The first key to learning how to shoot a basketball with the speed of a professional, is developing the proper shooting technique and mechanics needed for a consistant shot and follow through everytime. Then, the shooting drills for basketball that you put into your shooting workout routine, and the order in which you perform them, is critical. Having a fast release is all about preparation.The preparation helps the fluidity of the shooter’s mental checklist and physical action.What qualifies a shooter as having a fast release is not the speed of the release and follow through, as this should remain consistent.The trick to being a shooter with a quick release is to do the little things before the shot, which put you in a position to release the ball faster, therefore, speeding up the processes in between the parts of the shot, before the release.
How to Shoot A Basketball
First things first, it may seem obvious, but if we are talking about taking a shot from a pass, the shooter needs to give the passer a target. A good pass equals a good shot. With that said, as the shooter, you need to have your hands up with your wrists flexed and fingers spread giving the passer a perfect target to throw the ball. Keep your hands at a 90 degree angle, in relation to your forearm. This is a critical detail for developing a quick release with a perfect arc.By having your wrist already flexed, you save time in getting your shot off.At the pro level, having this lightning fast release is mandatory.In addition, as you are giving the passer a target with your shooting hand out and flexed back, keep your elbow of the shooting arm touching against your rib cage on the same side.This gives you a consistent point of reference so that when the ball reaches your hands you can get the ball up to the apex (around the top of your forehead) of your jump shot and be prepared to shoot as fast as possible while maintaining a frame of reference for the alignment of your shot.As you, bring the ball up to shoot you will feel the elbow go up and a long, staying parallel, to the side of your body.
Some coaches tell you to get low before the shot. Although you want to make sure that you are under the ball, so that you get the ball to the apex of your shot before going up for the jump shot with your legs. Moreover, coupled with the fact that as a game progresses and the body becomes fatigued, you want to make sure your legs are prepared to ignite the action by getting under the ball. The real key to a great shooter’s stance is being in a comfortable position.You need to have a solid point of reference with that lead foot directly aligned to the basket so that, as you go to shoot, your hips bring some momentum and your non-lead foot steps next to where your planted lead foot is located. If you are a right hand shooter, the left foot should be the lead foot stepping into the ball.If you are a left hand shooter, it is the right foot as your lead step. This sequence allows you to bring your shoulders and line them up squarely facing the basket.Obviously, you want your knees bent but not too much because after a certain point it becomes unnecessary.First of all, bending too low creates more movement and, as a shooter, you are trying to eliminate all unnecessary movements from your shooting form.Therefore, getting very low for the shot becomes counterproductive.Think of when you go to dunk the ball.You do not bend down low as if you are doing a box squat.The true power is mostly generatedfrom your core. Well, this same concept applies to the mechanics of an efficient and fast shooter.
Now, the most important key to having a fast release is to make sure that your shooting hand stays bent and cocked at the wrist forming a ninety-degree angle in relation to your forearm.You want to have your fingers outstretched, straight, and wide.Always give the passer a target.When you are moving or coming off a screen, and know you are about to receive the ball you should have that target out, the wrist bent back as far as you can, cocked and ready to shoot.This does three major things.For one, the wrist is the key to good loft on the ball.You can fit two whole men’s basketballs through a basketball hoop at the same time.By snapping your wrist, you give the ball more arc and a much better percentage of going in the bucket! Secondly, it eliminates variables in your shot and adds a consistency.Instead of sometimes having the wrist cocked at 70 degrees, then maybe 65 degrees, and occasionally 85 degrees, make it a constant and reliable part of the shot sequence that you will not have to worry about again.Having the wrist locked brings a consistency in the arc every time you shoot!Lastly, it allows you to get the ball off much faster!This is one of the main keys to having a fast release because if you get the ball up as fast as you can to the peak of your jump without the wrist locked you will miss more shots than what you make.You will get out of rhythm by either taking the time to try and lock your wrist at the last second or you will continue with the shot without having your wrist fully locked.Either way, both situations will cause your release and trajectory of the ball to be shallow with a lack of arc.
