With determination and enough smart practice, any player can learn how to become a great shooter:  you don’t have to be tall, fast, or even smart.

You can identify a great shooter, when a player shoots a high percentage, while taking a high volume of shots.

You can recognize a player who is focused with a plan to get better, by watching him shoot his first couple of shots by himself.

There are players who try to get a feel for the ball first or you have players who start shooting unbalanced three’s as soon as they get on the court.

You can see who understands the process to become a great shooter and who doesn’t (yet).

How to identify a great shooter?

“Shooting the ball is part of the game. Everybody can shoot in their own way. Not everybody can make, but everybody can shoot.” -Stephen Curry

Becoming a great shooter is all about building confidence and having mindful repetitions.

Building confidence

Confidence is the assurance that comes from successful repetitions.

There are 3 steps to build confidence in shooting:

  • Mastering the mechanics

You have to establish proper technique to set yourself up for efficient and rapid improvement.

  • Getting reps

Repetitions are necessary to deepen the muscle memory, in increasingly challenging situations to stay consistent with every shot.

  • Layering

Layering means adding more complex skills and game situations.

After the 3 steps, a shooter should never be satisfied.
Great shooters will never stop improving! 

Mindful repetitions

When players shoot on their own, they should always start close to the rim and gradually work their way out, as they begin to get a feel for their shot. When they get the details down, everything becomes so much more efficient and that is physically and mentally less draining, because players are not trying to think about all the different details while taking a shot.

It requires a great deal of mental energy for a player to continually apply manipulations whether it is consciously or unconsciously and this creates mental fatigue. The most important thing is to see the ball go through the hoop.

Unconscious imitation is also fundamental to absorb the essence of a movement. Watching videos of your favorite player can boost your learning rate.

Analyse it repeatedly and mindfully – and you’re off to achieve mastery.

Here are some references that inspired me to write this post:

  • Coach Jim Huber – Breakthrough basketball
  • “The talent code” by Daniel Coyle