The Evolution of a Player’s Shot
As players grow their shot will change. The mechanics can be brought in line with the desired shooting technique all coaches strive for (Photo Source: SD Dirk)

The Evolution of a Player’s Shot

Making a Shot in basketball is one of the main driving factors for players to constantly work on their game. Refining their technique, improving their shooting percentage, and then making that shot in a game is all part of the deep seeded motivation behind many hours of individual training on courts around the world. Watch any young player for long enough, and they will start to play out making that shot in front of thousands of people and replicate what they see in their heroes with their imagination.


What is not commonly discussed about a player’s shot technique is the ever-changing phase of development that must happen as a player grows. For many young athletes when they first start out in the sport they can struggle with the technique commonly prescribe to older players. All players mature differently and it may not be uncommon for players to be unable to perfect the truly desired form of their shooting technique until they are ten or eleven years of age. Even then, some compensation needs to be given to how young bodies grow and how everyone matures at different rates.


As players grow their shot will change. The mechanics can be brought in line with the desired shooting technique all coaches strive for (Photo Source: SD Dirk)

As players grow their shot will change. The mechanics can be brought in line with the desired shooting technique all coaches strive for (Photo Source: SD Dirk)

A player’s Shooting Technique will need constant analysis over the course of their playing career. Many players often over this time will need to change their shot as firstly they develop from being a junior to a senior and as they become more refined in their action. This will mean some players have to change their shot significantly a number of times. The arms help direct the ball more than any other part of the shooting action so it is vital for a coach to have some fundamental knowledge about the shooting action in regards to this aspect.


The technique involved in the positioning and follow through of the shooting arm is the single most significant aspect of the shooting action. However, for those younger players using two hands, instead of the preferred one, maybe the only way they can generate enough power to launch the ball towards the hoop. Many coaches can become overly concerned with these variations in technique. Players will often develop these wide range of characteristics because they are suitable for them in just trying to make a shot. Instead of trying to refine the hand position or the two-handed shooting form, why not work on footwork, body or head positioning.


As a coach if you take away the elements that are leading to the successful shot by a player. Such as using both arms to generate power, you are only going to be frustrated by a player who sees this as their only option for achieving the desired outcome. The player will resist these changes and resent them if they feel they cannot achieve what they had previously been able to do with their “modified” shot.


Of course for older players the technique needs to constantly be reshaped and refine until the correct technique is implemented with better effect. Some players form will be poor because of technique, but this rarely the case for those players in the younger age groups as identified earlier. The evolution of their technique is just a by-product of wanting to shoot and score however they can.


A players shot over time will change. It has to, as many players struggle to implement the correct technique especially during their adolescent years. Initially though, being able to get the ball as high as the hoop, and then occasionally getting the ball in is worth a hundred hours of motivation when compared to practicing the correct shooting technique. By picking appropriate areas to change in a players shooting action and watching them experience success gradually, and deliberately, a coach can mould a players shot without hurting their passion for the game. It is worth remembering that as a young player in the sport, when they watch Lebron James shoot the ball, they focus on the shot going in, not his perfect shooting technique…

Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

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