Springbak Basketball Shooting Tips: Proper Shooting Fundamentals


Submitted by Professional Basketball Player & CEO Springbak, Inc. – Bill Crow

Jump Shot - BasketballAs I have mentioned in my prior blog on shooting, the key to becoming an outstanding jump shooter is to develop a tight, quick and short shooting stroke. This is the key to balance on a jump shot, as the balance point is at the apex or top of the jump. As soon as the top of the jump is reached, gravity pulls the shooter back to the floor. If you have the opportunity to watch shooting strokes of the greatest shooting scorers in basketball history (Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robinson or Michael Jordan) on You-Tube, what you will observe is a shooting stroke no more than four inches long. The question remains, how does one develop enough power to get the ball to the basket in such a short motion? The answer, elastic reaction of the tendons in the wrist and fingers.

Next question, how does one bring an elastic whipping action of the wrist and fingers into the shooting release if one does not have it to begin with?

This is the starting point. Anyone can whip off a one handed pass directly from his or her waist or chest area to someone fifteen feet away with a short, quick, explosive pushing motion coming from the shoulder. If the wrist is back and relaxed and the fingers are consciously stretched, then the basketball will come off the fingers with an elastic whipping action, back spin, speed and power will be directed to the basketball with a very short pushing stroke. Try it, anyone can do this. The Challenge mentally is to raise this short, quick passing motion 60 degrees to where this short, quick passing motion becomes a shooting stroke with the same whipping action that is accomplished so easily when passing the basketball.

I have worked with scores of high school, college and professional level shooters in my lifetime and have discovered that this transition is entirely mental. In other words, physically easy to do but psychologically hard because of a shooting release developed from youth with only limited elasticity being used in the fingers and wrist because a much longer arm stroke(which almost everyone has)will not generate maximum elasticity in the wrist and fingers. This only happens with a short, quick, explosive push from the arm and shoulders, if accompanied by a stretching of the fingers during the entire passing or shooting motion.

To help break this psychological barrier, I instructed players first to whip their passes against the backboard of the basket after whipping a pass to someone standing under the basket. After whipping a number of passes on about a 30 degree angle off the backboard, I tell the athlete all he or she has to do(psychologically)is raise that same passing motion to 60 degree angle (90 degrees being straight vertical) and maintain that same whipping action of the wrist and fingers while passing the basketball on that same 60 degree angle from now the shoulder and not the chest.

I then instruct athletes that if they can psychologically maintain the same whipping action of the wrist and fingers that they were able to do so easily when passing the basketball with a one hand pushing motion, that they now have the start of a short, quick shooting stroke that can be accomplished with the elastic whipping action of the wrist and fingers incorporated into their shooting release.

This is step one. However also the hardest to mentally overcome, work on this one first! If you feel this spring action of the fingers whipping through the basketball at release, you are beginning to experience the KEY to controlling your shooting release on the basketball. After this critical step, shooting practice becomes a matter of focus and coordination of the spring action of the fingers in the shooting release to make your release shorter, tighter and quicker.

Step two is to coordinate a bouncing action of the legs with the short arm stroke of the shooting motion. When you time the upward bouncing action of the legs with the short upward shooting motion of the arm, you are well on your way to becoming an accomplished 3 point shooter.

Good luck with your practice sessions and have fun!

Bill Crow – President & CEO Springbak, Inc.

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