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The Process of Learning How to Create Your Own Shot

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The other night I was watching a game and the commentators kept discussing how certain players simply couldn't create their own shot or couldn't create a shot for themselves.

When a commentator talks about creating your own shot he or she is referring to the ability that a player has to create a shot while being closely guarded.

A good reference is to go see a game of 7 year olds play ball. When one of them is guarded they are helpless. We don't want you to be helpless.

I thought a lot about this and thought I would share a few ideas on how this can learned.

#1 Practice

This sounds so simple and it is. No matter what anyone tells you practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

You have to practice the right way for good habits to form. It isn't simply standing around the foul line and bouncing the ball slowly and then shooting it. When you practice you have to literally practice game situations. Work up a sweat and shoot jump shots off the dribble and try hard to simulate what the shot is realistically going to be like during a game.

#2 Correct Drills

One drill I learned at an early age was shooting a ball off a quick dribble. This is done by taking the ball in either hand and making a quick move toward the basket and going up for a shot immediately off a bounce. It is effective because if the dribble is hard enough the defender believes you are going to continue on a drive to the basket. Often they are caught on their heels as you go up for your jump shot. This isn't easy and needs to be practiced with both hands. It will feel awkward at first but worth it down the road. Not a lot of players can do this correctly.

A drill that is along the same lines is to continually practice the triple threat position and focusing on shooting out of that position. Imagine you are playing in a game and you have driven by your man for a lay up a couple of times. The next time down you get the ball and go to drive past him only to pull up off the dribble and score on a short jumper. Now he's lost. You get the ball next time and get in position and jab step to create space only to shoot right off that front foot. You have him right where you want him.

This is another move that must be practiced correctly. Simply take the ball and get in the triple threat and make sure you take a controlled hard step with your lead foot toward the basket. If you are left handed it would be your left foot or right handed it would be your right foot. Once your foot plants you are ready to shoot the jump shot. By taking a hard jab step you will create space with your defender.

These 3 moves alone got me a lot of points and a lot of angry defenders. Remember that if you jab and the defender doesn't move, just go around him. If you jab and he doesn't move, you can take two hard dribbles and shoot. Or if you jab and he bags up then just shoot it over him. These must be practiced over and over until they become a good solid habit.

#3 Teammates

You have players on your team that will help you. A player that can create his own shot is invaluable to his teammates. When that player gets the ball it opens up everything for everybody. When Michael Jordan got the ball the game nearly stopped. The entire defense had to focus on him and stopping him. That's why Jud Buechler had a job for so many years and has so much jewelry to show for it. Michael Jordan could create his own shot and it allowed the Jud Buechler's and Steve Kerr's of the world a little glory.

These are some good drills that will lay a solid foundation for you to build off of. If you want to learn what the best players do watch Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. Those players are incredible at creating shots for themselves. Why I got better when I was younger was because I studied and I practiced and I suggest the same.

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