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How to Overcome Shooting Slumps
No matter how much you practice or how good of a shooter you usually are, there will be times when you find that you are having trouble making your shots. Left untreated or reacted to wrongly, these slumps can turn into major confidence busters and can distract you so much that you are not effective in other aspects of the game either.
What can you do about slumps during games?
During games, you need to depend on your coach to guide you through a tough shooting night.
If the coach directs you to keep taking the open shot, then that's what you should do. Realize that you can contribute to your team's success in more ways than making baskets, and keep trying your best. That attitude is all that your coach and team can expect from you.
There are many stories about players who have had terrible results for a whole half, only to make almost every shot during the second half, ending up at 50% or higher for the night! Other players can go into the tank after only two or three misses, passing up open shots or tensing up so much that their shot gets uglier and uglier along with their attitude. If you can learn to depend on your coach, you stand a much better chance of ending up in the first group.
How do you work your way out of slumps?
99% of the time, shooting slumps are completely MENTAL.
On rare occasions, the slump can be caused by a mechanical flaw in your shooting motion. If that's the case, then having someone videotape you will help you to pinpoint your issue. In conjunction with working with a knowledgeable coach, this should put you back on the right track pretty quickly.
Here are 4 ways to break you out of MENTAL shooting slumps:
We've used these techniques over and over to break kids out of shooting slumps that, left untreated, could have become season-long problems.
- DON'T HESITATE!
When you catch the ball, immediately go into your shot motion without hesitating. Sometimes a fast-break jump-shot or a quick shot are the ones that you make. If you get in your shot motion quick enough, you won't have time to think. Don't rush; just catch and shoot immediately.
The best place to deal with a slump is in a practice setting. Without the pressure of a competition, you can focus your energy and attention on getting out of your slump. The best way to deal with a slump during a practice session is to groove your shot with form shooting close to the basket. This will rebuild your confidence and establish a positive momentum in your attitude and confidence. Move back a little at a time as you meet with consistent success at each increasing distance. Of course, you can also use form shooting during half-time of a game to try to get yourself out of a slump. Your time, however, is pretty limited.
- TRY THIS UNIQUE TRICK THAT CLEARS YOUR MIND.
If you have a really bad slump that you just can't bust out of, try this technique…
This unique process erases the "negative shooting memories" in your mind and replaces them with good ones. This can break you out of even the WORST shooting slumps!
Step 1 - Shoot 5 shots about 8 feet from the basket.
Step 2 - Now shoot with your left hand (or weak hand), 5 shots.
Step 3 - Go to the free throw line. Again, shoot with your left hand (or weak hand), 5 shots.
Step 4 - Step back behind the 3-point line. Shoot 5 shots with your weak hand.
Step 5 - Go to half-court. Shoot 5 shots with your strong hand.
Step 6 - Stand on one leg. Shoot 5 shots with your strong hand. Concentrate! Try to make the shots.
Step 7 - Close one eye, while standing on one leg. Shoot 5 shots with your strong hand. You probably won't touch the rim, but that's ok, keep trying to make it.
Step 8 - Now switch to your weak hand. Close one eye, while standing on one leg. Shoot 5 shots. Seriously try to make it. Do your absolute BEST to make the shot. Concentrate!
Step 9 - Now, go into your shooting range and shoot some mid-range jump shots with your right hand. Don't worry if you make any shots. That's not important. Just shoot, don't think. The shot should feel really easy for you now.
Stroke some nice easy shots for a while. If you have more range, step back a little bit and stroke a few more shots.
Every time you shoot, say under your breath, "Nice shot. I can do better." Don't worry about making the shot. Tell yourself that it doesn't matter.
You have probably already snapped yourself out of your slump. Those "negative memories" have now faded. Have fun with your shot and just shoot, don't think.
If you start slipping back into your slump, try this routine again. Usually, one routine will fix the problem. If not, two or three times will most certainly do the trick.
People watching might think you're crazy, but this silly mental compression trick can break you out of even the worst shooting slump.
Keep a watch on your attitude as you work your way through slumps. If you find yourself muttering negative comments after misses, counter that with some positive phrases and make it a point to say them after every shot, make or miss. Remember that you will be a more accurate shooter if you are relaxed. If you are down on yourself, you are certainly not relaxed and not even heading in that direction.
Watch your attitude toward teammates, too. If you encourage your teammates through their shooting struggles, you will be building a team camaraderie that will help you if you run into a rough night.