever be too proud to go back and rework them. After all, you’re only as good as your foundation. Stay tuned to our blog for future updates and more shooting drills and fundamentals. As always, train today, own tomorrow.