Some people have a natural shot. I’m not one of those people, but with time on the court, hard work and heart, I became a good shooter. There are better shooters for sure, but I have always been good enough to help my team and that is all that matters to me.
Learning to shoot can be a challenge. I know it has been tough for my kids because they get conflicting advise. Mom (former college basketball player and a basketball coach for 25 years) tells them one thing and Dad (former college athlete) tells them another. My daughter never wanted to do extra shooting around my husband and I, because our opinions differed. In the end it didn’t matter who was giving the correct coaching techniques for shooting (though I believe it was me), what mattered was the effect upon my daughter. The conflict caused her to stop doing extra shooting through much of high school. It was difficult for her to take on, and execute, two different opinions so instead she focused on other parts of her game. She is a well-rounded player that rebounds, passes and plays tenacious defense with the best of them, and she can score (she has a nice shot), but it hasn’t been until this summer that she has wanted to find her own space, and shoot again.
Having parents and coaches on the same page is so important. It is not always easy to find middle ground with two coaching parents, for a parent to support a coach with a different style, or for an assistant coach to follow a head coaches techniques and philosophy, however it is better for a player to have less conflict, to know what is expected of them on the court. Then they can focus their energy and feel more confident.
If you’re a player, set a shooting goal for yourself, 20 shots a day, 400 a week, 1000 a summer, whatever works for you and have some fun while you’re at it. With repetition on the court, you will start to feel what is right for you and your body. I’ve told my daughter, “You know the basics, start close to the basket and work your way out, shoot with a balanced foundation, keep your elbow in, have a relaxed follow through, and just go out and shoot.”
My daughter will be playing basketball at Pacific University next year so this summer she is running and lifting and finding her way to the gym to shoot. To improve your shot, put in the time, listen to your coaches, and most of all listen to your heart and you will find your groove.