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10 Tips to Improve the Mental Side of Shooting



Being a great shooter can change your life. Great shooters have a much better chance to make the team, become a star, get a scholarship or even play professional basketball.

Here are 10 mental concepts and techniques that will help any player become a better shooter and make more shots, in any situation, in any game.

Go beyond the physical fundamentals to get into the "zone" like all great shooters do:

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Bob Knight's 3-on-3 Block Out Drill



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The Man Who Doesn't Miss Shots



Dave Hopla isn't impressed with himself. But he sees kids increasingly becoming more and more distracted, and he knows that his incredible shooting ability could go unmatched for a long time.
"As much time as kids spend playing video games," Hopla said, "if they spent that time playing the actual game, they'd be on the video game."

He may sound a little irritated, but this is one 53-year old that young basketball players should pay attention to. It's a safe bet that nobody on the planet can shoot a basketball better than Dave Hopla. And he has proof.

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One-on-One-on-One




One of the most comprehensive drills around, one-on-one works on every facet of a player’s game, as well as executing within a highly competitive atmosphere. This works especially well on developing an offensive player’s ingenuity, as he has to attempt to score against two defenders.


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The History of the Free Throw




In 1891, while preparing to teach a gym class at the YMCA in Springfield, Mass., James Naismith came up with a game that was non-violent and a welcome distraction for kids stuck inside during the frigid New England winters. Naismith wrote up 13 rules for his game, and called it basket ball.

The free throw was not mentioned among the original 13 rules. In fact, the closest thing was rule No. 7, which stated "If either side makes consecutive fouls it shall count a goal for the opponents."
After a little bit of tweaking, the free throw as we know it today was put into place--more than 115 years ago.
According to Naismith's book, "Basketball: Its Origin and Development," the original penalty for committing a foul was tweaked to "if three fouls were committed by one team without the other team having committed a foul, the team that was fouled should receive one point."

Of course, considering all baskets were one point back then, it proved to be a serious offense to foul a player. Soon after, Naismith recognized that it was too severe of a penalty, and adjusted it so that all field goals were three points, and all fouls were an automatic one point.

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Fundamentals of the Free Throw

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Arrogance Battle 2 - NO CHOICE!



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3 Ways to Make More 3-Point Shots



Lots of players would like to be able to increase their shooting range and become a good 3-point shooter. We all know of examples of players, like Robert Horry, who are recruited to join teams mostly because of their ability to make 3-point shots. "Big Shot Rob" has seven--that's right, seven--NBA championship rings. Shooters with deep range have helped teams on every level win championships.

Coaches like Rick Pitino used the 3-point shot to revolutionize the game and propel his coaching career. Pitino went from Providence College, a mid-level NCAA Division I program, to the University of Kentucky, one of the best programs in the country. Pitino ultimately made it to the NBA as head coach of the Boston Celtics.
Here are three incredibly simple drills and concepts that can help any player extend their shooting range and add to their scoring arsenal.

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The Fatigue Free Throws Drill


As we all know, free throws are an important fundamental and must be practiced every day. Free throws can be--and very often are--the difference between a team winning and a team losing.

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Bob Knight's 2-on-1 Rebounding Drill



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The Science Behind Your Free Throws



As a both basketball coach and student of behavioral science for the last 30 years, I can attest that there is plenty of scientific and philosophical research as well real world testing that can show any player how to perform better "under pressure."
From kids playing AAU summer league games to the NCAA Tournament and the NBA playoffs, someone will take a free throw that will be a factor in their team winning or losing the basketball game. This player may have practiced hundreds of free throws and be considered a good shooter, but none of that matters now. Muscles tighten up, the player tries to breathe and follow a three-bounce ritual. The player tries to focus and concentrate on making the shot. The shot goes up... it's short and to the right. The player missed.
Some will say the player choked. But why does this happen? This player makes lots of free throws in practice all the time! Fortunately this scenario is both predictable and correctable.
Most importantly, our brain is already pre-wired to do this if we allow it to happen. Mastering a physical activity like shooting free throws occurs when the automated subconscious processes of the brain take over. When the shooter attempts to "slow down to focus and concentrate" or control these automated processes, we actually shut down our "autopilot" and engage our "manual" conscious part of the brain, which is poorly equipped to make the shot while "under pressure."

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6 Tips For Better Perimeter Defense



Defense is 90 percent heart and 10 percent skill, and your success is determined by your will and commitment to the task. That being said, there are a few teaching points to remember when playing perimeter defense on the ball:

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Bob Knight's Dribble Circle Drill

Learn how Bob Knight works on ball handling, stamina and toughness in one easy-to-learn drill.

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2 Ways to Maximize Training Time


Time is a valuable commodity. Unfortunately, not every athlete can afford to spend countless hours in the gym working on their game. While some athletes are blessed with the opportunity to focus on the game of basketball while their parents pay the bills, many players don't have the choice but to have a job in the summer or even work year round.
Either way, whether you have an hour a day to spend in the gym or four hours, the same challenge always remains: how do you get the most out of your time?

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