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Stephen Curry

3 Tips to Increase Your Shooting Prowess

  • Author:
    Scott Kenney
  • Date:
    May 13, 2016

YOUTH TIPS: The Basic Jump Shot

ADVANCED TIPS: Shooting Routines for Guards

Here are three tips that you can implement right now into all of your basketball shooting drills.

Whether it's shooting off the dribble, off the pass or from the triple-threat, these tips will serve you well as you continue to master new basketball shooting drills and skills.

Keep these in mind as you work on your shot, and with hard work, you can be that sharpshooter that every opponent fears when you step on the court!

Practice Fast, But Not Out of Control

This is the sweet spot for continuous improvement. Practicing basketball shooting drills at a speed that is comfortable is great to first learn the skill. But to improve you need to constantly challenge yourself. If you want different results, do something different.

You are never going to improve substantially by practicing at the same speed. Once you are comfortable with a shooting drill, always strive to do it faster, harder and quicker. Do it in less time, with less dribbles or less steps; etc. Always ensure you're challenged.

To balance this argument, make sure you are not out of control. Making mistakes is a good sign that you are pushing yourself but once your good habits start to fade or your shooting mechanics start to falter, you need to slow down. This could lead to bad habits replacing your good ones or faulty mechanics. Once you develop these bad habits, they are hard to correct. After all, it doesn't matter how quickly you release your shot if it doesn't have a good chance of going in.

Find that sweet spot in continually challenging yourself while staying in control, if only barely. That's the key to continuous improvement.

Footwork is the Base and Basis of your Shot

Your feet really are at the base of your shot and form the basis for the rest of your shot. When players get tired or are shooting out of range, the first symptom is often poor footwork from being lazy or trying to generate that extra power. This leads to bad habits that become harder to correct as the player gets older and they become more engrained in their routine.

Sound footwork ensures you are shooting from a stable platform, are aligned with the target, and gives you rhythm when shooting off the dribble or pass. When your feet are aligned, the rest of your body follows suit. Focus on your feet and your hips and shoulders will follow suit. It's very difficult to have your feet square to the basket and have your hips and shoulders pointing anywhere else.

Low Man Wins

"Low mans wins" is an axiom that holds true for tackling in football, checking in ice hockey and also for many one-on-one scenarios in basketball. Shooting is one of these scenarios, as keeping a low center of gravity allows you to get your shot off quicker and with more control.

Strength and stability in your shot both come from your legs and core. Whether you are making a cut or bracing for your shot, keeping a low center of gravity improves your stability, responsiveness and overall agility. You'll notice players who are fatigued coming into their jump shot are more upright with less bend in their knees and a less athletic stance. What follows is a slower release, since they can't gain their balance as quickly, and the shot falling short, since they can't generate the same amount of power.

Squats, dead lifts and lunges are staple exercises that will enable you to be a "lower" man.

So the next time you're going through a drill, remember to always challenge yourself,you're your shot in motion with good footwork, and low man wins. Have fun and play hard.

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Here's a drill that can be a fun game as well: See how long it takes you to hit four shots in a row from seven different spots on the court.

The USA Basketball Coach Academy tour is underway for 2017. Become your best with live training and networking opportunities while learning from experienced guest speakers with a passion to share lessons in through basketball. Early bird pricing & group discounts are available! Join us! Visit for more information including the list of academy stops.

  • Date:
    May 25, 2016

Your team might not always have access to the weight room, but that's okay. Here are some strength exercises that can be done on court, with nothing more than a basketball.

  • Date:
    May 23, 2016

This two-minute passing drill helps players with touch and feel and can be a great way to get players firing on all cylinders before practice starts.

  • Date:
    Apr 29, 2016

Here's a drill named for one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived -- George Mikan. While it certainly is meant to improve a player's layup skills, the Mikan Drill also helps develop rhythm, timing for rebounding, and scoring in the paint.

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Day one of the USA Basketball 14U National Tournament saw the first preliminary round games followed by a social event for coaches and a clinic and skills challenge event for participants.

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