How to Get Your Shot Off Quicker Like Stephen Curry
If you watched any of the NCAA Men's basketball tournament this spring, you'll know Stephen Curry is the guard that torched the nets as he led the Davidson Wildcats to the Elite 8 and a near upset of the eventual NCAA champion Kansas Jayhawks. One thing you'd notice right away is that Stephen has one of the quickest shots in the college game. If you gave Stephen a millisecond to shoot, you'd see the ball splashing through the net.
Now, you may be wondering… how the heck can I shoot the ball that quickly or how can I teach my players to do that.
Developing a "quick shot" is all about eliminating wasted movement and excess motion.
The higher you go in competitive levels, the more intense the defensive pressure you will face which makes it very important to be able to shoot more and more quickly without sacrificing any of your accuracy.
Here are seven keys to developing a quick shot release:
Be prepared before you catch the ball.
Every time you catch the ball, your knees should be bent and your feet should be aligned with the basket a split second before you catch the ball. So now all you have to do is catch and go right up with your shot.
On the other hand, if you catch the ball and then bend your knees, that is excess motion and wasted time. This gives your defender extra time to block your shot.
Along the same lines, you should cut with your knees bent...
Reggie Miller and Richard Hamilton are two examples of NBA players who are great at moving without the ball and getting their shot off quickly. If you watch them on TV, they always cut off screens with their knees bent. So when they get open, they only have to catch and shoot.
Bottom line, always have your knees bent and feet ready before you catch the ball.
Provide passers with a target near your shot pocket.
Your shot pocket is the place you put the ball before going into your shot motion.
Having great passers on your team can help you get your shot off quicker. To help them give you more accurate passes, you should always provide them with a hand target right at your shot pocket.
If you're moving in your shot-hand direction, then your target can be your exact shot pocket. If you are moving in the direction of your off-hand, you should provide a target as much in line with your shot pocket as possible and use your off hand to get the ball over to the pocket as quickly as possible.
This is pretty subtle, but the idea is that rather than reaching over to bring the ball over with your shooting hand, you are emphasizing the force of the off-hand on the ball to deliver it to the proper position. Even though you are catching the ball with both hands, you will find that you're gaining a split second of quickness by developing this off-hand-force habit.
Put the ball in shot pocket immediately.
The quicker you can move the ball in your shot pocket, the quicker you can shoot. This takes practice!!
You need to practice moving the ball into you shot pocket off the catch and off the dribble. This takes thousands and thousands of practice repetitions.
You need to practice catching the ball, then quickly and fluidly moving the ball directly into your shot pocket. If you fumble the ball, then the defense has an extra split second to contest your shot. This is a very subtle movement you must practice over and over.
Eliminate wasted movement in your shot delivery.
When you catch the ball, it should go immediately into your shot pocket, and then you should go right up into your shot from there.
You should not put the ball in your shot pocket and then dip your knees or move the ball downward. The ball should go straight up, along with the rest of your body (legs, hips, etc).
Any such excess motion adds time to your delivery, plus it is doing nothing positive for your shot. The simpler your motion, the more it is continually upward from your loaded stance, the quicker your shot will be.
Shoot just before the top of your jump.
Shooting a split second before the top of your jump improves quickness, too. If you wait until the very top, that may be all the time needed for a quick defender to get up for the block.
Try dipping rapidly
Another concept that can sometimes help players is to dip rapidly as you're catching the ball.
To get your shot off as quickly as possible from your jump stop, you should work on a rapid dip into a squared-up jump stop rather than a leap that gets you into the air and covers distance. This dipping technique involves a sudden crouch into your jump stop, catching the ball in your shot pocket as it returns from a dribble, and springing right up into your shot. It is a sudden delivery that gives the defender hardly any time at all to react to your shot.
Think shot, shot, shot.
One way to improve all the areas above, is to be in the new triple threat position every time you touch the ball, the triple threat of "Shot, Shot, Shot." In other words, any time you touch the ball, you have the ball in your shot pocket, your eyes on the rim, and your feet and stance loaded in case you have an opportunity to take a good shot.
