Avoid A Shooting Slump

Almost every player that’s ever played basketball has experienced some type of shooting slump. The key is to not let it kill your confidence because they’re always temporary and they’re usually all mental. A couple of bad games does not mean you’ve forgotten how to shoot. The fact is, if you shoot a lot, you will miss some. And just knowing this fact should take away some of the anxiety immediately. But here are the keys that will help you avoid or get out of a slump if you ever experience one.

During a game, make sure that you’re shot selection is good, you’re in your range, you’re on balance and open when you shoot. Don’t hesitate to shoot. Don’t think about it. Just catch the ball, and immediately go into your shooting motion. Sometimes, a fast jump shot or a quick shot are the ones you make. Now, please don’t rush your shot — just catch and shoot.

The other smart thing to do during games is to focus on some simpler things that will get you back in a rhythm like layups, or make some nice passes, or get a steal. Don’t worry about the makes and misses, and don’t try to force anything. Just relax and your confidence and rhythm will return, and your shot will naturally come back.

The best place to deal with a slump is during your practice because there’s no pressure, crowds, or defense. It’s just you and the goal so you can really focus. Start by making sure you’re doing the fundamentals correctly. Go through a shooting progression by starting in close to the basket, and using perfect form. This is also called “grooving your shot.”

Use one hand to shoot and swish three in a row without hitting the rim. Do everything right – elbow in, bend your needs, wrist back with the ball in the shooting pocket, follow through, and have a good arch on your shot. Once you make three in a row, take a step backwards and continue this routine all the way to the foul line, or until you start to feel comfortable again. Then, go back to your regular shooting drills that you’re already familiar with.

Now, if the slump doesn’t go away, then there could be something technically wrong with your shot, in which case you need find someone knowledgeable, and have him or her evaluate your shot. Do not change your shot every time you have a bad day because the key to a pure shooter is having the exact same form every time, without ever having to think about it. But if your form is wrong, then you must correct that first.


PS. Make sure and keep a good and positive attitude during the slump. Attitude is huge part of the game. And commit this to memory too: “mental is to physical as 4 is to 1.”

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This entry was posted on January 30th, 2013 at 6:00 am

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