I do a lot of form shooting.
I have about 7 different versions that I’ll use in different situations for different habits.
I will do entire weeks worth of form shooting with players that need serious help and I know I’ll be seeing regularly. And I’ll do it for the first 20 shots of every day with players I’ve been working with for 4 years.
There are a few habits that I see when I watch young players form shooting that I think we should avoid. Simple things that they can change to get FAR BIGGER return on their investment.
Engage your legs
We need to understand the REASON for doing form shooting in the first place. In my opinion, it is to be mindful of the correct positions and habits that we want to be in when we shoot. It is a chance to OVER-EXAGGERATE good habits. It’s a chance to shoot as perfect a shot as possible.
So if you aren’t form shooting from game-like body positions, you are missing the point of form shooting. I’ll have 6’9″ NBA players form shooting from 10 feet from the basket, but their legs will still be engaged, even though they don’t need that power. We are reminding our body of the position it needs to know and be comfortable with.
DOn’t tuck you hand behind your back
I like the IDEA of a player tucking their hand behind the back. They are holding themselves accountable to not using the guide hand. That part is good. But unfortunately, by tucking their hand behind the back they may be rotating their shoulders into an unrealistic body position. A position they won’t be in when shooting in a game. So I take the idea of the accountability, and ask players to still hold themselves that accountable, but with the guide hand beside the ball and not touching. Now their body position is more realistic to a game.
Don’t extend the ball out in front of you
Again, we need to understand what we want to get out of the drill. Since form shooting is usually done slowly and mindfully, the biggest benefit is grooving realistic motor patterns. Extending the ball out in front of the player doesn’t offer any value that can’t be achieved a more realistic way. It just gets the player in the habit of exposing the ball to the defender. I alway start form shooting from a protected triple-threat position.
BE MINDFUL – know the point
Form shooting isn’t just one hand throwing. Too many youth players go into form shooting with good intentions, but no effort. They are just throwing the ball. There needs to be a purpose to what they are doing, otherwise the time is wasted. Before they start, they should have an idea of what they need to accomplish to get something out of the drill. There should be a goal that defines a well executed shot. Mindlessness is the enemy of form shooting and should be avoided at all cost.
Realistically, form shooting is done from close in, slowly, and precise in its positions. This doesn’t exactly describe shooting in a game. So if it doesn’t resemble a game, what is the point of doing it?
The point is to over-exaggerate, and get good at, the positions that will help us improve in the long run.
If you want to see the versions of form shooting that I use the most, many are included in each ONLINE WORKOUT PROGRAM I offer, plus featured in my DRILLS 101 video, available in my STORE.
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