Keep in mind that as the ball gets to your hands, you need to take ownership of the ball and it starts with your grip on the catch.The catch and grip should be aggressive.Make sure that you only use the fingertips of your hand to catch and release the basketball.If you use your palm to catch the ball then the ball will be almost impossible to control.The ball will most likely slide to the left of your hand as you release the ball.Catching the ball with your palm will lead to variables, and in addition, will lead to a lack of taking ownership of your follow through.This will hinder the flight of the ball greatly.It will cause the ball to come out of your release prematurely. Think of your release of the ball as something you want to control as long as possible by the extension of your release and your grip.Again, it will add a variable to your shot.
The next step is mastering your own checkpoints.Checkpoints are the checks you make at certain locations to help add consistency to form and eliminate variables. Eventually, you will perfect these detailed issues because if you stick with training your body with consistent technique, it will become second nature.For instance, in my case I was at a level where I had one checkpoint.This checkpoint was at the peak of the shot (around the top of the forehead) before I went up with my legs for the shot.I would say to myself “Up, Out.”“Up” would be a way to remember to get the ball at the peak before going up for the shot. “Out” was the fluid, single motion of the body as it transferred the power from my legs into the follow through and release of the shot. Many times people jump to shoot before having the ball at their checkpoint.In this case, the shooter is already on the way down from his, or her, jump shot before they release the ball.When the shooter does release the ball, it is nearly impossible for the ball to go in the bucket because of the flatter trajectory.Going up in one motion is the key and releasing the ball at the peak of your jump is essential.That is why making those check points and getting the ball up to the peak as fast as possible is important.
The key to a versatile shooter is to think of it like this, the closer to the basket you are, the more you jump with your legs and get air.The farther out you go, like a three pointer, the less you want to jump and get hang time.Another important point, is that to have a fast 3-point release stepping into your shot on the catch with your lead foot, especially when you are out for a deep 3-pointer, creates a variable.As a right handed shooter, you should already have your lead left food ahead of your body and have your arms out ready to receive the pass. Your wrist should be cocked before the pass is made, and as the ball travels into your grip, youneed to utilize the rhythm and momentum generated from your hips to propel the ball forward.As this happens, you need to bring your right foot forward, next to where your left foot is already planted. Then, go up for your shot straight up and down.You want to land in the exact same spot as where you left the ground from on the shot.
Let's say that you are on the wing and that the pass is coming from the top of the key.Remember, that you want to see the ball into your hands, disallowing you from glancing up to the basket or staring at the bucket before the shot is released. So, as the ball is coming, and even sometimes before that, you should take your left lead foot and plant it, keeping it directly aligned with the basket, so that on the catch you do not need to look at the basket.Instead, you can trust that swinging your hips, shoulders, and right foot into the lead foot while simultaneously getting the ball to the peak for its release will guide your ball right into the bucket. Simply put, as you catch the ball, swing your body around directly into your release.Remember, if you aim small then you miss small.Aim right for the small gap in between the front and back rims.
As an advanced shooter, you should know where the basket is at all times and have your footing aligned to the basket as much as possible so that at the catch you can just immediately go into the shot and release it.Your left foot should not leave the ground until you jump off it on the shot, when you are shooting deeper shots.Your body and your motion, everything should come to your lead foot!The lead foot is an anchor directing you exactly where the ball needs to travel.Use your planted left foot so that when you catch the ball and twist your hips to shoot, that left lead foot is directed at the basket and all you have to do is step to it, and you will be squared and lined up with the basket!Otherwise, once again you are creating another variable of torque and motion on your shot as you add that last second step into towards the basket.There is no possible way you can train your body and muscle memory to develop a consistent step into from the NBA line and back.Adding a step will add a variable to the shot every time and increases the risks of that lead foot getting off target.This is where training comes into play.You need to develop strong legs and a powerful core. If you take this article to heart, then you will develop a consistent, lightning fast release from ANYWHERE on the court in ANY situation.
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