At all levels of basketball there is a fine line between shooting ability. There are great, good, average, and awful shooters yet most all of these think they are in the “good” category at a minimum.
In my 34 years of coaching I’ve worked with all types of shooters and scorers. As a graduate assistant working for Lute Olson at Arizona from 1985-1987, I had the opportunity to spend hours rebounding for Steve Kerr late at night; when great shooters are made. Kerr was a star at Arizona and enjoyed a successful NBA career with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. He has been a part of five NBA World Championships, three with the Bulls and two with the Spurs. An incredible deep shooter, Kerr was 726-1599 from three-point territory, 45.4 %. That makes Kerr the #1 best all-time three-point shooter in NBA history. In 1997, his jump shot off a Michael Jordan assist sealed the NBA title in game 6. Watch Steve’s shot and story behind it here, http://bit.ly/ZQfhVd
So what distinguishes the great from the rest?
Here are some ideas that will help you turn average shot makers into good or great ones. For the sake of consistency these tips are for shooters away from the ball. The ability to catch and shoot is a rare art that few master. Yet, by implementing these tips you will see great improvement in your player’s accuracy, footwork, and shooting percentage.
Tip 1—Great shooters know they can make shots and want the ball.
Confidence is such a big key for making shots. Great shooters make shots before even shooting the ball because they expect it to go in.
Tip 2—Great shooters spend hours perfecting the open shot.
Great shooters develop over years of shooting the ball thousands of times and making repetition part of their daily routine. The amount of commitment players put toward shooting will show on the floor. A minimal effort in the gym taking game shots will reflect the accuracy and confidence of that player.
Tip 3—Great shooters see the game two passes ahead.
Knowing the location of the ball and seeing where defenders are located is all a great shooter needs in order to prepare themselves for an open look. Reacting when the ball is one pass away is too late and a big reason by players limit the number of good looks they get in a game. Watch great shooters on video and you will see they are setting up the shot way before they catch it.
Tip 4—Great shooters are shot ready.
Being shot ready means the knees are bent on the catch, eyes up, feet pointed to the rim before the catch, and knows where the defense is. Preparing to shoot is as important as the shot itself. Average shooters will “catch first, then prepare to shoot” while great shooters are already ready.
Tip 5—Great shooters know a good shot from a bad one.
Knowing your range is a huge part of becoming a great shooter. Accuracy is often a reflection of the shot selection rather than the shot ability. Great shooters get themselves in position to take the right shot at the right time and often get the right result.