Three Components Of A Quick Release
How Stephen Curry & Melissa Dixon
Use Them To Their Advantage
Does It Matter?
Does having a quick release really matter? Ask any defender and their response to that question is a resounding YES!
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Melissa Dixon of the Iowa Hawkeyes are the best two examples of players with quick shots. In fact, you won’t find two quicker shooters in today’s game.
All they need is a small opening and their shot is off. Why? They have efficient shooting strokes. From the moment they catch the ball on up to the release point, there is little to no wasted movement. In the blink of an eye the ball is gone!
They Are Different
So many young players today want a “Stephen Curry” shot. I hear it all the time. All you have to do is watch him play to realize there is something unique about the way he shoots. He’s unlike the typical NBA or College player when it comes to shooting mechanics.
Same can be said for Melissa Dixon. Take one look at her shot and instantly you know it’s special. The quickness of her release and the efficiency in which she catches and shoots is amazing! If she played on national TV like Curry, players would be saying they want a “Melissa Dixon” shot.
It’s All About Technique
Neither Curry nor Dixon is the most gifted athlete in their sport. They can’t out run, out quick, or out jump the majority of players they go up against plus they’re average in height.
So, how do they do it?
It’s all about technique! They each possess a shot that allows for a quick & smooth release. Efficiency throughout the shooting process is their secret!
What kind of technique do they have? It’s a One Motion or one-piece shot. Each has their own way of doing it, but after breaking down their mechanics, it’s easy to see they share a common trait which is: non-stop movement up the shot line from start to finish.
1. READY POSITION - This is the first component of a quick release. It's what starts the process and far too many shooters overlook its importance ... much to their detriment. Three factors come into play:
Mental preparation prior to the arrival of the ball
Body in a good athletic position with knees flexed
Hands up ready to catch the pass
A good Ready Position enables a player to quickly arrive at SET with good balance. Standing upright takes longer and delaying even a few tenths of second matters greatly when trying to get the shot off. Curry and Dixon are always ready to shoot. Body language says it all. Their minds are engaged and their bodies are positioned well to receive the pass.
2. QUICKLY GETTING TO SET - After catching the pass, players must quickly get to SET. Shooters anticipate the pass and once the ball arrives, with as little movement as possible, they're at SET (the foundation of the shot) and into their shooting motion. The quicker you get to SET; the quicker you can shoot. How to arrive at SET is an article unto itself, but suffice it to say ... Curry and Dixon do it extremely well!
3. SHOOTING MOTION - The final component is the shooting motion itself. There is much debate on which technique is best and that decision is entirely up to you.
As stated earlier, Curry and Dixon have One Motion shots. Their release is what sets them apart from all others. Both have a quick, smooth, and very efficient shooting process from start to finish. They arrive at SET and immediately take the ball on a path that is UP and AT the basket vs. looping the ball up & back before starting the ball towards the basket ... valuable time is lost here!
S-Curve (Shooting Curve)
An S-Curve shows the ball path as seen from the shooting hand side. It determines how efficient the shooting motion is. It locates areas where momentum slows and where time is lost.
Below are the S-Curves of Stephen Curry and Melissa Dixon. Both are very efficient and extremely quick, but vary slightly.
The S-CURVE begins at SET and ends at the RELEASE POINT
1. Ball starts near waist level (SET)
2. Travels non-stop up the shot line
1. Ball starts at chest level (SET)
2. Travels non-stop up the shot line
You can see that Dixon's S-Curve is the more efficient of the two because Curry starts the ball a little lower at SET and then loops the ball up & back ever so slightly. Dixon's ball takes the most direct path to the basket.
Curry's release was timed at .4 seconds by Sports Science (average NBA release time is .54 seconds). That means Curry's ball travels 12' in the air before the average NBA player ever gets the ball out of his hand ... amazing!
It would be interesting to have Sports Science test Melissa! Based on her S-Curve and watching game footage of both, I believe she has a quicker release time than Curry. Remember, the more efficient the S-Curve; the quicker the release.
Players today would do well to improve the efficiency of their shooting stroke. Tenths of seconds really do matter ... just look at Stephen Curry and Melissa Dixon as testaments to what a quick release can accomplish.
The S-Curve tells the whole story of what takes place during the shooting motion. Look for areas in your own S-Curve where momentum slows and valuable time ticks away.
We can't all be exactly like Curry or Dixon, but if you incorporate the three principles found in their techniques, you too can have a Quick Release!
Related Pages & Helpful Resources
One Motion Shooting Videos
The Quickest & Most Accurate Shooting Release in College Basketball - Melissa Dixon Shooting Technique
What do you think? Leave your comments below...