The technique required to become an excellent shooter in basketball takes a lot of time to master. Watching pro players makes it seem like it’s the easiest thing to do in the world – but as with all skills in sport, the hardest moves look easy because of training.
Training and commitment to a goal are two very important lessons kids can learn from organized sport. It may be that your child loves playing basketball but is struggling to grasp the technique required to excel on the court. As a parent, seeing your child come face to face with their shortcomings (and working on ways to improve their weaknesses) can be quite vindicating. Sports are a great avenue for kids to commit themselves to the struggle for self-improvement, which includes social skills
But sometimes they need a little help too! You can help your child develop their shot technique by suggesting some of these tips to them:
Set Up a Net in Your Driveway or Yard
Setting up a net is the best way to encourage your child to develop their shot mechanics without even realizing it. The best cure for poor technique is practice, practice, practice. If space is an issue then offer to drive them to a local court after school once or twice a week so they can practice there (depending on the age of your child, of course).
Watch the Target
The most common mistake made by children learning the mechanics of a basketball shot is forgetting to look. A lot of players are more interested in the flight of the ball then the location of the net. This obscures the focus of the entire shot itself. When a child learns to consistently focus on the net they will find a nice surge in shooting percentage.
Where Are Your Feet?
The placement of the knees and feet are super important to executing a proper basketball shot. Why? Because the thrust of energy that generates the force of the shot comes from the knees. Knees should be shoulder-width apart and the dominant foot should be placed slightly in front.
The Legs, not the Arms
If your child is using their arms to generate power, they are doing it all wrong. Watch a couple videos with them of pro basketball players and highlight the fact that they push from their knees, not their arms.
Relax Those Wrists
When it comes to follow through, a lot of children learn the wrong technique. In a correct follow through, the wrists should be totally relaxed and the hands should hold their position in the air until the shot hits the target. If neither of these movements are taken on, then the ball will have less directional arc.
Seeing your child shoot the wrong way can be frustrating. However, you must remember the “more play, less pressure” mantra when you get frustrated. It takes a lot of time and effort to develop the right technique. Keep these tips in mind so that you can offer some constructive commentary to your child when the opportunity arises.