Shooting Jumpers

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So basketball season is winding down and now baseball is kicking its way into gear. Christopher has stated that this might be his last season of baseball. After 5 years of playing, it’s not his favorite sport and he is thinking he wants to concentrate on his basketball game. I am, obviously, 100% behind him on this decision. Not that I don’t enjoy baseball. It’s a fun sport in good conditions (say 75 degrees and sunshine?) but the early part of the season is a complete disaster with rain outs and cold weather and then the middle of the season is filled with double-headers and overwhelming heat. It seems to me that baseball, for the most part, is the one sport that is the most weather worn and takes its toll on a family schedule-wise with games and practices. I’m not saying I don’t WANT him to play baseball, because he can play any sport he wants. However, of the sports he plays, baseball is probably my least favorite.

Aaaaaaanyway…so basketball season is over and in years past, Christopher has pretty much let the ball drop (so to speak) and moved on to play baseball. THIS season, however, is different. This summer, he has joined a team over the river in Ohio that is run by a group of coaches that are all about teaching the mandatory skills that Chris will need next year when he tries out for the 7th grade team. This is important because up to this time, he really has not had a lot of coaching of fundamental basketball. His school’s new head basketball coach is also conducting basketball skills camps all summer, so that should help as well. And all of this is awesome but there is one thing that I think I want to help him with that is gonna benefit him this summer and next year and that is…working on a jump shot.

Up til now, Fer has been using a push shot. It’s not that the shot isn’t effective. He is comfortable with it and he’s been shooting that way for his entire life. But now, he’s gotten taller, stronger and is working on getting faster and now is the time. I remember when my Dad helped me start shooting true jump shots. It was awkward and I was like a fish out of water. Funny thing is though…after working with Christopher for an hour or so yesterday…I think the kid is gonna be a natural.

Initially I was worried that I was breaking this out on him a little early. We started slow, single arm shots from underneath the basket. Then we moved a little farther out, bending the knees and follow through work. Then we worked on his left hand and its responsibilities (support and balance). And before ya know it…he was hitting jump shots. Now I’m not gonna say he’s ready to break a 3-point jumper out in his next game because that might be a little premature but I WILL say that in the little time we worked on it, he seemed like a natural. His elbow in, his follow through was consistant, and now we need to work on the jump part of it. But overall? I’m giving him the summer. His jump shot appears to be so much more effective for him than his push shot. His push shot has a tendency to come off his left hand, causing it to spin sideways. His jumper has nice rotation. It comes off a little flat but we’ll work on that! Watching him take 40 shots plus…I was so excited for him! And I am thinking he is also! This should add an entirely new aspect to his game and he needs to start looking at the basket more. He’s a great passer, a pretty good ball-handler (need to watch that left hand!) and has a good perspective of the floor and where his teammates are. Now it’s time to score. And I’m hoping that, with a little work and some skills drills, his jump shot will continue to get better and better! Now…I just got to keep him from developing bad habits like I did. Hopefully MY Dad can help me with some ideas about that…