A Case Study: Kobe Bryant’s Shooting Mindset

Shooting the basketball is a mentally challenging task. Why?

Because every time you miss a shot you feel like you’ve failed. We automatically make judgements about ourselves as shooters because shooting the ball is so black and white.  Either you make the shot and are successful or you miss the shot which means you are unsuccessful.

There is no middle ground. “Almost making a shot” doesn’t count for anything on the scoreboard. You don’t get half points for you shot going in and out, and in certain circumstances missing a shot might even get you put on the bench!

This constant stream of feedback can easily mess with your head. What do I mean by that?

 

I mean that when you shoot the ball you are getting messages sent to your brain that tell you that you are either a good shooter or a bad shooter depending on your performance.

In my experience some players are more naturally inclined to adopt a shooters mindset than others. Certain players are confident and self-assured while other players have to develop this confidence as they grow, mature, and work on their game – as a side note I definitely fall into this second camp, this is one of the biggest reasons why I wrote my E-Book on the exact steps I’ve taken to develop a shooters mindset.

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I believe that regardless of your natural inclination, if you put in the hard work you have the capacity to believe in your abilities as a basketball player. Some of the greatest shooters ever to play the game – ex. Reggie Miller, Kobe Bryant – were also some of the most confident players. But confidence doesn’t mean that you have to be arrogant. It simply means that you have a confidence that can’t be shaken by external circumstances.

Bryant in particular, embodies the kind of confidence that you need when you want to become a great shooter. He has a special mindset when it comes to shooting the basketball. Bryant’s ability to block out the negative and focus on the next shot is special. This can be a difficult exercise because many of us are hardwired to think more about our mistakes than our successes. Check out this quote from Bryant, when he heard that fellow NBAer Deron Williams admitted that he stopped shooting after he started out a game 0-9 from the field.

“I’d rather go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game…the only reason is because you’ve just now lost confidence in yourself.”

Obviously some players have the license from their coach to chuck up 30 shots and others don’t; Kobe Bryant is undoubtedly one of those players. The point is not the number of shots, but the ability to take the next one with confidence.

This philosophy of this mindset rings true for great shooters. For some players after they miss 1 shot in a game, they will hesitate to take the second one. The point is this: whether you are 0-5 or 10-10, great shooters should trust in their training and abilities to believe that no matter what has happened they will not become psyched out of the game.

Here are 4 specific ways that will help you develop a shooters mindset.


 

1. Set Difficult Goals and FINISH THEM!!!

This is all about your mindset when you walk into the gym:

For example I could go to workout with the goal of making 100 three-point shots or I could challenge myself to make 10 out of 13 shots behind the three at 10 spots, and each time I fail to make the goal I force myself to do 20 pushups. There are a million different ways to push your mental capacity as well as your body during workouts.

Don’t let yourself settle for mediocre. Strive for greatness in every workout and push yourself to grow mentally and physically every time you step foot in a gym. This is the key to growth, and this is the key to your shooting success.

The difference is that the second drill puts pressure on you and forces you to raise your level of focus and concentration. Here is a good drill I like to do that challenges me, its called “The Crucible”.

 

Goal: Beat the clock and force yourself to make shots when you’re fatigued

  • Make 2 shots at 5 spots in 1min and 45sec
  • Between each shot you have to run and touch half-court
  • Once you’ve made 2 shots in a spot you move to the next spot
  • A great drill to help you learn how to make shots when you’re tired
  • Shooters have to be mentally tough when they are fatigued 

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2. Give yourself positive reinforcement

As I talked about at the beginning, being a shooter is a tough job. I would know because I’ve been shooting the basketball for a living for the past 3 years as a pro overseas.

My tendency is to remember my mistakes and forget my makes, but great shooters dwell on their successes and dismiss their failures. They instill a confidence in themselves that comes from knowing that they’ve paid the price.

One exercise to boost your confidence (especially before a game) is to watch a clip-tape full of yourself making shots. Ask your coach or manager to help you make a highlight film of your made buckets. This visual reinforcement will fill your mind with positive images and remind you of what you are capable of.