Note that this doesn't mean that you should shoot every time you touch the ball. No, that wouldn't make much sense; but you should be ready to shoot every time you touch the ball. You will find it much easier to move from that readiness into a pass or dribble than to transition from a passing or dribbling expectation into a shot-ready mentality.
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Your analysis is right on, however, Curry's quick release is also the result of a one-piece shot. This means that once he starts his shooting motion from his shot pocket he doesn't briefly hesitate after he pulls the ball up to his release point. Instead, he uses one continuous motion. Many male basketball players do this to time their release with the top of their jump. Curry sacrifices elevation for a quicker release and added strength. Most high school girls, incidentally, use a one-pice shot rather than the conventional two-piece shot frequently used by their male counterparts.
As you mentioned, many male players have that two-piece shot emulating their idols like MJ and Kobe. The thing is that most basketball players should NOT try to emulate their shots, because they are athletic freaks. This hurts most players who are uncapable of shooting over their opponents.
This extra motion allows the defensive player to close out and disrupt the shot.
Most players should try to emulate a quick, efficient shot like Stephen Curry.
Stephen was probably forced to do this, because he was a later bloomer and was always smaller than his opponents. He couldn't succeed trying to shoot over his taller opponents. Instead, he developed his quick shot motion that has been so effective.
Shoot really close to the basket. Put the ball up as if you''re going to shoot the ball and take your guide hand 1 inch off of the ball. And shoot hundreds and hundreds really close to the basket. This will force you to shoot with one hand.
As you get more comfortable, move further away from the basket.
before receiving a pass a player must be aware of the situation,it is not always advisable to make a player go into a shooting position once he/she catches the ball. there are situations where a touch pass has to be executed.............i wish i could explain this further.
Absolutely. A player must be aware of the surroundings. But a player could still make a touch pass while getting ready to shoot.
If you do NOT prepare yourself to shoot, then your players will miss opportunities to score and will lose that attack mentality.
Let''s also note that very few players have the basketball IQ & talent to consistently do touch passes. So to teach your players to do this would result with more turnovers.
If it something that you want executed, it also something that needs to be practiced and very few coaches (especially youth coaches) would want to spend their time on that.
A quick shot also opens up many more opportunities. Let me explain.... defender knows you have a quick shot, so he rushes out to defend your shot. Sometimes, a defender will over-commit which will allow the offensive player to penetrate. And penetration leads to many open shots.
If the defender can not close out on time, you just attempted a high-percentage shot (We''re not telling you to take bad shots).
Maybe that happens again, but another defensive player leaves his man help the defender, because he knows if he doesn''t help, you just nailed another shot. This opens up another one of your teammates.
Just by having one player with a quick shot is accurate, it opens up so many scoring opportunities for the team.
Francis, Follow Joe's suggestion and then when your players are shooting from farther out tell them to release the ball earlier. Instead of bringing the ball to a point just above the forehead, begin the release at the shoulders. This will enable a quicker release and provide more strength since you are shooting at the midpoint of the jump when your momentum is at its peak. One caveat - a lower release allows more opportunity for the shot to be blocked. With regard to Chris' comment you can assume a flexed, triple threat position where you can quickly decide whether to catch the pass and shoot or make a quick touch pass to an open man. Larry
My friends and family members say I shoot just like Stephen Curry, but my shot is slower and I do not jump off the ground enough. What I would like to know is how to make my shot quicker and how to jump higher into my shot so I can shoot over defenders? Also, I bend my knees before and in motion around screens to my shot. The only time I jump higher is off a screen.
First of all, if you have to shoot over a defender, it's usually not a good shot. You should take open shots.
If you want to improve your jumping, first refine your jumping mechanics. Then, use the proper exercises to strengthen your legs. I would contact a certified trainer to figure out what you should do. So many kids get life-long injuries by approaching this the wrong way.
I really want to recreate Stephen Curry''''s shot. I don''''t have a great two- peice shot, but i realize that when i shoot some what like Stephen, i get most of my shots off, but i don''''t have his form, could you help give me any tips.
