The Jump Shot Glitch

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By Merrick Palmer

We have worked extensively with hundreds of players over the past several years and we’ve discovered some reoccurring flaws that many coaches tend to overlook. The jump shot is an offensive weapon that has remained relatively unchanged since the 1930’s however many players still struggle to develop a consistent jumper. Coaches have a tendency to dissect every aspect of the jump shot without putting it back together so players can see it as a unit and not a bunch of parts.

Some players naturally have a “glitch” or a pause in their release when they first pick up a basketball but it can also occur when coaches fail to stress the fluidity of the all the moving parts of a jump shot. When teaching players how to execute a jump shot, it is essential that players are directed to release the ball at the apex of their jump. Players often misinterpret the apex point of the jump and tend to want to hold on the basketball to the very last moment before releasing it. Holding on to the basketball to the very last second creates a situation where there is added pressure from the off hand and the player is shooting against gravity as the body descends back to the ground. If shooters have a pause or a glitch while in the air, they will negate the momentum gained from their jump and will rely heavily on upper body strength to propel the ball towards the basket.

The problem with shooting primarily with the upper body is that throughout the game the upper body muscles will fatigue and become unstable causing the body to recruit other muscles that are not used to shooting the basketball. It is similar to the last rep of a bench press exercise where the upper body muscles become unstable; the body will naturally want to recruit the lower back muscles to lift the bar. Players that have strong upper bodies sometimes rely on upper body strength rather than using the momentum they’ve gained from their jump. Note: having a 40 inch vertical will not guarantee a consistent jumper!

Great shooters typically have one fluid motion from start to finish where the basketball never pauses at any point of the shot. All the momentum generated from the jump is transferred throughout the body and to the ball as it is released. The more fluid the jump shot is, the more range and consistency the player will have. Take a quick look at the Steph Curry link and see the fluidity in his mechanics.

Steph Curry


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  • AC

    Fluidity is key, shooting should be easy all the time. Personally, taking jumpshots would feel like work in games since I used almost only upper body and quickly became fatigued. Now(since Merrick worked on the fluidity of my shot) , it’s easy for me to consistently shoot 3s (even nba 3s) in game while releasing very quickly and expending minimal effort. Read this article, if you follow the tips correctly, you will definitely become a better shooter.

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