Shooting is the most important skill in basketball, and every basketball player wants to be a good shooter. If you want to know how to become a better shooter in basketball, you need to develop the proper shooting technique and practice regularly. Muscle memory is just as crucial since the form and technique you develop in practice directly translates to what happens in actual games.
If your goal is knowing how to become a good basketball shooter, you are reading the right basketball piece. This article will answer questions such as “How many basketball shots should I take a day?”, general tips on becoming a better shooter in basketball, and more.
How Many Basketball Shots Should I Take a Day?
Let’s say you have now perfected your own form and technique, and you’re ready to take your shooting practice to the next level. Now, the question is: In practice, how many basketball shots should you take a day?
On average, for someone to develop muscle memory with the proper technique, he should be able to put up 300-500 shots a day. Many of the best scorers like Kobe Bryant were known to pursue scoring and shooting excellence relentlessly that one summer, it was believed he went out and made 100,000 shots. Not shots “taken” or “attempted,” but made shots.
How Many Shots Do NBA Players Take Per Day?
Granted, players with a work ethic like Bryant come once in a generation, perhaps even once in a lifetime. Every player has different quirks. For example, one of the NBA’s most excellent marksmen, Kyle Korver, often went through his pre-game routine shooting for 10-12 minutes on different parts of the court. Korver was shooting them, not like routine practice shots, but in-game motion.
Other legendary shooters like Reggie Miller and Ray Allen never really counted shots. Miller, for one, conservatively estimates that he took 500-700 shots in practice. Allen said he wouldn’t stop until he feels he dominated one shooting area.
Gilbert Arenas, a multiple All-Star whose career peak was cut short because of injuries, made it a goal to shoot 100,000 shots in one offseason. If we say his teams went on a first-round exit for the sake of argument, that makes it about 1,000 shots a day for him from May to September.
According to the Washington Post, already considered the best shooter of all time, consistently takes 2,000 shots a week. That’s right about a minimum of 250 a day, plus a 100 before every game and another 300 shots after each practice during the season.
Of course, these guys are the cream of the crop, the very best shooters to ever step foot in the NBA. So, what about the average NBA player? We can only imagine that they perhaps shot less in practice, but it isn’t out of the question that they would be attempting a couple of hundred shots in practice every day.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Good Basketball Shooter?
When it comes to shooting, there are no shortcuts. To become a good basketball shooter, many in the pros have made adjustments to their shot. And the fact is, it’s always different for everybody.
For instance, John Paxson, considered one of the elite NBA shooters during the Chicago Bulls’ three-peat, began working on his game when he was 10. His dad, Jim, introduced John to the camp of Baumgartner, who has decades of experience as a shooting coach. Paxson recalled that it was the time he was introduced to the fundamentals of shooting, such as proper hand placement and the reasons behind it.
Mike Dunleavey, Jr., who was fortunate enough to have a father who was an NBA player and a coach, said it was his dad Mike Sr. who showed him the shooting ropes. Once Mike Jr. got the fundamentals down, he knew he would be good at it as long as he keeps working. For many like Paxson and Dunleavy, Jr., the foundation was laid at an early age, and elite shooting went on to become a product of their lifelong work.
At the highest level, as previously said, it will require shooters to be a student of the game, to study the great shooters before them and apply what they learned. For Paxson, his heroes were Austin Carr and Rick Mount. Aaron Brooks paid attention to Jamal Crawford, and Doug McDermott highly regarded Larry Bird and Ray Allen.
Interestingly enough, McDermott was not one to count his practice shots as did Dunleavy, Jr. For them, it was more of quality rather than quantity, which makes sense because they were primarily used as floor-spacers and spot-up shooters at the pro level. Brooks referred to how his basketball shooting drills through the years, from shooting pure jump shots to going for set shots in an attempt to save his legs during the season.
Paxson has an interesting but truthful take on how to improve as a shooter. He believed there is no replacement for being in the gym and taking those shots. It improves your mentality as a shooter, knowing that you have worked hard and knocked down those shots.
So, how long does it take to become a good basketball shooter? There is no definite answer because it’s different for everybody. One thing is certain, though: Every great shooter began learning the ropes early and never stopped honing their craft even when they are already in the NBA.
How Long Does It Take to Shoot 500 Shots in Basketball?
Every great NBA shooter shoots up to 500 shots a day in practice, whether they are keeping count or not. How long does it take to shoot that much? If you have a rebounder or a shooting machine, it will be easier to shoot 500 shots in more than an hour.
Here’s another question: Is it advisable to shoot 1,000 shots a day? Probably not. That should take between 3-4 hours, and it would make you more susceptible to injuries. It would also defeat the purpose of developing muscle memory. You’d just get tired along the way, and it may sacrifice the form you’re trying to achieve.
Still, if shooting 1,000 shots a day is one of your goals, how could you achieve it? For starters, it would be better to divide your shooting workouts into two or three. If you have a shooting machine, then working out twice a day is not impossible. If you do not have the best basketball shooting machines at your disposal, you may need to stretch out to three workouts.