Hey Joe, much like stephen curry i am way shorter than all my opponents weighing in at 115 lbs. and 5"6 at age 15. Coincidentally i've been attempting to mimic his shot, but i've been told many, many times not to mimic other peoples shots. but because i am built like curry, i thought i would continue doing it anyways. I've been fortunate this summer to have a lot of time on my hands so i've put in atleast 2 hours of nonstop practice a day, i really wish to one day play college hoops but i know i will have to develop curry's shot even more. I have some of it down, but, do u think u could explain step by step what he does in extreme detail, so i can visualise it in my head? i hope this isn't asking too much, but i really love basketball and would appreciate ur time and advice. thanks!
The guide is not just about Curry's shot but there is a section about developing a quick shot. The guide will tell you exactly how to build your shot. Then there is no question about what you need to do. It's all in there. As your following the guide, just keep Curry's quick shot in your mind. In the guide we suggest that you frequently watch videos of great shooters because the form starts to get ingrained in your mind. You can just search for Curry on youtube for that. Good luck.
I just have a few questions about form, 1st off, is it ok that my shooting elbow is more of an upside down 7 than a 90 degree angle? And, should i shoot past my guide hand at my set point? or should have my guide hand, guide the ball all the way through to the follow through? I'm sorry, this is very hard to explain, and also do u have any tips or exercises that can help me from keeping a tense wrist, and having a more floppy and loose wrist, because when ever i try to"reach into the cookie jar" on my shot, my wrist gets all tense. Thanks u guys!
okay im 5'6 and ive been watching stephen currys videos over and over again and i still cant get my shot as quick as his... could you give me some simple workouts that can make my shot as fast as his.... and i was wonder if you could let me no if he shoots fingertips on the ball or with his palm on it?
Im slightly confused about the difference between the shot pocket and the set point. Am i supposed to bend me knees as i bring the ball to the shot pocket and then go straight up from the shot pocket to the finish 'through the set point' (by the set point i mean just before you straighten the elbow)? If so i cant seem to coordinate my body to be moving up as move the ball up from the shot pocket, i only seem to be able to dip into my knees until i reach the set point and then go up. Any advise? Thanks
Joe, I know you say not to imitate another players form, but I've been studing and practicing Stephen's shot for so long (3 months) I forgot my own. Though his shot works for me, my form is identical, but my release is a second slower. Also one thing for everyone who is trying to copy this godly shot. You should try keeping your feet square this is something stephen does not do and you should do it on your own.
Hey Mr. Haefner, I'm 16 and I am 5'10 and I am a good shooter. I use the two-piece release as you could predict, because of watching NBA players, and I have good form. I work for a quick release normally without much vertical jump involved. Is it more than possible to have a two-piece release with a quick release, rather than a good vertical jump, to get shots over tricky defenders? Or is that only accomplishable with a one-piece like Steph Curry's? I can get shots over common defenders, but sometimes, with more avid defenders, I find getting my off-the-dribble shot a little difficult.
VP, my advice would be to try to create smooth transition and make less of a 2-piece shot. So when you bring the ball up, don't pause as long. Try to have it become one fluid motion.
And if you actually break down Stephen Curry's shot frame by frame like my brother Jeff did, you'll notice that he actually has a 2-piece shot, but it's so smooth and quick that in real-speed it looks like a 1-piece shot and that's why we call it a 1-piece shot.
My theory is that the more time you spend in the air before shooting, the more time your defender has to make up ground and defend your shot. So if I'm 5'10 which I am, I'm not worried about my vertical on my jump. I'm trying to jump and shoot as quickly as possible.
And also, you probably don't want to try to shoot over people. There has been studies on NBA teams that show even when NBA players are contested on their shots, their shooting percentage drops by 30% to 40%. So my advice to you would be to take open shots.
