8 Tips for a Great Shooting Workout

By Bill Winfrey

Practicing smart is essential to developing your shot... and that means working hard to change the little things that separate the poor, good, and great shooters. Too many players spend lots of time in the gym with little change. Here's a few tips to help you get a lot done in a shorter amount of time.

1) Make Friends with Awkward

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I’ve heard many players say that a change in technique feels weird and then for that reason not continue working it. That can be a poor, short sighted move... and a major reason for that player hitting a low ceiling in their development.

Change is awkward and a great indication that you're actually doing something different. Don’t let a short term inconvenience get in the way of a possible long term significant improvement.

What would be weird is if the 'change' didn’t feel odd. That would mean there’s not enough actual change happening. So make friends with the awkwardness and give it plenty of time and effort to become second nature. Have fun with it and look down the road to the long term potential.

2) Have a 'mistakes are good mentality'

Practice is precisely the time for mistakes so be patient and persistent with yourself. Do drills without focusing on results (made baskets)… rather focus on technique… it’s the change in technique that you’re going for.

3) Close Up

To change form, to work on something that is awkward... start in close. The further out you are the less you tend to focus on technique. Maybe that’s because it takes more strength from further out and so the technique gets less attention (plus it takes longer to get the rebound and more shots up). So, take strength out of the picture for most of your form shooting practice. Be within 2 – 10 feet to work on shooting technique.

4) Repetitions

We're not talking in the 10’s… but in the 100’s… Allow yourself the time to get 100, 200, 500 shots up. Of course it has to be good technique to be of great value to you. Your body is an amazing learning machine. If you give it the reps… it’ll learn. It may take weeks or months of continual practice… but it’ll happen. Be Patient and Persistent!

5) Swish Shots

Do drills that go for swish shots. Your brain responds to whatever it is challenged with. If scraping it over the rim…or having it roll around and around… or hit 3 rims before it drops is ok … then your brain is done. If however, you challenge yourself and say only swishes count… then your brain will go to work figuring out what makes the difference between a swish and no swish. So, pick a spot… make 5 swishes before you move. Do that for 10 – 20 spots… or more.

6) 1 handed shots

Shoot from 2-10 feet (or more)… with one hand. It self corrects a number of things need to be. For example… elbow not being under the ball… too much use of the opposite hand… taking the ball too far back over the head… and others… Simple and highly effective!

7) Workout Partners

1+1=3 here. If you have someone there to rebound, to offer feedback, to help make sure you get in the gym… then you’ve got a great asset. Design a plan together of how many shots and from where. Rebound 10…then shot 10… etc. It’s a great advantage to have a serious workout partner.

8) Video!

There's nothing like seeing for yourself to fast forward your progress. Since it can be very hard to know precisely what you are doing in your shot… set the camera and go for it… with or without a rebounder. Your review will be a major boost in finding and correcting mistakes. There is a reason that top college and pro teams continue to utilize this in a big way. It also is way to log and measure your progress as you review them months or years down the line.

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