There’s a lot to go over in looking at Delilah’s shot. We have to factor some of the tendencies that come along with basketball/softball players trying to correct a jumpshot. We also have to factor in that many girls do push the ball from the area between their hips and chest – very natural feeling and a strong shot – but what ends up happening is the arc of the ball suffers, as does the shooter’s ability to get the ball over taller players. The shot on the left here was taken in April – you see the two-handedness of the shot. The one in the middle shows a photo from last week, and how the two-handed shot is still not out of the muscle memory. The one on the far right shows perfect set up with one exception – and this could be the biggest issue for D – the legs fully supporting this shot.
The reason why stance is such a major factor is evident in the next set of shots. You’ll see the leaning and pushing forward of the ball and how the body moves on an upward and jumping forward diagonal line, which to a young player makes sense because the hoops is above and in front. But in order to be a consistent, steady, balanced, still shooter who can get OVER other players without getting their shot blocked, Delilah is going to need to get her weight, jump and land to take place within the green dots, far right – and try to stay along the black hook like lines with your back and hands. You’ll see the markings at the bottom of F – this is where I think the root of the problem lies.
Old habits die hard, particularly for softball/baseball players who often get in this knock-kneed, twisted or crooked foot/toe position. D’s stance in too wide, which causes the knees to knock. All these movements are related. When knees knock either the elbow dips out if it’s not already out, then the guide hand tries to compensate, and sometimes the head will move, too. Shot H shows how D is going on that diagonal line again, leaning toward the balance, reducing her arch and chances at making the shot. She had a previous shot blocked, but somehow got this shot off.
The following shows the potential of the shot, but the old habits are still appearing and it’s basically up to the shooter to aggressively go at each bad habit in sets of 10, then once the habit is eradicated, take the second problem area. I also think that there are simple stance drills and also a hand drill that I’d like to show Delilah in person and go over with her dad, so that she can get this alignment issue taken care of in the same way David fixed a good portion of his shot with simple alignment drills (David is also a baseball player). SHOT I shows that D understands shooting from her shoulder as she did during the game action shot above is incorrect. The rub is that it will take thousands of reps from close range to get the mind to forget the old (SHOT G) and bring in the new (SHOT I). J, K and L also show the promise. The two areas that are circled are what I feel are the biggest areas of concern – the stance and the release. The ball should not go back after it’s shot. See how D’s hand is under and ahead of the ball – that’s incorrect and what’s causing the lack of control of the ball. The hand has to be behind and under the ball. There’s also a little bit of guide-hand flicking with the thumb that at the last second can take a perfectly good shot and turn it from top spin to side spin, which will send shots all over the gym. D and her dad are welcome to stop by so we can take 30 minutes to put in specific drills that should correct these areas. Once these two major areas are corrected by regular, documented practice, then we can move on to improving other areas and increasing accuracy. I do think Shot L shows the potential of D’s shot and also is clear evidence of her progress.