Proper Shooting Warm-Up

Too many times when I see young athletes warm-up, their first shot is from the three-point line, or beyond. They throw the ball up toward the basket, “hoping” that it will go in. There is a right way and a wrong way to warm up, and the above example is definitely the WRONG way.

When you decide that you are going to practice your shooting, the first 15-20 shots should be taken no more then 3 feet away from the basket. That’s right – THREE FEET from the basket. Any athlete who has played the game for an extended period of time warms up like this. For example, the next time you watch a WNBA or NBA player, watch where they take their first warm-up shot. 99.9% of the time they’ll shoot the ball from approximately 3 feet from the basket. Why? Two reasons: first, warming-up close to the basket helps you concentrate on the proper form when shooting the basketball. You can concentrate on following-through, jumping off the ground, proper hand placement, etc …

Second, shooting close to the basket initially helps raise your confidence level. If you start shooting from far out, the chance of making a lot of shots in a row is slim, so your confidence begins to slip. When you start close to the basket, the chance of making a lot of shots in a row increases dramatically; therefore your confidence in your shot increases. So, every time you step out on the court, begin your shooting warm up like this:

  • 15-20 shots, 3 feet away from the basket
  • 15-20 shots, 6 feet away from the basket
  • 15-20 shots, 10 feet away from the basket
  • Begin your shooting workout
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