How to Shoot a Basketball like a real pro
Shooting the basketball is the most basic part of the sport. While many professional basketball players have proven that they can excel in the sport despite not having the best shooting skills, shooting is a very basic fundamental. To name a few players who got away with poor shooting, you've even got Hall-of-Famers on the list - Shaquille O'Neal, Wilt Chamberlain and Dennis Rodman. Shaq won five titles over his career while averaging over twenty points while Wilt scored 100 points in a game. But these guys were big men! People tend to be a lot smaller than these group of guys, and so if you wanna be a great basketball player you've gotta develop your shot.
Today, when you think about shooting, you think about the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry - a living legend. There never has been a player who can shoot as far from the rim as he does with incredible accuracy. For Steph Curry, shooting is practice makes perfect. It also helps that he has teammates who compete with him in shooting on a daily basis. It is one cosmic blessing that the second best shooter in the league also happens to be his teammate. But what can we take from Steph Curry's shooting that can help our own game? What makes Steph Curry great? You can go ahead and watch Sport Science's analysis of Steph Curry here:
- Sport Science: Stephen Curry - YouTube
John Brenkus and the Sport Science team examine Golden State guard Stephen Curry's sweet stroke.
Or you could start by reading these few tips:
It's never too late to change your shot.
Steph Curry didn't always have his super quick release that looks absolutely beautiful. The way the ball moves through the air in such a high arc is something majestic to witness; but he didn't always have this form and release. Even as you look back during his early years in the NBA, he didn't have a beautiful and accurate shot as he does now. Steph Curry also noted that back in high school, one of the toughest things he had to do was change his jump shot; and there were even times it was so frustrating because he couldn't shoot beyond the three point line! Imagine that - a Steph Curry who couldn't shoot from 15 feet. Now Steph Curry's even comfortable shooting from 30 feet to half court. Maybe next season he'll even dare shooting from the opposing team's free throw line! He has changed the game by simply changing his shot even that late, and you can change your shot too - it never is too late.
A good handle compensates for lack of elevation.
How does Steph Curry, with a below league-average height of six-foot-three get an open shot? He's not even among the most athletic players, and he's not among the quickest point guards in the game (But yes, he is quite quick and sneaky). Steph Curry has an amazing handle. Fans would come early in the arena to see his pre-game routine, which involves some elite ball-handling drills. Steph Curry year-on-year has greatly improved his ball handling skills because they're an integral part of his game. Without those skills, he can hardly get an open shot with the athletic defenders the NBA has and he would really just be a spot-up shooter. If you're not convinced how good he is as a ball handler and how well this complements his shooting check out this play:
- Stephen Curry through the legs behind the back for step back three in traffic: Clippers at Warriors
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry split four defenders before hitting a step-back three-pointer against the Los Angeles Clppers.
Pay a lot more attention to Foot Work.
With great ball handling and legendary shooting hides the secret hero - foot work. If you pay attention close enough Steph Curry has the best and most talented foot work arsenal for a shooter. He has done his homework so well that he can shoot from the opposite foot. And we thought that could only be done in layups! But he has mastered the craft so well that he has become impossible to predict which makes his shooting unguardable. He can shoot from anywhere, from any stance, from full speed, from dribbling the ball, from cutting, from rebounding, from absolutely any situation imaginable. He has stretched the limits of how shooting a jump shot can be done, and all this is made possible by versatile foot work.
Keep shooting your own shot.
The key to mastery is repetition. Like Steph, you have to keep focus on your own shooting motion in order for the shots to keep sinking. His shooting release may not look ideal to some, but he is hands down the best shooter we've ever seen. The key to a good release is focusing on the arc and not on whether you can reach the rim or not. By repeatedly shooting, you improve the strength of your shot which helps you focus more on the arc of your shot, rather than focusing on how far you have to throw the ball.