Dec 20, 2023

The best feeling is feeling like you've made a difference for someone.

Yesterday, I was on call with a collegiate athlete that was a long-time student of mine. The first time I met her, I knew right away that she was already an absolute bucket. She's a prolific scorer at all three levels. (And she shoots every day.)

She recently was voted as conference player of the week after a 27-point and 24-point performance, respectively. When I asked her what she felt was working with her shot, she said she made a small adjustment in lifting the ball from the center of her body, rather than directly up her right hip. This is something that we'd never even worked on together, which I LOVE.

You see, of the many reasons I urge athletes to shoot every day, this is the BIGGEST ONE. There's no way that this athlete would have been able to feel her shot out and experience such a drastic change had she not already learned how to study herself.

Today, I'm going to break down the kinesthetic importance of self-study, and I'll share with you an example of the simple and "sticky" language that I use with my athletes that helps them understand their shot, identify weaknesses, and tweak their own shot long after our time together.




  • the study of the mechanics of body movements

Shooting is a combination of a gross motor skill and a fine motor skill.

This means that to make shots, we have to use the larger muscles in our legs, trunk, torso, and arms in perfect synchronization with the teeny tiny muscles in our hands and fingers. And to add even more to the already busy party, each of these things must coordinated perform in real-time with key triggers from our eyes. 

Phew. There's a lot going on there.

As our athletes grow, get stronger, and add to their bag, their musculature naturally changes and develops in order to accommodate for new movements and strength. Because of the size of these muscles, they change rapidly.

If we don't shoot every day, we cannot accommodate those changes.

For very few athletes, that biomuscular memory comes naturally. These are the annoying ones who can just show up after not shooting for long periods of time and immediately find their shot. (I am not one of those lucky ones. I have to shoot every day or my shot is, in a word, broke.)

For most athletes, our muscular memory is more like the memory of a goldfish. If we don't constantly remind our bodies of the feeling, it will forget. 

This brings me to my next point--using "sticky" language. We want our teaching points to be easy to understand, and hard to forget.

The example I'll use today will hopefully clear up some confusion on a word that many of us have used when talking about shooting: "SET".

Which of these would you consider to be the SET point?

There are schools of thought on both, and I've heard it both ways. Here's how I've avoided the inevitable confusion:

I like to use the analogy of a car for this one. In the most powerful cars, the most powerful drivers rev their engines to the START.

Our shot doesn't START in our SET, it STARTS down lower-- where we generate our power.

If we want more power, we rev our engines a little deeper to get to our START. If we don't need so much, we don't rev so much. (This is also the language I like to use in light of what many of us know as the "DIP" for power.)

We need to take care of our shot like we need to take care of our engines. If we don't tune it up by shooting every day, it will not perform the way we want it to.

Simplify and clarify language. The game is evolving. We must evolve with it.

It's empowering to feel like something you've taught is resonating. My hope is that this will help you teach and impact too.

Until next week. :)

Shooters Shoot.