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Shooting - Your Mindset
As printed in the Jack Pine Tribune

Basketball shooting is what everyone gets excited about, it is the ultimate goal in the game of basketball. It's thrilling for the fans, players and coaches when the ball goes through the net. Since it is so exciting, basketball shooting is probably practiced and drilled more than any other fundamental. What is the first thing kids want to do when they get a ball in their hand, find a basket and shoot! It’s natural.

Do you shoot better than 50% from the field and 90% or so from the free throw line? If you're like most players, you want to increase your shooting percentage. Shooting a basketball accurately is not difficult. Good shooters spend endless hours perfecting their shots in order to be a great scorer. Players of all ages need to learn the right steps and form when shooting a basketball.

Making sure you understand that becoming great at basketball shooter (whether it's making free throws, layups, 3-pointers, etc.) means putting in hours of practice and understanding what all the mechanics are.

In the next few weeks I’ll cover many aspects of shooting, but for today lets start with Your Mindset. Before we begin any shooting fundamentals or mechanics we must have the proper mindset.

1. Have confidence in yourself. Always start with what you are doing well.

2. Ask yourself, “When I am shooting well, what am I doing? There is no wrong answer to this question. It simply gives an indication of your confidence level and what you know about your own shot. If you respond with the answer, “I just shoot!” It may indicate that you have confidence, and that you are not over thinking when you shoot. When you answer, “When I’m shooting well, my hand is going straight toward the basket.” Then you have an idea of what you want to do when shooting.

3. Tell yourself, “I want to shoot with confidence and rhythm. I want to focus on the one mechanic that helps my shot the most. I want to learn to coach myself.” Select two or three one-syllable key words that you associate with what you want to do.

4. Keep it simple. Too much thinking causes paralysis by analysis. Shooting should be smooth, free flowing and rhythmical. Your key words are short, concise and positive thoughts. Say your words with confidence and rhythm from the start of your shot to release of the ball.

5. Be positive. Eliminate thinking about the shot or shots you missed. Negative thinking distracts you. It makes you tense. It causes you to lose your confidence. When you miss a shot, immediately correct it with a positive key word that you associate with making the shot. Visualize a good shot and always act like you made it. Act like a shooter!

6. Strive to keep your confidence level high. Be positive and keep encouraging yourself to know you can and will achieve your goals. Motivate yourself to consistently do what it takes to reach your goals and never think for one moment that you will have anything less than success. Constantly tell yourself, “I am a shooter!”

7. Continue to practice correctly. Be positive, enthusiastic, energized and tenacious to inspire yourself to reach new heights. This will also inspire everyone around. Above all, make it enjoyable! You become a better player when you have high spirits, a bright smile and a sense of humor.

Reaching your goals is never an easy path, but great athletes that learn this lesson early will have great success.

Good luck with your game,

Coach O


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