The greatest shooters of all time: Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Glen Rice, Chris Mullin, Rick Barry, The Logo Jerry West, and of course the Hick from French Lick- The Great White Hope- Larry Legend- or more formally known as Mr. Larry Bird, have many things in common with their jumpers.
Fundamentals such as sight, foot positioning, elbow alignment, follow through, arc, ball rotation, release point, and an ability to create space all added to their shooting success. These mentioned qualities encompass what it takes to become an amazing shooter. Yet, undeniably the best friend of a perfect jump shot starts with a simple concept… BALANCE.
Balance can be the difference between a good shot and a great shot… A game winner and a rim rattling miss… A collegiate roster and the local rec league.
A great way for young athletes to see an example of a balanced shot, is to watch the best shooters in college or the NBA shoot free throws. All aspects of balance come into play on a stationary shot. From the photo examples below, and in the attached video, notice that although there’s a difference in each of the players’ shots, they are all balanced and have a good base in proportion to their varying body types:
For a view of live free throws, check out this link of Steph Curry and Steve Kerr shooting free throws. Much like the images above, notice the difference in their shots, but likewise how well balanced both of them are: Steph Curry and Steve Kerr; Free Throws.
NOW IT’S UP TO YOU! Look at your shot in a mirror, use a video camera, or ask your coaches:
- Am I on balance when I shoot?
- Are my feet shoulder width apart?
- Are my hips/torso aligned with my feet?
- Are my shoulders straight and even (not leaning left, not leaning right) when I catch and shoot?
- Am I on balance when I catch and shoot moving to the left? How about to the right?
Reminder: A great shooter doesn’t lean one way or another, doesn’t fade away, and doesn’t kick out his /her legs. When you begin a shot and finish a shot your feet should hit in the same position they began in!!! When shooting always, always, always, be on BALANCE.