🕐 4 minute read
If you ask any experienced ball player what the most important aspect of the game is, they may provide you with a few answers. Scoring, passing, defense, team chemistry, etc. But what if you ask a novice basketball watcher or a parent who is learning the game alongside their child? What would they explain is the key to success in the game? As Occam’s “Razor” suggests, “all things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one”. The answer here is simple as well.
What makes it so important?
Simply put, without shooting there is no game. You score by shooting the ball. Players pass to teammates to create a better shot. Defense is meant to prevent the other team from shooting into your basket. Without the ability to shoot the ball, the score of games would be zero to zero. Even the most defensive minded basketball coaches would agree, no one wants to watch that game!
Can my child become a better shooter?
The hardest truth to accept for youth athletes is that the playing field is not always even. Genetics play a large role in basketball and all sports. Some athletes are predisposed to being naturally bigger, faster and stronger than their opponents regardless of effort invested in the sport. Like many things in life, it is not fair. However, there is one attribute to this terrific sport that CAN even the playing field VERY quickly. You guessed it…shooting!
Hand eye coordination plays a major role in the ability to master the art form, but almost anyone can be a great shooter if they practice correctly. Some of the greatest shooters in the history of the game were not necessarily gifted athletes. But this equalizer is more important than any vertical leap or 40 yard dash. Great shooters are few and far between and tend to always be one of the most important players on the court, regardless of their accompanying skills. Prolific shooters change the dynamic of the game the moment the step on the floor.
“there is one attribute to this terrific sport that can even the playing field very quickly…shooting!”
How to improve
The old adage “perfect practice makes perfect” is fairly accurate, but incomplete. In basketball, perfect practice will make VERY effective. No one shoots 100%. But if a player’s shooting mechanics are correct, their footwork is precise and their rhythm is consistent great results will follow. The problem is, many youth athletes do not use their time efficiently and expect immediate results. The best shooters on the planet will attest that it takes countless hours to become a proficient shooter. That is why so few youth athletes can actually shoot! Many lack the discipline or understand the value until it is too late and their playing careers are cut short.
Step by step
Players who DO understand the value of shooting need to ensure they start off on the right foot. Find a coach in your area or consult a shooting expert to work with your child on his/her shooting mechanics. The best advice we can give you regarding ideal options are very logical as well. If your coach can’t shoot it, then they probably can’t teach it!
It is nearly impossible to completely change a player’s form if they have terrible habits, and bad habits form quickly. However, it is just as difficult to break bad habits as it is to reinforce good ones. So make sure that if your youth athlete wants to find success shooting the basketball, they COMMIT to the process.
It may take weeks or even months to see progress if your child has bad habits, but once the constant adjustments become muscle memory your child will never look back. There are few things more gratifying from a parent’s perspective on the sideline than seeing the ball leave your child’s hand knowing there is a swish on the way!