When I was a kid, Michael Jordan was the best player in the world. As a result, kids all across the world wanted to play just like him. That meant driving to the basket, getting steals, and hitting game-winning shots. When I was a kid I even drove to the basket with my tongue out! As people my age got older, we wanted to dunk on people like Michael and score crazy amounts of points like Michael. We wanted to be like Mike. One thing that me and a lot of other people didn’t work on until later in our basketball lives was the art of shooting, because shooting wasn’t as cool as driving and dunking.
Fast forward to today. Who is the best player in the world? Lebron James. He’s actually a good shooter but is not known for his shooting. His best attributes are in other areas. But kids today should still work on their shooting.
Here Are Your Top Ten Reasons to Work on Your Shooting This Summer
10. Everybody can be a good shooter. Everybody’s not going to be able to dunk from the free throw line or sprint up the floor in 3 seconds, but everybody has the potential to be a good shooter. So even if you aren’t blessed with MJ’s or Lebron’s physical gifts (which most of us aren’t), you can still have value on the basketball court.
9 . 3 points is better than 2. If you’ve played basketball for any amount of time you know this is true. You can make the prettiest, most creative and athletic move to the rim and score 2 points, and the guy you are guarding can come right back and hit a quick shot and score 3 points! It’s frustrating but that’s life. 3 is better than 2.
8. Shooters get to stay in at the end of games. There are three types of players who coaches trust at the end of games – guys who can handle the ball, guys who can play defense, and guys who can shoot. 3 point shooting is needed to make big comebacks, and free throw shooting is needed to close-out games.
7. You get free scoring opportunities at the end of games. Do you know what happens when you are a good free throw shooter and your team is up by 4 points with 30 seconds left? Your teammates will give you the ball, the other team will foul you, and you get a chance to score more points at the free throw line. Woohoo!
6. Everybody needs a shooter. I have a buddy who is 6 foot tall and 180 pounds soaking wet. He played big time college basketball on a full basketball scholarship. Do you know why? Because he can shoot, consistently, from faaaar beyond the 3 point line. Every team needs a shooter and shooting can be your way onto your middle school, club, or high school basketball team. If you’re an outstanding shooter, you may even have a chance at college basketball.
5. Chicks dig the long ball. Okay, that’s a baseball joke, but I had to get that in there. Do you know the best way to hear a gym or arena go crazy? Hit a big 3 pointer! There’s nothing like it. Fans dig the 3 ball. Your team digs the 3 ball.
4. Shooting opens the rest of your game up. As I got older I realized that Michael Jordan was a great jump shooter. He used his jumpshot to score when defenders sagged off of him, and he used a shot fake to get defenders in the air to go to the basket. If you can shoot, it actually helps you to get easier driving opportunities and get those highlight finishes we all love.
3. Shooting is cool again. Kevin Durant is a great shooter, and there are whispers that Kevin Durant might be better than Lebron James *gasp*. Most people (including me) will still say that Lebron is still better, but Kevin is at least making it a real argument. Kevin is a shooter who is one of the Top 2 players in the world. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say that. Shooters are coming back in style.
2. Shooting is the great equalizer. When I was a sophomore in HS school still playing sub varsity basketball, I got a chance to play one of my school’s varsity starters, a senior, in a game of 1-on-1. I was able to beat him… mainly because I hit a lot of long distance shots. He was bigger, stronger and faster than me, so he felt he should have beaten me. He wanted a rematch. I beat him again. And again. At the end of it, he asked me not to tell anyone about it. Sorry Nigel, I’ve got to finally tell somebody. I was a decent shooter then, but not a great one. If I would have really developed my shooting ability at that time, I could have played Varsity basketball earlier than I did. Shooting is a unique skill that allows players to play at a higher level than their physical attributes or other skills may allow. It really is great to be a shooter.
And number 1 *drumroll*…
1. You can achieve greatness with a single shot!!!