Shooting is one of the most personal things about a player, because in most ways it signifies what level of player that they are. It is hard not to measure a player by how many shots that they make and in cases didn't make. As a coach everyone has their own way that they like to teach players shooting and are very territorial in their beliefs of how to teach the craft.
I've been working with players for roughly 23 years and in that time my views on shooting have changed multiple times. There are a few things that I would like to talk about today that players and coaches go through.
CHANGING A PLAYER'S SHOT DURING THE SEASON
For me this is a recipe for disaster. During the season a player will rely on what is comfortable with them 100% of the time. If you are trying to change things like hand positioning, trajectory, release point etc and expect them to not only make the change consistently in drills as well as when they have an open shot in a game with live defenders then prepare to be disappointed. To change a player's shot you need to break them down and reprogram their brain of what a shot is. In my opinion to do this you need to start from the ground level and have them start with one hand form shooting for roughly 2-3 weeks and work from there. You can't expect a player to make major changes to their shot in training sessions with the expectation of playing a game that night. They will go back to the old way of shooting and won't be able to make progress. Also, there is a great chance that they will be confused on how to shoot their old shot as both principles will start to spy over to any shot that they take.
My advice is to talk to the player about what you see in their shot and some things that you feel as though need to be changed. Always leave the whole changing of shot mechanics/technique to the off season. Have them start as soon as the season is over and show them exactly how you want them to shoot and start with one hand form shooting and build up from there. Changing a player's shot is a 3-18 month process that will take a lot of patience and restraint on both ends.
You can realistically destroy a player's confidence when trying to change their shot during the season. The season has too many moving parts and player's go through way too many ups and downs to mess with something as important as their shot. If a player is sitting out the season for some reason then changing their shot if they need it becomes a different issue.
MOST COMMON ISSUES WITH A PLAYER'S SHOT
I think too much movement in a player's shot is a common problem that I see with most shooters. Some examples of this is jumping too high on a shot causing inconsistent release times. Other examples are:
Lower body twisting on the releasing causing to impact the flight of the ball.
Leaning Back or lunging forward on the shot impacting the ball short/long left,right
Elbow Movement during the shot
Head moving back on the shot causing the shoot the ball short.
If you study great shooters they are consistent and their shot is not complex. They are on balance, have good rhythm, and there is very little movement in their shooting mechanics.
SHOULD YOU TEACH EVERYONE THE SAME SHOT?
I think there are a few principles that every player should adapt when it comes to shooting the ball because you want them to shoot the ball straight, have the power to get the ball to the rim, and limit as much unnecessary movement as possible. Last Summer I studied 30 of the top 3 Point shooters in the NBA. I wanted to compare what I believe in shooting and how they shoot the ball and see what was important and not. Some of the things that were constantly changing/different were things like:
Feet twisting vs straight
Loading Fingers Back/ Limited Bend in wrist
I was shocked on how different most of these shooters shot the ball. There clearly isn't one way to teach it a lot has to do with the player's body and physical features. It goes to show you how much confidence and comfort mean to players.
When it comes to shooting the basketball and teaching the shot it is an everyday thing that yo have to be constantly staying on top of. Great shooters are consistent about their approach and they are serious about knowing the inner workings of their shot. If you ever get a chance to listen to KYLE KORVER talk about his shot please do because he knows it like the back of his hand. I listen to multiple podcasts where he talks about his shot and what little intricacies go in to the shot. Another player that is legendary when it comes to his shot and routine is Ray Allen. Take some time to listen o him talk about shooting any chance that you can. I posted a video below on that as well. I hope this helped
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