How to be quicker without rushing

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I have to admit that it took me a LONG time to develop a quick release. Years.

While I may not have understood exactly how important Split Seconds are at that time, it’s not like I didn’t realize that being quicker would help my game. So why did it take me so long?

Every time I tried to speed up my release, I felt like I was RUSHING my shot.

I’m sure you know that feeling. When you try to do something a little quicker than you’re used to, instead of speeding up you become clumsy, lose all smoothness, and paradoxically, often execute slower.

I wanted to get quicker, but every time I tried, I felt like I rushed my shot. Rushing never works for a jumpshot…so I was stuck. Maybe this is where you are at now?

LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

The reason it took me years to develop a quick release shot isn’t because it’s so difficult. In fact, the technique for a shot that takes .45 seconds to release is actually easier, more straight forward than the technique a poor shooter uses while taking 1.2 seconds to catch and release. There are less moving parts and less room for error with a more time-efficient shot.

However, in order to execute a .45 second shot, you have to be PREPARED ahead of time. There are certain key things you need to do, at key moments during your release. None of the coaches or players I knew where able to tell me what these key things are…so I remained stuck in the SLOW or RUSHED trap.

It took me years to figure out these KEYS to being prepared. By sharing what I learned with you, I am going to dramatically shorten your learning curve and give you a chance to be a far better player than I ever was.

 

EXECUTE QUICKER WITHOUT RUSHING

Example 1

Imagine being told that a forest fire is about to destroy your community and that you have 10 minutes to remove all of your belongings.  What would this look and feel like?

Chaos right? You’d be running around frantically trying to grab whatever you can. The chances are you’d only be able to take a small portion of your belongings. Because you were in such a RUSH, you would almost certainly forget many of the most important steps. Did you get your passport, favourite childhood pictures, laptop, phone..etc?

Example 2

Now imagine instead that you were told last week about the forest fire burning in a neighbouring community. While it posed no immediate danger to your home, there was a chance that, if not contained, the fire could eventually reach your home and you would have to evacuate.

So you PREPARED. You did all the little things to make sure you were ready. Your stuff was in boxes, labelled and sorted according to priority, with the most important stuff closest to the door.

The call comes in. You have 5 minutes to leave your home. Go!

What does this look and feel like? It’s pretty different than Example 1 isn’t it?

Even though you only have HALF THE TIME TO EXECUTE, you will not be nearly as RUSHED…because you were totally PREPARED ahead of time!

This is exactly how it works for developing a quick release shot.  If you are totally prepared ahead of time, you will able to smoothly execute in half the time, without feeling rushed.

 

HERE’S WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO #$%^! UP

You still with me? It’s all pretty straight forward so far. Prepare ahead of time in order to execute quicker without feeling rushed.

The next part is even easier…but it’s also where you will probably mess up!

You see, being properly prepared is all about the little details, each of them so simple that you will likely make the mistake of not realizing their importance.

And it’s hard for me to communicate the importance in written words here. After all, I can’t SHOUT at you to let you know that “YOU’RE NOT IMMEDIATELY FULLY COCKING YOUR WRIST AND THIS IS KILLING YOUR QUICK RELEASE”.

All I can do is write down what really matters and hope you understand that every point on here is a KEY to being prepared. Without it, you will be stuck in the SLOW or RUSH trap forever…so really pay attention.

 

KEYS TO BEING PREPARED

PHASE 1 Just before the ball arrives. -0.01 sec

1 Get into an athletic stance before you catch the ball. Energy is now already stored in the ankles, knees and hips. Hands are in the correct position before the ball arrives.

PHASE 2  Catch to Set Position. 0.00 to 0.32 sec


2(a) Catch the pass with correct hand position, bring your wrist back so that it is 100% flexed.  Your shooting elbow is directly under the basketball.  Energy is now already stored in the wrist.


2(b) Bring the ball immediately to your set position in one fluid, upward motion.  (Use the ball’s momentum from the pass to load the wrist and to come directly to set position without stopping or moving the ball downwards.)

PHASE 3 Set Position to Shot Release. 0.32 to 0.47 sec

3.Without any need to adjust or pause at set position, you can immediately use the energy stored in your legs and wrist to explode into your shot.

Key Elements: Having your ankles bent, proper hand position and an actively loaded wrist immediately upon catching the ball is the most important habit to create for SPLIT SECOND SHOOTING. It’s this stored energy that allows you to immediately deliver a smooth, quick and accurate shot, without feeling rushed.

The science behind what makes Lebron the best in the game.

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Most people would agree that Lebron James is the best player in the game today…but have you ever thought about what makes him so great?

At first glance it might seem like his superior strength and explosiveness, his general athleticism, are what make him the best. The guy is a physical specimen.

However, when you break down the little things he does on the court, like the guys from ESPN’s sports science have done in this video, you see that there’s a lot more subtlety to Lebron’s game than his 40+ inch vertical.

Jumpshot

For example, take Lebron’s jump shot. Many fans watch him and think he is shooting over the defender…but that’s not really true.

The Sports Science guys measured the release point of Lebron’s jump shot at 9 feet. There isn’t a player in the league that wouldn’t be able to block his shot…if they could get there in TIME.

That’s the KEY! Even Lebron, for all his incredible athleticism, is only able to EXECUTE because he has habits that make him a Split Second quicker than his opponents.

Yes, Lebron’s explosive first step and high release point give him an extra few hundredths of a second to execute his move than you or I might have…but if he had sloppy, time wasting habits, he wouldn’t be half the player he is today.

Passing

Also notice how ESPN is breaking down Lebron’s passing. They calculate that he can get off a pass in 0.18 seconds.

What would happen if Lebron didn’t have his hands/wrist/body ready to pass and it took him .40 seconds to pass instead? He’d still have the same explosiveness and vertical but he wouldn’t be the same player that he is today.  I guarantee you he wouldn’t be averaging the 7 plus assists/game that he is now.

How would you do as Lebron’s team-mate?

ESPN measures that it takes less than 8/10ths of a second for Lebron to complete a cross court pass to a shooter on the wing. This doesn’t leave a defender in weak-side help position very much time to close out on the shooter. If Lebron had a slower release and delivery on his passes, how many fewer opportunities would his team-mates get each game?

If Lebron were passing to YOU spotting up on the weak-side, would you get your shot off?

Ray Allen is one of the best shooters in the game.  He can catch and release the ball in less than 4/10ths of a second.  When you add it all up you realize that the ball can go from Lebron’s hand, all the way across the court (0.80 sec) where Ray Allen catches and releases (0.40 sec) a shot in about 1.2 seconds!

I work with players (even some at the university level) who have inefficient shooting habits so that it takes them more than 1.2 seconds  just to catch and release a shot.

Can you see the difference that these Split Seconds make? Differences in where help side defence can set up.  Differences in the number of good shooting opportunities a player will get in a game.