Just a quick comment. I have been watching Curry's shot extensively, and I think he gets it off so quick, because he doesn't bring it back as far as many other players. My question is, I can't really see him using a "shot pocket." Maybe it's just so fast I can't see it. Many NBA players don't seem to use a shot pocket either. Why is this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiN3yaeEdHs (Curry shooting)
I have studied Curry''s using low motion video. He does have a shot pocket but it''s so fast you can''t see it. If you watch frame by frame you can see that he brings the ball to the same place on every shot, then brings it up, and goes into his shot. This adds power to his shot and gives him a rhythm. It takes him .5 seconds to get his shot off so it''s very fast. But if you watch in slow motion he always brings the ball to the same shot pock point (loads the ball in the same place), then brings it up to the release point and let''s it fly.
It's essentially all one motion, although the ball slows down and does stop for a few milliseconds at certain points during the release. Bottom line is that he brings the ball to his pelvis area, brings it up, and goes into his release VERY fast. He also starts jumping and uncoiling his body as he brings the ball up. The ball travels the same spot and way (starting at his pelvis) every time. That gives him consistency. You can learn from Curry but each player is different and has to figure out what is comfortable and natural for them.
Sorry to ask so many questions, but I practice my shot almost every day, and have been working on it for a while. I watch videos on youtube and stuff, but I just can't to seem to get it consistent. Tonight at my game, my shot was very good in warmups, ok during the game, and then very bad after. Do you have any ideas? Just so you know, I'm 5'9 and play PG. Thank you.
You are talking about consistency... and that comes from repetitions developing muscle memory. Do more form shooting before you start shooting at a basket... that will help a lot.
PERFECT practice makes perfect.... so when you are practicing your shot, do it at game speed after you have warmed up and done some form shooting.
Trying to be a psychologist here (since I cant see your shot or games) I would say that warm ups are easier since no one is covering you... get into game situations and things happen faster (that's why you have to practice at game speed) This could account for your shooting % going down a little bit.... maybe losing a little focus too? If you are having a little problem during games, get yourself to the free throw line where you can practice your stroke and concentrate on your form.
Shooting has to become second nature so you can do it without worrying about defenders. What are your shooting %s? Free throws - 2 pointer and 3 pointers? Relax when you are playing, don't over think the game or your shot... like I said, you can correct form at the free throw line, you don't have that luxury during the game. Good shooters shoot the ball, they don't worry about making shots, they BELIEVE in themselves - you don't think that Michael Jordan ever worried about missing do you?
As for your shooting getting worse AFTER the game, that could come from relaxing a little bit, losing focus and not as motivated? Now, RELAX a little bit and have some FUN playing the game.
@Ryan the following is a youtube link to the way Stephen Curry shoots, its called the swish method. It's been around for a long time now. Developed by Tom Nordland it's characterized by having 0% power in wrist and upper body (to reduce variables) and all power coming from a quick jump (aka upforce). No power from the wrist equals a wrist flop and requires a pushing motion. Thats what gives the ball a nice flat curve. Also make sure all shots are practiced at game speed. So, in conclusion check out his entire channel and see what you think. This is the exact motion used by Steph Curry and in part by Steve Nash and they have been leaders in the NBA in shooting percentages and freethrow shooting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9s_ukMz0e0&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
Great points on getting a quicker release. It would appear that Steph's shot pocket is below his waist (see 1:37 and 4:00 marks in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMu8DkDDCYc&feature=related ). Actually, I would call this dipping the ball (violation of #4 above). Imagine how quick a shooter Steph would be if he worked on moving his shot pocket up just below his shoulder. I believe he could shave another 400 milliseconds off his release. A good drill to work on this is the catch high/shoot high drill (receive pass at shoulders and exercise not dipping the ball, but going right up into the shot release).
Finally, check out Steph's excellent shot fake at the 6:36 mark. No need to bring the ball way above your head on a shot fake (to make it look more like a shot). Just a quick upward ball movement stopping at the chin or eye and a simultaneous drop of the hips will get a closing defender in the air.
No dipping would certainly make his shot quicker. My only question is does the dip actually make some shooters better. Ray Allen dips the ball as well.
