How to Break Bad Shooting Habits and Keep Your GUIDE HAND Quiet
The most common shooting flaw with young players is they move their guide hand.
In particular, players often flick the ball with their thumb, as shown in the picture. This is also known as “thumbing the ball”.
Moving your guide will affect the flight of the ball – causing you to miss left or right. It can also create “side spin”… instead of soft and smooth “back spin” when you shoot.
How Do You Break This Habit?
To break this bad habit, you must develop new muscle memory by taking a few thousand shots with the CORRECT TECHNIQUE.
A few thousand correct repetitions create new muscle memory and allow you to break the habit.
This can be a really tough habit to break because you have to stay really focused for thousands of repetitions.
If you have ever tried to break this habit you know how difficult it can be!!
I have found the easiest and most effective way to break this habit is to practice with the J-strap.
The J-strap forces you to keep your guide hand still so you avoid slipping back to your old technique. And allows you to develop new muscle memory faster.
Step-by-Step Process to Keep Your Guide Hand Quiet
Here’s a step by step process that will break this bad shooting habit and keep your guide hand quiet...
Step 1 – Put on the J-strap as explained in this video:
Step 2 – Shoot 50 shots away from the basket. You can shoot to a spot on the wall or a line on the floor. Focus on perfect technique for every shot. Take your time. Make sure you have good foot positions, correct grip, etc.
Focus on shooting straight and holding your follow through with perfect technique.
Step 3 – Shooting 50 form shots at the basket. Take your time, shooting about 4 feet from the basket.
Step 4 – Shoot 50-100 mid-range shots. Take 50-100 shots slowly moving away from the basket...
Start 8 feet from the basket. Take 10-20 shots. If you make at least 60% you can move back to one foot (so you now are shooting 9 feet from the basket). Repeat the process and continue moving back one foot at a time until you complete 50-100 shots.
Step 5 – Go home and rest. Return to the gym the following day. Repeat the process (step 1 -4) for one week.
After one week you should have taken over 1000 shots with correct technique… keeping your guide hand still.
Repeat the process above WITHOUT the J-strap.
After each shot, check to make sure your guide hand does not move. Make sure the thumb on your guide hand is pointing back towards your head. If it is, that means your guide hand stayed quiet! Good job!
As shown in the picture to the right, your guide hand stays to the side and does not influence the flight of the ball.
Continue shooting. Take your time. Make sure each rep is perfect.
If possible, film yourself shooting to make sure your guide hand is quiet.
CoachesEye has a great app that lets you analyze your shot in slow motion. (Be sure to use 60 FPS so you can see your hand movement clearly.)
If you find your guide hand is still moving, put the J-strap back on and repeat the process from week 1.
The solution to breaking a habit is simple. Create a new habit by taking thousands of repetitions the new way.
Unfortunately it is much easier said than done!
We found the process above is a surefire way to get results. Give it a try and let us know what you think.