Are You a Lazy Shooter?

by Dannie Evans

Yes or No:

  • Do you settle for contested or even mildly contested shots?
  • Do you feel yourself rushing your shot?
  • Do you often shoot off-balanced?
  • Do you fade away on shots for no apparent reason?
  • Do you get lax with your shot mechanics sometimes?
  • Do you regularly allow defensive pressure to dictate your shot?

A critical element of becoming a better player is honest evaluation of your game.  Without it, you won’t know what to practice and how to train to increase your ability.

With that said, did you answer “yes” to any number of those questions?

If you did, you are a lazy shooter.  That means you are sabotaging your shooting percentage, scoring average and devaluing your worth to your team for no good reason.

The good news?  Being a lazy shooter doesn’t necessarily make you a bad shooter.

Increase Your Shooting Percentage Without Changing Your Shot Mechanics

If you are an otherwise good shooter there are there are simply things you can do.

Here are 5 ways to increase your shooting percentage before you even take a shot:

  1. Practice your shooting footwork.  During your on-court training add drills that incorporate movements you make in real game situations.  Place all of your concentration on your footwork leading into your shot.  Whether or not  you make the shot is less important.  This is a technique to build your shot piece-by-piece rather than focusing on everything all at once.  Make sure to practice the 1-2 step and hop.  Better footwork leads to better balance and less turnovers.
  2. Get into your shooting stance and stay balanced.  This goes hand-in-hand with your footwork.  You power your shot with your legs.  That power should move from your feet up through your release in a straight line like a rocket.  Anything else is inefficient and a waste of upforce.  One way to improve your balance is using where you land after the shot as feedback.  If you are coming down in the same spot you went up, chances are you are balanced shooting.  Practice makes permanent.  Just like with the footwork practice, take a number of shots with the focus on getting into your shooting stance towards the target, taking off in a straight line like a rocket and tracking your landing spot.  When the games come, it will be automatic.
  3. Stop fading away.  I am not completely against the fadeaway.  It has its place, for some players.  Most players should avoid it though.  If you feel like you need to fade, you probably should be looking for a better shot.  If you do fade away, make sure it’s already part of your game and ask yourself: do I even need to fade.  The biggest problem is not actually fading away; it’s doing so when it’s completely unnecessary.   If you’re not evading defense, go straight up.
  4. Work harder and smarter off the ball.  Moving without the ball and using screens are probably the two most under-utilized and under-trained skills in basketball.  Taking contested shots is a tell-tale sign of lazy shooters.  Need help with this?  Listen and watch Richard Hamilton.
  5. If all else fails, pass the damn ball.  If you’re not open or against the clock, why shoot?  Improving your shot selection is the quickest and easiest way to add percentage points to your shooting percentage.  Not to mention making you a better teammate.

Just remember, the biggest difference between good shooters and great shooters is what they do before they take a shot.  It’s their footwork, balance, shot selection and mental preparation.

Today is the day you stop being a lazy shooter.

Want more tips to improve your shooting? 

Subscribe to and look for our upcoming series: Basketball Shooting 101.

Leave a Comment