 

3. Watch video clips of other great shooters

We can learn a lot by watching great shooters and how they approach the game. It’s funny. I’ll find that the days when I have my best shooting workouts are the days in which I’ve been hanging out on YouTube watching highlight tapes of some of my shooting heroes (Steph Curry, Kyle Korver, Wesley Matthews, Klay Thompson).

Watch a full game or highlight clips of your favourite shooter and see how they approach the game. Pay attention to their technique, demeanour, and reactions to both misses and makes. Steal little things from how they shoot the ball and incorporate it into your own game.

 

4. Create a “mindset” checklist

Write down your own mindset checklist with reminders of the things that you need to focus on when it comes to shooting the ball (I run through the exact process on how to do this in my book). Review this checklist before practices and games and start to engrain these principles into your psyche.

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Make your Shooting Checklist Now


 

Finally…

If you want to learn exactly how guys like Kobe Bryant have become legendary shooters, I’ve put together an E-Book that took me over a year to write. 

As I mentioned a few times the post, it is the culmination of what I’ve learned as a shooter over the last 3 years as a pro.

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Click Here to Discover the Secrets

I wouldn’t be selling this book if I didn’t 100% believe in what I’ve written. It has taken me nearly a full year to compile this material, because I wanted to share the exact mindset and techniques that have helped me raise my shooting percentage by 5% over the last several years.


I’ve Been Blessed to Have Been…

  • A 4 year Starter at a Division 1 College ProgramSBL Willetton vs Stirling & Goldfields - 11-7-14 & 12-7-14 - QMD
  • Won a Division 1 State Championship in High School
  • Be the leading scorer (30ppg) and 3 point shooter (45%) for two straight years playing professionally in Australia 
  • To have a career 40% three point shooter in College
  • To have played for great coaches and just finished my 3rd year as a pro
  • To have spent hundreds of hours training and coaching other players

The reason I started Arete Hoops was so I could help coaches and players grow in their leadership, influence, character, and discipline. 

And this E-Book is by far the best material I’ve ever come across on how to improve both the mental side of shooting while giving you practical steps to make improvement. I hope it serves you.

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Kyle Korver’s Shooting Secrets

In the 2014-2015 NBA Season Kyle Korver...

Shot 49% from 3-point, 49% from the field, and 89% from the free throw line. 

Here's how:

Test

1

Attention to Detail

Korver's commitment to excellence is expressed through his attention to detail. He meticulously combs through every aspect of his shot to make sure that he is shooting the same exact shot each and every time. In an interview with Andrew Kulp he outlines how his pursuit of perfection has lead him to construct a 20-point shooting that he has in the back of him mind at all times. Korver had this to say:

As I’m shooting, I have this list in the back of my head, and I know I’m not doing one or two of them. Once I feel I get all 20 of them clicking, then I’m going to have a natural rhythm in my shot.”


Kyle Korver

Kyle’s checklist covers every part of his shooting mechanics from his foundation, release, posture, feet, fingers, and feeling when he releases the ball. His attention to detail is exhausting. Check out Korver’s list below.

Korver's Shooting Checklist

1. Wide stance.

2. Exaggerated legs.

3. Drop through heels.

4. Engage core.

5. Slight bend at waist.

6. Up strong.

7. Elbow straight.

8. One hand.

9. Fingers spread.

10. Slight pause.

11. Elbow up.

12. Land forward.

13. See the top of the rim.

14. Ball on fingertips.

15. Strong shot.

16. Shoulders forward and relaxed.

17. Ball and arm risen straight.

18. Hold the follow through.

19. Keep the release point high.

20. On turns, square shoulders.

Click Here to Learn How to Make Your Own Shooting Checklist

To be clear, just because you pay attention to detail in order to improve yourself as a basketball player does not guarantee success. There is no guarantee that assures success in life or the game the basketball. There are hundreds of factors outside your control that can interfere with your athletic success. Injuries, coaching decisions, school politics, other players, are a few examples of the factors outside of your control.

