There are a couple of ways to always find a place for yourself on on any court in the World. It really comes down to being efficient in some avenue of the game. That can be playmaking, scoring, defending, or shooting.
Of the four just named, shooting is the easiest one for any player to control. Strike that last comment about being easy, because it’s really not easy. It takes a lot of hard work, but you don’t have to be quick, or be able to jump out of the building to be able to shoot. Thus, anyone can learn to be a great shooter.
Shooting when stripped down, is fairly basic. Like most things, it begins with a foundation. Without a solid foundation, it is difficult to become great at anything. Shooting is the same way.
The foundation of shooting is form. Correct form is very important for consistency. Every great shooter is consistent.
Mix form with hard work and in no time, anyone can become a better shooter, if not a great shooter.
Define hard work I hear you asking. This is what we did with my brother as he was coming up as a player.
When my brother, Bobby (six years younger than me), was ending his seventh grade year in middle school, I took him to the high school coach and had the coach look at my brother’s basketball shooting form.
Why the high school coach? Because he needed to hear it from someone other than his older brother.
So that day, form was corrected and his job that night was to go home and practice that form.
1,000 shots that night was the directive given by the coach.
So we went home to our outdoor court and stood by the rim and I rebounded 1,000 shots from about 3-4 feet away from the basket for my brother. At the time Bobby wasn’t strong enough to shoot properly from a further distance, but that would come later as he grew.
For the summer basketball league we made an agreement that besides trying to win a game, Bobby would take no 3-pointers in any game. We did this strictly based upon strength. He wasn’t able to keep correct form when shooting 3-pointers at the time, so the choice was made to eliminate them. This was tough for him at first, but he bought in because the goal was to be a better player.
My brother was always quick. Always a scorer. We played tons of games of one-on-one growing up, so creating shots was in his blood. During those recreation league days he would average +25 points per game and sprinkle in +40 point games on occasion.
As he grew and began working out with weights, he got stronger. Once he was able to keep correct form, the 3 pointer was put back in his game.
The summer between his freshman and sophomore years of high school he would take between 3,000-4,000 jumpers a week. Not set shots…jumpers.
Results from Hard Work
The results were phenomenal.
Moving around the 3 point line he would routinely make over 40 of 50 shots. Quickly too, one after the other. Game time speed was key.
The 100 Free Throws in a row goal
On the free throw line it was even better.
He made a goal of making 100 free throws in a row. Every day he would incorporate shooting free throws into the end of his shooting work. Many times he would get 51, 63, 77, etc and then have one miss.
He stayed with it.
By the time the summer was over he not only achieved his goal of 100 free throws in a row, he made 159.
He was automatic. It all began with a solid foundation, coupled with a lot of hard work.
So I know what it takes to become a great shooter.
A lot of people know what it takes. The problem is it’s NOT EASY TO SHOOT 3,000-4,000 JUMPERS IN A WEEK. That’s 600-800 a day, 5 days a week.
If you haven’t shot lately, go shoot 100 or so, it will wear you out.
2010-2011 Basketball Shooting Goal:
Starting today, my goal is to make 100 free throws in a row before this time next year (10/21/2011). I will take you along on my progress, right from the start, including some upcoming video posts.
It will most likely be a bumpy ride, as it’s been over 12 years since those days of shooting and rebounding every day, but shooting is like riding a bicycle. Once you can do it, it comes back fairly quickly.
I mentioned to my brother that I was writing about his shooting feats from back in the day and his first question was, why 100?
Why would I care about making 100 free throws in a row at this point?
The answer is simple and complex.
The easy answer is I’ve never done it and would love to say that I have.
The more in depth answer is I want to push myself mentally.
When Michael Jordan hands me the ball and says, “Ball in,” I want to be thinking everything is going in. I want to be prepared.
I don’t plan on standing at the free throw line of course when we play, but shooting free throws allows me to work on form and technique. The foundation.
Would anyone else like to join with me on the road to 100?
If so, put your name below in the comments section and let’s do it together!
100 I know sounds BIG, but in order to become better you MUST think BIG. Even if you fall short of the goal, and you won’t if you dedicate yourself, you will become a much better shooter.
Day one begins now. Have fun!
I will begin keeping a running total of the number of free throws I’ve made in a row on the right side column, starting today.
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