I always have players ask me questions like how many hours a day do I need to shoot in order to be great and lots of similar questions. Today I want to talk about the relationship between practice time and shooting ability as well as what to practice at what age.
A while ago I was reading on Kyle Korver and he said that he never puts puts up more than 150 shots at game speed in any given workout. I can’t recall whether he said take 150 or make 150, but even if it was to make 150 shots, he would not need more than 200 shots maximum to reach that target.
150-200 shots for a workout does not seem like a high number of shots right? So how does Korver maintain such a high level of shooting ability while only putting up such a limited amount of shots?
Korver is a Level 3 shooter (click here to find out what Level shooter you are) and once you reach that level of shooting ability it is all about maintenance as well as consciously working on a quicker release and moving better without the ball.
Once you reach Level 3 shooting ability you do not need to spend a lot of time working on your shooting stroke as it is already great! Korver spend years perfecting his stroke and now he has to shoot game shots at game speed to get better and to maintain his ability.
However, the younger you are the more time and effort you need to spend on your mechanics. I call this point in your development grooving your stroke. To make your shooting stroke automatic takes a lot of repetition and that has to be a priority before more time is spent on a quicker release and moving without the ball.
I watch a lot of solid young players and the one thing that let’s their shooting ability down is inconsistency in mechanics. This can be tiny little things like changing up the hand positioning on the follow through, not having their hands ready when they catch the ball or not dipping the ball consistently etc.
Until your shooting stroke is automatic, until you can consistently shoot straight, until you can effortlessly shoot 3’s until that point in time you must spend a lot of time on grooving your stroke! If you do not put up enough repetitions during this time your shot will be inconsistent and if you do not address this now you will struggle later on and never reach your true shooting potential.
When you are between 15-18 and basketball is your priority sport then shooting 150 shots per day will not be enough. You must try and put up around 500 shots per day with the main priority being mechanics and repetition. I guess you could call this form shooting. Start close to the basket and work your way out to the 3 point line. Ideally you have a rebounder who can pass the ball to you so you can work on good footwork (hop catch).
You should throw in some game specific shots into your workout, as well as work on a quicker release but during this time it is all about lots of repetitions until your shooting stroke is automatic.
Once you start to swish the ball more and more then you can slowly look at adding more movement without the ball and speeding up your shot. But always remember you must get the foundation right before moving to the next step.
Here are some key points:
- The younger you are the more hours you have to train
- The younger you are the more time has to be spend on grooving your stroke
- The younger you are the less time has to be spend on speeding up your shot and moving without the ball
- The older you are the less amount of time you need to train
- The older you are the more time has to be spend shooting at game speed
- The older you are the more time has to be spend on moving without the ball and speeding up your shot
It actually sucks as the way this works is that when you are younger workouts will be more boring than when you are older. It is much more fun running around the court, coming off screens for shots then just working on catch and shoot jump shots. You must endure and work through those “boring” years to reach your potential.
Now keep in mind that all the ages mentioned above are an indication only! You could have 12 year old who already has a great shooting stroke or you could have a 25 year old who has to take it a few steps back and tidy up the shooting stroke before working other things.
So now you know what you need to work on in your workouts! Make no excuses, go down to the gym and start working on the right things.
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