BUT the key is to concentrate on the aspects of your game you are able to control. Shooting is one of the skills in basketball that you have an immense amount of control over. Korver’s shooting checklist is a prime example of this.

Learn the 5 Secrets of All Great NBA Shooters. Click Here.

Instead of focusing on the things outside of his control, he makes sure to concentrate on those things he can control, including; his effort, attitude, routine, technique, repetition, and habits.


2

Gain an Edge

You are faced with choices every day. You can choose to get in extra shooting sessions, you can choose to break down film of your shot, you can choose to work on your technique while teammates are practicing trick shots, you can choose to stay in the gym until you’ve made 10 consecutive jumpers. Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but it does increase your chance to be successful. Not everyone who works hard is successful, but no there are no successful people who haven’t worked hard.

More importantly, one of the greatest sign of a commitment to excellence is the desire to find an edge over your competition. About two years ago, Korver was trying to find something that would rejuvenate his career and extend his days in the NBA. This search for an edge led him to discover the idea of misogi.

Misogi is the ancient Japanese idea of pushing your body beyond its perceived physical limits to the point of failure in order to expand your sense of what is possible.

Here’s what Korver's trainer had to say about his enthusiasm to push himself in unthinkable ways:

​“He has a search for truth, fearlessness, honor. He’s warrior-like and has an adventurous spirit. But especially because he’s always trying to be better.”

Marcus Elliot

Korver’s first Misogi was a 25 mile stand-up paddleboard trip across the open ocean. Korver had never set foot on a paddleboard before. 9 hours later the group reached their destination bleeding, sunburnt, and narrowly escaping the shark infested waters (click here to read about the entire adventure).

Korver had found his edge: 

And he wasn't about to let it go.

Hooked on the idea, Korver and his crew set out one morning during the Summer of 2014. They left for a California beach at 5am to complete their second misogi. They decided to do an underwater 5k while carrying huge rocks across the ocean floor. After nearly five hours of descending to the depths of the ocean and lugging a 85lb rock along the ocean floor (for stints that lasted as long as their lungs and legs would permit) the group had finished their second Misogi.

Photo by Chris Baldwin (click here for full story)

Korver’s quest to give himself an edge took him to a place where many athletes are unwilling to go. A place of pain and discomfort, a place that begs for you to give in and take the easy path home. But a commitment to excellence is not the result of success, it sets the parameters of it. 

 A commitment to excellence infiltrates every nook and cranny of your life and won’t leave you alone. It precipitates your thoughts and actions and refuses to let you take shortcuts. It holds you to a higher standard, a modus operandi that may seems strange to outsiders. It questions your limitations and refuses to let you settle for ‘just good enough’.


3

Find your "Grind Activator"

As of the 2014-15 NBA season Korver had been in the league for 11 seasons and he knew that he needed to find a mental edge to help him get through the grind of the NBA season.

He was looking for his "Grind Activator":

Korver found that going through that kind of sustained pain and discomfort (that he experienced during the misogis) eventually forces you to adopt an etherial sort of concentration and focus - otherworldly and divine. Korver has used these experiences to fuel him during the grueling demands of an NBA season.

This commitment is what sets Kyle apart from other players in the NBA. He was taken late in the second round of the NBA draft and wasn’t expected to make much of a splash in the NBA. Korver admits that his physical gifts are somewhat limited compared to many of the other guys in the league.

“I’ve never been the fastest guy,” and “I’ve never been the tallest guy. But I know how to keep going, to grind. It’s probably not one of the sexier gifts you can get, but it works.”

5 Secrets E-Book
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Every player needs a "grind activator"...

That one thing that you can come back to time and time again that will reset your focus on the task at hand instead of focusing on circumstances. When you are in the game and your body is hurting, you feel out of rhythm, and the refs aren't giving you an calls, how are you going to react?

I believe that the most powerful confidence comes when you can return to the times when you pushed yourself beyond your limits and were able to endure. Korver used the idea of misogi to accomplish that for him, but your "grind activator" can be anything that inspires you to stay focused despite how you are feeling.

Find your grind activator and return to it during those times when you feel the "grind" starting to get to you.


Here's a shooting drill that guys like Kyle Korver use to get better.

This shooting drill is called: +Plus/-Minus Shooting

(For more great drills like this one click here.)


Plus/Minus Shooting

Goal: Put pressure on yourself to make shots when you are fatigued

  • Plus minus shooting assigns a point value for each shot that you make or miss. The traditional way to run these drills is you get +1 for a make and -1 for a miss. You continue shooting until you reach a cumulative score of +8 or -8 at each spot (you can adjust this number depending on how hard you want to make the drill).
  • If you want to increase the difficulty, you can penalize yourself -2 or -3 for a miss. Or, you can make it so the spot ends when you reach a high positive number (ex. +15) and a low negative number (ex. -4)
  • This type of shooting can be used to practice any shot on the court and is a great way to ensure high levels of concentration and intensity during shooting.


Finally...

If you want to learn exactly how guys like Kyle Korver have become legendary shooters, I've put together an E-Book that took me over a year to write.

It is the culmination of what I've learned as a shooter over the last 3 years as a pro.

Click Here to Learn More about The Book

I wouldn't be selling this book if I didn't 100% believe in what I've written. It has taken me nearly a full year to compile this material, because I wanted to share the exact mindset and techniques that have helped me raise my shooting percentage by 5% over the last several years.


I've been BLESSED to have been...

  • A 4 year Starter at a Division 1 College Program
  • Won a Division 1 State Championship in High School
  • Be the leading scorer (30ppg) and 3 point shooter (45%) for two straight years playing professionally in Australia 
  • To have a career 40% three point shooter in College
  • To have played for great coaches and just finished my 3rd year as a pro
  • To have spent hundreds of hours training and coaching other players

The reason I started Arete Hoops was so I could help coaches and players grow in their leadership, influence, character, and discipline.

And this E-Book is by far the best material I've ever come across on how to improve both the mental side of shooting while giving you practical steps to make improvement. I hope it serves you.

Click Here to Learn More about The Book


I just wanted to say thanks.

I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for people who are seriously serious about becoming better players, coaches, leaders, and people. 

​You're the reason we exist.


Building Your Shooting Skyscraper

What do these Great NBA Shooters all have in Common???

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Every great Shooter Has Built their "Shooting Skyscraper" from the ground up.

How'd they do it? Here's how:


1

Making the Choice.

All great shooters are faced with a choice. This choice confronts you everyday of your life. When you wake up in the morning it is there, when the weekend rolls around it is there, when you step into the gym it is there. On holidays, at school dances, in the Summer, in the offseason, during practice, it never goes away.

The choice to commit to excellence is always staring you in the face. This choice never takes a day off and is never satisfied. You can’t hide from it, and you can’t kill it, you can’t appease it. Always present, always watching, always asking.

There are two options and two options alone. The two paths are laid out before you, the choices are clear. You have a decision to make. But this decision must be made over and over again. Will you find yourself wandering down the crowded path of mediocrity or sprinting on the path of excellence?

Because those are your two choices. Some people just wander into whatever circumstance life throws their way, while people passionately sprint after their dreams. Don’t allow yourself to wander away from what you want most in your life. Make the decision now to pursue excellence no matter the cost.

The choice to commit to excellence is always staring you in the face. This choice never takes a day off and is never satisfied. You can’t hide from it, and you can’t kill it, you can’t appease it. Always present, always watching, always asking.

5 Secrets E-Book
Arete Hoops

2

Start Construction.

Excellence is a process, not an instant solution. It grows slowly through long hours of training, habit forming, and consistency. It needs to be fed, watered, and cultivated daily. No one has ever become a great shooter without a dogged commitment to becoming excellent each and every day. One of the great classic philosophers Aristotle once said this on the topic of excellence:

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

- Aristotle

Think about the construction of a skyscraper as a metaphor for how the idea of committing to excellence will play out in your life.

Skyscrapers are magnificent structures when we see them from the outside. Yet there is so much more to these buildings than what meets the eye. If we were to take a tour into the inner workings of each skyscraper we would begin to understand the incredible complexity that is required to make each building functional.

Unless your have worked construction before, you would be confronted with a new reality about what it takes to build such a structure.

Here's the thing though:

Hundreds of hours of work must be accomplished before any construction starts. The beginning of the project is usually dirty and exhausting work. You have to work with an architect, get building permits, find a location, hire contractors, and find investors all before you see any visible results of your efforts.

Before you build the structure, you have to dig the foundation, connect the plumbing, and pour the concrete, obtain the building codes, order the materials, and draw up the building plans. Before there is any resemblance of a finished product, hundreds of people will have worked thousands of hours, yet you still can’t see any resemblance of what looks like a skyscraper.

Especially at the beginning, this process is difficult, tiring, and time-consuming. It can be easy to get discouraged because you may not see the results of your hard work.

Here's the good news:

If you make the decision to keep building, slowly you start the see the rewards of your efforts...

Tired of being too scared to take shots in big games? Click here.


3

Keep building.

As time goes on, little by little, a structure starts to rise out of the mess and begins to look like a building. After months or even years of planning, construction, and hard work, you start to see the culmination of your efforts.

Basketball is no different. At times it might feel like your effort is getting you nowhere, and you can’t see any visible progress, you can’t see your skyscraper.

You might feel like the hours in the gym, the sweat, the sprints, the 6am lifts aren't getting you anywhere. Don't Give Up! 

Learn the 5 Secrets of All Great NBA Shooters. Click Here.

Have patience. Believe that every time you make an investment to become a better basketball player/shooter, that is an investment in your skyscraper, your finished product. Just like building a Skyscraper, the process of putting in the foundation isn't exciting at the time, but over time that foundation in critical to the health and beauty of the entire structure!

Be disciplined enough to understand that every time you make an investment in your skyscraper, you are building something incredible. Skyscrapers just like shooters are not built overnight. It takes time, persistence, hard work, and a daily commitment to becoming great.​

Here’s the key though: making a commitment to be excellent is never a one-time decision. Over the course of time when you consistently choose excellence over mediocrity, you create habits that start to shape you into a virtuous person.

Excellence evolves from a difficult choice to live your life differently than your default mode of operation. Over time, the tendencies of laziness or mediocrity slowly dissipate and are replaced with virtuous habits as your shining skyscraper of excellence rises from the chaos.


Finally...

If you want to learn exactly how the great NBA shooters like Kyle Korver, Steph Curry, and Ray Allen have become legendary shooters, I've put together an E-Book that took me about a year to write.

Click Here to Learn More about The Book

I wouldn't be selling this book if I didn't 100% believe in what I've written. It has taken me nearly a full year to compile this material, because I wanted to share the exact mindset and techniques that have helped me raise my shooting percentage by 5% over the last several years.

Click Here to Learn More about The Book


I've was BLESSED to have been...

  • A 4 year Starter at a Division 1 College Program
  • Won a Division 1 State Championship in High School
  • Be the leading scorer (30ppg) and 3 point shooter (45%) for two straight years playing professionally in Australia 
  • To have a career 40% three point shooter in College
  • To have played for great coaches and just finished my 3rd year as a pro
  • To have spent hundreds of hours training and coaching other players

The reason I started Arete Hoops was so I could help coaches and players grow in their leadership, influence, character, and discipline.

And this E-Book is by far the best material I've ever come across on how to improve both the mental side of shooting while giving you practical steps to make improvement. I hope it serves you.

Click Here to Learn More about The Book

I just wanted to say thanks.

I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for people who are seriously serious about becoming better players, coaches, leaders, and people. 

​You're the reason we exist.