Practicing your jump shot is the single most helpful thing you can do to get better at it. While shooting form is still going to be extremely important, there is no replacement for practice. Even Shawn Marion made it to the league with that horrible pushing-from-the-waist form. He did it with tons of practice. Not only that, but you have to put in time in mastering your own practice sessions. Practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect. This means your practice sessions have to be efficient, minimizing wastes of time so you get the most out of it.
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Here we will discuss various ways to practice your jump shot. Every individual is different, so some tips may apply more than others. Understand your own game, choose the tips that you believe will help you the most, and implement them into your shooting regime.
Get a shot return system
We recently made an entire guide for those that are looking for a basketball return system. Not only are they convenient since you won’t need another person to get your rebounds, but they make shooting workouts so much more efficient. We’ve done plenty of analyses and found that shooters take up to 50% more shots in the same amount of time with a return system than shooting by themselves. That is 50% more work you are able to put up versus other players who have to rebound for themselves. Less time wasted getting rebounds = more time working on your shot form = better jump shot. It is a simple equation that is worth considering.
Set up your own shooting session
No one knows what kind of shooting drills you need better than you do. There are shooting drills for every type of shooter in basketball. Are you a set shot kind of person? Do you catch and shoot best or do you shoot better off the dribble? For catch and shooters, do you shoot better off a chest pass or off a bounce pass? For off the dribble shooters, are you better off a crossover or off a hesitation dribble?
Figure out your shooting style, based off in-game experience. What are you good at and what do you need to work on that you think you will actually use in game? Look up shooting drills to improve your strengths then shooting drills to sharpen up your weak points. Write this all down and come up with your own 1-hour shooting workout. KicksHeat.com will write guides on shooting drills, but only you are able to truly understand what you need to work on.
Focus on every aspect of your shooting form
This may seem like an obvious one, but give serious mental effort on every aspect of your form. Most people just shoot and shoot until the workout is over, without really giving any real mental power on what works and what doesn’t. Why did you make that shot? Why did you miss? How is the arc on your shot? Is there any spin?
Ask yourself these questions while you work out your shooting form and adjust accordingly. Remember, most players just shoot and “practice” their shot form until they get it. This works to some extent, but if you really want to get ahead you need to give not just physical effort, but mental effort. Think about your shot. Think about why it goes in or why you airball. Make mental notes of your weaknesses and work hard off the court to improve them.
Give yourself breaks
Just like any physical workout, your body needs rest to re-energize and get ready for the next set of workouts. If you are shooting for an hour straight, it is highly likely your arms and legs are getting exhausted and your form is suffering because of it. When working out, make sure to include small one-minute breaks so your body can recover. Muscle memory is important, but not if your form is deteriorating throughout the workout.