Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shooting Form Progression

This is a progression that I used every day this year with my freshmen. We started out doing it for ten minutes a day, but as the season went on cut it down to about six minutes. I think it is a great progression and something that should definitely be used at the younger levels and during skill development workouts. What was did was the following:

Wrist Flicks

Start right in front of the rim, maybe a foot out. Put the ball up straight over your head with your wrist cocked and the ball on your finger tips. Then you simply flick the ball into the basket using your wrist. If you are on your own, the goal is to MAKE 30-50 shots. If you are coaching in practice, I did this for 3 minutes at the beginning of the season (out of 10) and then 2 minutes at the end of the season (out of 6).
The purpose is to get kids used to flicking that wrist hard when they shoot. Because it is important we isolate this aspect of the shot and just have them work on it.
Points of Emphasis: Flick the wrist hard, ball on finger tips (not palm), ball should come off middle and index finger last, follow through, and keep fingers straight (don't make a fist).

Shot Builder

The next drill we immediately go to is called the shot builder. The player stands about 3 feet from the front of the rim, puts the ball up on his "shooting U" (the position right before release) and shoots shots with one hand and just the motion of the arm. Now in the progression we are isolating the arm movement and making sure the form there is correct. I like players to MAKE ten shots and take a step back after every ten makes. In practice we did this for 3 minutes at the beginning of the year and 2 minutes toward the end when we were cutting back.
Points of Emphasis: Snap elbow and snap wrist, follow through, hold the follow through until the ball hits the floor (over emphasize it), watch the rim not the ball, look at the same place on the rim each time, and make sure the ball is on your fingertips.

Set Lifts
This is the last part in our short progression for the day. We spent 4 minutes on this in the beginning and 2 at the end of the year as we cut down the time.
The players start about 3 feet in front of the hoop again with their knees bent and the ball in their shot pocket. Players shoot shots where they bring the ball up from their shot pocket and come off their toes (don't jump). Everything you would do in your regular jump shot without the jump. Right now we isolate the actual release of the ball and those mechanics that go with it.
Points of Emphasis: Shoot off your TOES, start the ball in your SHOT POCKET not at your belly button (very common mistake), elbow in, snap elbow and wrist (proper release), watch the rim not the ball, one smooth movement, and ball on your fingertips.

So there it is. Like most of the stuff on this blog, it is by no means special. But it's something that I think you can devote 6 minutes a day to and see results, especially if you are a developmental coach or coach below the varsity level. I would also, as a coach, mandate that players do this during their summer workouts because to be a great shooter you have to have two things: great work ethic and great form.

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