Last night Lebron James scored 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats. A great accomplishment but it was against the Bobcats who have now given up 60 plus points to two players this season (Carmelo Anthony being the other). What I believe was the most impressive part about his scoring rampage was that Lebron made 8 three pointers in this game.
Lebron James has improved his shooting percentage each season he has been in the league. His biggest weakness has become one of his biggest strengths. Does that sound familiar? Does anyone else come to mind that followed the same path? Try Michael Jordan. I believe any player can improve in shooting and James and Jordan are two perfect examples.
The problem that I encounter on my never ending shooting journey is that I come across quite a few coaches, players and parents that don’t believe a player can improve in shooting accuracy. I have actually heard high school and college coaches utter, “My kids can’t get better in shooting.”
How can these coaches have come to this conclusion? The only thing I can believe is that these coaches have never seen one of their players noticeably improve. If you don’t see it happen, then you won’t believe it can happen.
Shooting improvement can happen and it doesn’t take skilled athletes like MJ and King James for this to occur. The key to shooting improvement is not all about reps as many believe, but it is more about the quality of the reps.
Let’s face it, we have all had players or seen players that practice a lot on their own, but struggle with shooting. Why? I truly believe it is about shooting mechanics.
The body needs to work together at all times. It’s just not in basketball but all sports. To hit a baseball or to pitch a baseball you need the correct body mechanics. Same thing could be said for softball, throwing a football, track and field and golf.
Any coach that says, “To be a good shooter, you just go out and shoot” does not understand anything regarding kinesiology. For some coaches the word kinesiology is a word they have heard before, but don’t understand what it means. Others look at kinesiology as a “hocus pocus” term up there with witch doctors and chiropractors (by the way I like chiropractors).
I believe shooting truly is about kinesiology-the scientific study of movement. The more fluid your movements become, the less tension will occur in your body.
Becoming a great shooter really starts with proper mechanics. When you look at Lebron’s or Jordan’s shots early in their careers you will notice that their mechanics changed greatly. So can players improve in shooting noticeably? Of course they can. It does take time, reps, but most of all it is about mechanics.
Let’s have Michael Jordan have the last words on this subject: “You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.” Pretty good quote from a pretty good player.