Since rhythm is such a crucial ingredient to successful shooting, I wonder if that dips provides certain rhythm that helps player shoot a higher percentage.
I certainly don't know.
I couldn't agree more on the shot fake, Rick. We actually teach our kids to "Think shot, shot, shot" as mentioned in #7.
As a result, you aggressively get your feet into proper shooting position, the ball instantly goes to your shot pocket, and your eyes get on the rim. You shoot it if you're open and if it's a high-percentage shot for you. If the shot is taken away, immediately go to a counter move.
In a team setting, we will also teach them game situations in which you may not want to shoot even if they make a high percentage of the shots.
We don't even tell them to "fake" the shot. Just by getting to this position and looking you're preparing to shoot the ball is all the fake that you need to get the defenders flying at you. It has even worked great for our players who can't shoot worth a lick from the perimeter.
To me, this is the ultimate shot fake.
You shoot it or you don't.
I have to give credit to Don Kelbick on most of the "shot, shot, shot" philosophy.
I can see how that would work on a lot of teams, Joe. Thinking shot, shot, shot is a great 'triple threat' concept.
Regarding the dip and rhythm, I believe there is some validity to that, but at the sacrifice of introducing additional excessive motion to the shot (and the negative aspects that come with it in terms of time delay, ball stripping exposure, and additional potential for ball path deviations before release.
I think dipping for rhythm is really just a comfortable habit that can be replaced with a new habit (raising the shot pocket). With some deliberate practice, I believe this new habit can become just as comfortable as dipping and even increase shooting percentages. I've had some success working with a few guys to change this habit, but it takes practice and self-motivation.
I know a lot of good shooter's dip the ball, but I can't help believing that they could be even better shooters if they continued to refine their mechanics.
Thanks for all you and Jeff do to educate young players and coaches.
Curry likes to catch the ball moving slightly forward with his knee on his pivot side bent. Same thing when he picks up his dribble - moving slightly forward and that pivot side knee already bent. He has to stay low to do these things. He then likes to pivot into his shot. That's fundamental.
I think the trick that allows him to shoot quickly is the ball position at the time he plants his non-pivot foot on the floor. As he is preparing to set his non-pivot foot on the floor to begin his jump, he is already swinging the ball up from where he caught it or from where he picked up his dribble. He gets a head start on that. He plants his non-pivot foot on the floor and begins his jump when the center of the ball is already up at chin level.
Many players plant their non-pivot foot on the floor to begin their jump when the ball is around their mid section. By getting a head start on that, Curry gets his shooting hand under the ball earlier so he can stroke it earlier, while he is rising up off the floor at a faster speed. That allows him to shoot quicker and get his legs into his shot.
Hey, I truly need help. Before I talk about that, one question. Doesn't Stephen Curry Shoot the ball with even his palm on the ball? It just looks that way...But the problem I am having is because I have HUGE hands(which makes it easy to dunk and dribble) at 6'4", but for some reason, whenever I go to shoot, the ball slips out of my hands alot, going up into my shot the ball isn't secure. If I shoot of my fingertips, the ball goes line drive, But If I shoot off of my palm - I have great arc, rotation, and aim, but I don't have full control of the ball. Here is video of me shooting when I made 26 in a row, 32/33 overall:
First of all, I love what Joe and Jeff do and love this site!
Not just Curry and Ray Allen dip the ball, but EVERY SINGLE GREAT SHOOTER IN THE GAME. Every single one. There is not one who doesn't dip the ball. Go and check for yourself. The only two OK shooters who don't dip are Manu Ginobli (sometimes dips) and JJ Barea. There is not a great shooter who does not dip the ball.
I would like to pick your brain about shooting. I've examined several different techniques to shooting and learned from different instructors. Recently I watched a YouTube video where Jeff Hornacek was assisting Archie Goodwin in his shooting. Hornacek said that instead of jumping to your highest point, release it with your jump (I assume shooting as you jump or as you go up to shot). What is the best way to create a one piece shooting motion and to harness power? Also what's your opinion on Jeff Hornacek's advice?