Beginner Shooting Progressions For All Ages

By Don Kelbick

QUESTION:

What is the best way to have a kid progress shooting from a low position around the stomach or chest (i.e. push shot) to a position in which the ball is set higher with the arms/hands?

ANSWER:

A lot depends on how old the kid is and whether he can comfortably reach the basket or not. The method I use is called “by the numbers.”

Start by sitting in a chair.

#1 – Hold the ball in front of you, by the seams, in the fingertips of the shooting hand.

#2 – Turn the ball and put it into a shooting tee. Hand under the ball, on the fingerpads, in the proper shooting position.

#3 – Shoot the ball as high in the air as possible while holding the follow through. The object is to have the ball return directly back into the shooting hand without having to move your hand to catch it. The only way to do that is to shoot it straight up.

Eventually, I will add a new #3, which is stand up (shooting the ball becomes # 4). Eventually, you will synchronize the body motion and the hand motion. After that happens, I will add the guide hand.

It is important to remember that it takes 3 times longer to break an old habit than to build a new habit. When frustrated or challenged, people invariably revert to what is comfortable to them, which is the old habit, so it will take a lot of repetitions. By removing the basket as an objective, players are more motivated to do the reps.

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