How to Become a Good Basketball Shooter?
Are shooters born or made? That has been an ageless question in this sport. But, while some shooters are fortunate enough to be around the game since the day they are born (like Steph Curry and Mike Dunleavy, Jr.), that should not undervalue the amount of work they put in.
Here are the key attributes to becoming a good basketball shooter:
1. Hardworking and Committed
To have confidence in your abilities as a shooter, you have to get it from the fact that you know you are working harder than the next guy. We always hear that shooters always believe that the next one goes in. That’s because of the amount of hard work they put in, and they constantly strive to be the best.
When shooters are just starting, they will begin at a point where they simply put up shots aimlessly. However, as the competition intensifies, practice will involve being analytical of your own shots and dissecting their form.
They will ask questions such as Why is my shot short, flat, or flailing to the right or left? Is the placement of my hand right, or am I bending my legs enough? The players who purposely take the time and actually pay attention to small details become great shooters.
3. Never Takes the Foot off the Gas Pedal
This quality separates the good from the greats. Letting off the gas pedal leads to mediocrity, but the greatest shooters always find ways to improve. So, if you want to be a great shooter, make sure all of the areas of the floor are your favorites. Be sure that you’re able to catch and shoot, spot up, or run through screens. It takes time, but never let up and be satisfied. Continue working.
4. Smart with the Shot Selection
Let’s be honest here. The shot-makers in the mold of Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant are literally one in a million. That means not anybody has the green light to do whatever they want with a basketball.
As a shooter, how would you factor this in your style of play? Well, shot selection is critical. If it’s a shot that you have not practiced or you’re something you’re not comfortable with, why take it? If it’s a shot that deviates you from your form and technique, there is really no point in taking them.
Every great shooter goes through a slump. Therefore, great shooters are always tough-minded, in the sense that they never allow these dry spells to take away what they do best– SHOOT!
How to Improve Your Basketball Shooting Skills?
As much as we like to talk about the mental aspect of the game– confidence, tough-mindedness, attention to detail– it all stems from repetition and good, old-fashioned hard work.
Here are some tips to improve your basketball shooting skills:
1. Start near the basket
Today, many young players see Steph Curry or Damian Lillard pull off from the Logo and start to emulate them. Uh-uh! The truth is, Steph and Dame are only able to do the things that they do because they do what’s called form shooting.
Form shooting is one of the basketball shooting drills for beginners to ensure consistent shooting form. You cannot do the proper hand placement, foot placement, and shoulder width if you start shooting immediately from afar. Shooting near the basket builds your range gradually and helps you identify what’s wrong with your shot as you progress.
2. Focus on the front rim
A lot of young players today make the mistake of focusing on the ball as they shoot. That’s not the way to do it. The goal is the rim, and the key to making a shot is to focus on the front rim and direct the ball through it.
3. Get your grip right
In holding a basketball, it may all come down to the right (and wrong) grip. The fingers should be wide apart and the ball should not touch any part of the palm.
4. Use your legs
The legs are an underrated body part used for shooting the basketball. Generating an upforce through the legs increases the strength of your shot without straining your arms. This is especially useful when you’re shooting far from the basket, like in the three-point area.
5. Hold that follow-through
When you shoot, be sure that you keep your shooting motion up and not end it early. If you terminate your follow-through too early, it will affect your concentration and accuracy. To do this, keep your wrists relaxed, keep your fingers pointed at the rim, and hold it there until it hits the target.
6. Build Endurance
We often hear the word “relentless” when describing Jordan, Kobe, or Larry Bird. That’s because shooting takes a lot of energy. That is why it’s important to practice shooting until you make enough “perfect” shots in a single shooting session.
When fatigued, you will feel the need to alter your shot. Perhaps, you may be shooting more from your arms instead of bending your knees to generate that upforce. You have to persist through this and aim to keep your shooting mechanics even if you’re tired. This will improve your muscle memory and your shot will be unbreakable even during exhausting situations.
Wrapping Things Up: How Many Basketball Shots Should I Take a Day?
Have you ever had someone ask you what is a shooter in basketball? Well, if you said a shooter is someone who could consistently make shots from whichever distance, you would be correct.
As simple as that sounds, it actually takes so much hard work to become a good shooter and potentially become a great one. Many young shooters would like to know how many basketball shots should I take a day, and there really is no correct answer. On average, it takes real hard work and determination to take 300-500 shots a day as every great NBA shooter would. Players such as Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, and Reggie Miller were said to shoot 500-1000 shots, and that alone takes up to four hours!
To be a good shooter, you must develop the mental fortitude to go along with the actual shooting skills. You should be meticulous, not settle with mediocrity, and have that “the next shot goes in” mentality. Of course, to develop unshakeable confidence, there is no shortcut to practice and repetition. Thus, if you want the secret on how to become a better shooter in basketball, go to the gym, practice, and then practice some more.