How To Shoot More Consistently In Basketball - 8 Form & Mindset Tips

basketball mindset shooting tips Feb 14, 2024
shoot more consistently in basketball

Improve your shooting consistency with these shooting form and mindset tips:

Shooting a basketball is one of the hardest skills to master not just in basketball, but in all of sports really. Making a jump shot is hard enough, but making shots consistently is even more difficult.

Becoming a more consistent shooter is a common desire for basketball players. No one wants to get that "streaky shooter" label.

So then, how do you shoot more consistently? How do you make more in a row and stop letting one missed shot turn into two or three? In this article, I'll give you 8 tips to boost your basketball shooting consistency. 

The first 4 tips I'm going to share with you are physical - they're related to your shooting form. The last 4 tips are mental - they're related to your shooting mindset.

Being a consistent shooter requires both physical mastery and mental mastery. It requires having sound shooting mechanics and technique, but also a sound shooting mindset.

Before getting into the tips, I want to emphasize that there is no magic drill or exercise you can do to instantly increase your shooting consistency. Increasing your consistency as a basketball shooter takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication. You can't do it overnight or just by doing a certain drill a few times. 

The tips I'm about to share with you won't give you instant results either, but if you apply them to your shooting workouts and you practice these things over and over, then over time you will get the results you're looking for. You will become a more consistent shooter.

Let's dive in.

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1. Get Good Arc On Your Shot

The first tip that will help you make more shots consistently is to make sure you are getting proper arc on each shot you take.

Proper arc increases your chances of the ball going in. The higher the ball is in the air as it approaches the rim, the more room it has to go in.

When you shoot a shot with little arc or what's known as a "flat" shot or a "push" shot, then the ball approaches the rim more straight on, with little height, and it doesn't have as much potential room to go in.

So then, how do you know if you're getting proper arc on your shot? A good rule of thumb is to use the height of your shooting elbow at your release point as an indicator. As soon as you snap your wrist forward and release the ball, how high is your shooting elbow?

If you were to draw a line from your shooting elbow towards your face, you want your shooting elbow to be at least as high as your eyes, if not higher. This indicates that you got good arc on your shot. 

A low shooting elbow on release results in poor arc. This looks like you're shooting the ball more forward than upward.

Check out the picture below. On release, this player's shooting elbow is well above his eyes, indicating good arc.

Shooting elbow finishes high, above eye level

This will increase the chances of you making your shot because it gives the ball more room to go through the rim, thus improving how consistently you'll make each shot.

Watch: Best Shooting Drill to Build Mental Toughness >>


2. Get Lots Of Reps

As I mentioned in the intro, becoming a more consistent shooter in basketball takes a ton of reps. There is no shooting drill that's going to give you instant results. 

Improving consistency takes time and it takes a lot of repetition. Getting good at anything takes time and repetition. Shooting is no different. In fact, it's even more necessary with shooting because of how complex and difficult a skill it is.

The reason why developing consistency takes a lot of time and repetition is because you have to allow time to strengthen the neural connections in your brain. The more you shoot a basketball, the more efficient and effective the neural connections in your brain that are associated with shooting get.

A common term you may have heard is "muscle memory." "To with consistency, you have to build muscle memory." Well, really it's "brain memory." 

Enough science. How many reps is enough?

I recommend making at least 100 shots a day. Depending on how good and how consistent you want to get, you should really be aiming for more than that. 

Great shooters make upwards of 250-500 shots a day, at least. But I've found in training other players and in my own development that making at least 100 shots a day is a great goal to strive for and will give you the results you're looking for over time.

Keep in mind - that's making 100 shots a day, not just taking 100. 

As far as what drills to do, I really don't think it matters... to an extent. As long as you're getting game shots and practicing them at game speed, I don't believe it matters what drill you do.

Feel free to mix up the drills but make sure with whatever drills you're doing, you're mixing in spot up shooting, shooting on-the-move, and shooting off-the-dribble.

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3. Hold Your Follow-Through

To shoot with consistency, the ultimate goal is to shoot the same way every time. One thing you can do to help you achieve this is by making the conscious effort to hold your follow-through every time you shoot.

If you start your shot the same way every time you shoot, you should also try to end every shot the same way.

