Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to individually work out with two out-of-state athletes on developing their shot. One male, one female. One in middle school, one in high school. One with a lot of playing experience, one who’s just starting their journey. Yet both were “struggling” with a common theme: power generation.
Whether it’s extending a player’s range from 10 feet to 15 feet or helping someone develop range from beyond 20 feet, they have to be able to generate adequate power without sacrificing form in order to increase their shooting efficiency. Here are three simple ways to help extend any player’s range.
1. Body Rotation
To increase your range like a Damian Lillard, a Sue Bird or a Steph Curry, kind of shooter, body rotation is a MUST! And the further away you are from the rim, the more body rotation you’ll need.
For years we've taught basketball players to keep 10 toes towards the rim throughout their shot, but that limits the power a shooter can generate. Think about this, when was the last time you threw a ⚾️, a 🏈, or even a 🥊 as hard as you could without rotating your hips?
2. Dip The Ball
If you’re serious about extending your range you will need to dip when you shoot from behind the three-point line. It doesn’t matter if you are catching the ball off a pass to go right into your shot or if you are dribbling the ball and ready to shoot off the bounce, you’re going to want to add a dip. Just like Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion said: “Any object that is at rest is going to stay at rest but an object in motion tends to stay in motion.” Instead of shooting from a standstill position, get your body to move. That law of motion will naturally extend your range!
3. Focus on Your Follow-Through
A wise teacher once said, “the end of the thing is better than its beginning.” That is why your follow-through is so important. Great shooters have special follow-throughs. Here are a couple of items to focus on when working on follow-through.
Triple Extension. This is when your shoulder, elbow, and wrist lockout at the same time. That fluid motion is an efficient way to generate power.
Snap & Wiggle. Many athletes are very stiff as they snap their wrists to shoot. Staying stiff will not allow you to generate the power you need to be accurate from range. Great shooters have a natural bounce of their hand after they release the ball.
Pointer Finger Down. A follow-through that has pointer finger down not only helps ensure proper rotation on the ball, but it can add the additional 2-3 inches of depth needed on a player’s shot to keep from shooting “short” from range.
If you'd like to learn more on extending your range, here's a link to a YouTube video I did on this concept for PGC Basketball: