How to shoot the basketball better in real games?

How to Become a Better Basketball Shooter: 8 Steps (with Pictures)


While coaching basketball shooting, several mentors and coaches report the same questions coming up to them time and again. The aspiring ballers are often content with their practice performances. But a lot of them complain that they have not been able to deliver the best performance during real-time game situations. 

What is the problem? Where do they face the setback? How can they perfect their basketball shooting prowess during actual games?

Does a basketball hoop installation near me evoke tremendous joy? Then you shouldn’t be one amongst this herd mentioned above. Let’s dissect every facet and find out the answers. 

The problem of a lesser shooting percentage in real games than practice sessions:

Shooting in basketball is a skill that increases your value as an athlete. MVPs are often the best shooters in the league. NBA all-time greats like Kobe Bryant, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, Larry Bird, Ray Allen are some of the best shooters that have graced the game. And not only did they shoot impeccably during the practice sessions, but they are particularly known for their superb form on the glass and a shooting prowess par excellence. 

And this is what defines a great athlete. One who is replicating the same successful shots in real game situations. 

But a lot of young and talented ballers often lack this ability. They might be practicing the best shooting drills for basketball and perform flawlessly. Converting a decent amount of shots during practice could be upping their morale. But once they step out for a real game, the story is entirely different. 

They lose their steam. Sometimes every shot is way off the target, and at others, they barely touch the hoop’s mesh. Many shooters also struggle with free-throws during game situations. 

The problem can be summed into the following. 

  • There is an issue concerning the mental approach to shooting during actual games. 
  • There is a concern regarding the transferability of skills from practice to actual games. 

Now that we have put forth the problems let’s address them in detail. 

Addressing the mental approach that creates shooting problems in actual games:

You must remember- Every shot made is an accurate representation of the athlete’s skill level!

Suppose you have a 50% accuracy from the three-point line in a specific game. Say, the next game you play, your shooting accuracy from the three-point line nosedives to 20%. What would your point of contention be?

Usually, an ‘off-day’ is the most common answer. 

But the problem lies elsewhere. 

  • Take ownership of your performance:

Your consistency in converting successful shots from various positions during the match actually represents your skill level. If there is no consistency of shooting in basketball during back-to-back games or an entire season, your skill level is not up to the mark. You definitely have a lot of work to do. 

Sometimes, ballers complain about playing extra minutes and becoming too exhausted to convert the free throws. It is a tell-tale sign of poor conditioning. It also reflects your skill and capacity to make successful shots when fatigued. 

If you argue that the defense was too tight and you couldn’t convert, it reflects your shortcoming of converting shots under pressure. 

You have to take ownership of your performance. That is the best way to overcome this mental roadblock. You have to accept the good and the bad. While the good days will bring forth many accolades and glory, the bad days shouldn’t just be dismissed as ‘off-form’. 

Instead, think it through. Analyze every facet of your performance in that game. Find out the loopholes and work on them. If you take responsibility for your performance and act accordingly, no one will be able to stop you from the path to glory. 

Transferability of skills from practice sessions to real games:

Let’s address this issue.

  • Practicing at game speed:

Often, aspiring ballers find a significant drop in performance and shooting ability when they move to real match situations. The reason is simple. Most people do not practice at game speed. 

If this issue is continuously affecting your game shooting performance, you should practice in real-time game-like situations. Mimicking game intensity and trying to practice in a simulated environment will be very useful. Practicing at game speed and intensity will create a sizable difference. 

  • Playing against a defender:

Playing against a defender will create pressure situations for you. Often, the best shooting drills for basketball contain real defenders for you to overcome and shoot successfully. It is indeed a barrier, and practicing like this will have a marked impact on your in-game shooting performance. 

You need to be creative. Improvise and create training regimes that imitate real games. 

  • Shooting flawlessly during practice:

Of course, you need to be a high-percentage shooter during practice. Else, shooting successfully will be a difficult road to climb during actual games. 

  • Playing more and more real games:

The next step to ensure impeccable transferability of skills is to play as many real games as possible. It will not only help you experience the highs and lows of every match but also hone your shooting skills. 

Now that we have decoded every minute aspect, it is your chance to show off your shooting skills on the court. Shine bright amongst your team and stun your opponents!