Hold your follow-through until the ball either hits the rim or it goes in the basket.

Make holding your follow-through a habit and improve your consistency as a result.

You might like: How To Be A More Aggressive Basketball Player - 4 Mental Keys >>


4. Find The Seams

Another shooting form tip that will help you with your consistency has to do with how you hold the ball. 

When holding the ball, try to place your fingers across the seams of the ball as indicated in the picture below.

Fingertips are just past the seams

You want to have your fingertips slightly past the seams of the basketball, intersecting with them in a perpendicular fashion. 

Doing this gives you a great feel for the ball and the most control. The more control you have and the more comfortable the ball feels in your hands as you shoot, the more consistent you'll be.

Guided Meditation: Pregame Meditation for Basketball Players >>


5. Keep Your Self-Talk Positive

Now let's explore some mental tips that will help you shoot more consistently. Your shooting mindset plays a major role in how well you shoot from shot to shot.

The first tip is to keep your thoughts about your shooting as positive as possible. Try to think only positive, confident thoughts:

  • "I got this."
  • "I can do this."
  • "I'm going to make this." 

Try your best to avoid negative or doubtful thinking such as:

  • "I'm a bad shooter."
  • "I'm off today."
  • "I don't think I'm going to make this."

Positive, confident thoughts increase your chances of making each shot you take.

Negative, doubtful thoughts decrease your chances of making your shots.

The more positively you think, the more shots you'll make consistently.

21 Positive Self-Talk Affirmations - Article | Guided Meditation  >>


6. Quiet Your Mind

Thinking positive thoughts and having positive beliefs about your shooting in general is important if you want to be a consistent shooter.

But at the same time, while you're actually shooting, you also want to keep your thoughts to a minimum.

Thinking too much while shooting can be a distraction. When you're distracted, it's harder to focus, stay locked in, or get in the zone. This is all going to make it more difficult to make shots consistently.

Try to ignore any thoughts about the outcome. Of course you want to make the shot you're about to take, but try not to fixate your attention on it. Keep your attention on the shot you're about to take. Stay present.

Watch: How To Quiet Your Mind And Lock In >>

Read also: The Complete Guide to Getting in the Zone in Basketball >>


7. Don't Be Afraid To Miss

Being afraid to miss your next shot can hurt your consistency for a few reasons. 

"You've got to be free on the court, regardless of if you're 4 or 5 feet outside of the three-point line. If you feel like it's a good shot...just [shoot it]."

- Steph Curry

This first reason is really an extension of the last tip - thinking about missing, or having fear of missing, is distracting.

That distraction can make it harder to focus on your shot, which as you know is only going to make it harder to shoot at a high percentage.

Being afraid to miss also causes your body and muscles to tense up, making it more difficult to shoot as well as you normally can. When your mind is free and confident, your body will be more relaxed, making your shooting motion smoother and easier.

Guided Meditation: Increase Your Shooting Confidence >>


8. Stay Confident After A Miss

One of the hardest things for basketball players to recover from missed shots. It's hard to bounce back after a missing a couple of shots in a row. It's easy to let those misses affect you moving forward.

One of the biggest keys to improving your shooting consistency is to not let a missed shot hurt your confidence. Consistent shooters stay confident after a miss. They stay confident after two or three misses.

In fact, not only do consistent shooters stay confident after missing shots, they feel even more confident. 

"No matter how many I miss, I'm confident I'll make the next one."

- Klay Thompson

Because they know how well they can shoot and if they miss a shot, they understand that it's going to average out in the long-run. If you know you can hit 50% of your shots and you miss a shot, well then you've got to be feeling pretty good about making that next one, because you know it will even out in the long-run.

The other key to staying confident after missing a shot is to let go of the previous miss. Let it go. Forget about it. It happened. Time to focus on the next one.

It's ok to get frustrated when you miss a shot. The key is to let it out, then let it go. Feel whatever emotion you want to feel after missing - anger, frustration, disappointment - but then let it go.

If you hold onto that emotion and carry it into your next shot, that will have a negative affect on your next shot.

If you let your emotion out and then let it go, you are going to feel confident and free as you shoot your next shot. And that will help you shoot more consistently.


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