How To Avoid (or Get Out Of) A Shooting Slump
(part 1 of 2)
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 always mental. A couple of bad games does not mean you’ve forgotten how to shoot. Sure they can kill your confidence, leave you confused, and seem never-ending, but he fact is, if you shoot a lot, you will miss some. Heck, if you can make 50% of your shots, you will be considered a great shooter. So just ease your mind, and you will get through it.
There are several steps you can take that will help you avoid and/or get out of a shooting slump. But before I get into those, let me tell you some things NOT to do.
First Off, Don’t Hesitate or Think. It’s not like you’ve forgotten how to shoot, so please don’t start doubting or over-analyzing yourself. When you catch the ball, immediately go into your shot motion without hesitating, and just shoot. Sometimes a fast break jump shot is the one that will break your “slump” because you shoot it without any time to “think.” When you start “over-thinking” the shot, it can really mess you up. The time to “think” is during practice, not during a game. Clear your mind and never analyze your shot during a game. It does no good. Don’t think, just shoot!
Secondly, Ignore Everybody Else. You do not need to go and change your shot right here and now. Sure, you might get a variety of “solutions” from all kinds of people that mean well, but don’t listen to them. At least not yet. Because the truth is, getting too many “answers” will only confuse you. Stick to what you know, do what you know you’re suppose to do, and let the outcome take care of itself.
Next, Don’t Force Shots. Don’t start creating shots that aren’t there. Slumps are sometimes caused by poor shot selection. So, make sure you’re shot selection is in your range and that it’s a high percentage shot. Make sure you’re open and on balance when you shoot. Instead of forcing your shot to come back, just let it return naturally. Do some simpler things that will get you back in a rhythm like layups, or make some nice passes, or play hard defense and get a steal.
And Lastly, Don’t Get Down On Yourself. Keeping a positive attitude is important as you work your way through slumps. Stay mentally positive and don’t get down on yourself. Watch your attitude toward teammates too. If you encourage your teammates through their shooting struggles, you will be building a team attitude that will help everyone.
So, after all of this, if you’re still in a slump and your shot still feels foreign and uncomfortable…. what do you do?
It’s simple! You go back to the basics. And it begins at your next practice.
The Shooting Progression
At your next practice, go through a shooting progression by starting in close to the basket, and grooving your shot by using perfect form. Use one hand to shoot and swish three in a row without hitting the rim. Do everything right – elbow in, bend your knees, keep your 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 make three more. Continue that all the way to the foul line, or until you start to feel comfortable again. This will rebuild your confidence and establish a positive momentum in your attitude and confidence.
Then, go back to your regular shooting drills that you’re already familiar with and you should already be out of your slump! But…. in the weirdest of weird scenario’s, let’s say the slump is still “in your head” and your’e still missing too many shots. Well, in a case like this, it would be a perfect time to “defragment” your mind. Next week, I’ll give you a trick that will clear your mind, erase the mental barrier, and will break you out of even the worst shooing slumps imaginable.