How to properly shoot on the run

It never fails to amaze me how many players who shoot on the run never get it right.  They will take hundreds of practice shots to improve but still they just cannot get consistent or comfortable with it.  It isn’t because they aren’t working hard at trying to improve, I believe all players believe they are working hard to improve (at least they think so, and that’s pretty much all that matters…), however, unless their practice is what brain researchers call “deliberate practice” then they are merely reinforcing poor technique and bad habits which cannot be changed.  That said, fear not, there is hope, you can build new habits to replace the old ones through this concept of deliberate practice.

Deliberate practice involves breaking down your shot into its component parts, evaluating those components, and making corrections before moving on.  Most players want to just shoot, thinking that if they just focus more on that far pipe they will eventually dial it in, but if your mechanics aren’t right you really don’t have a chance of becoming consistently good.  For shooting on the run we like to break the shot down into 2 parts and correct from there.  The first part is what I call “wrong foot forward”.  Essentially if you are right handed, you get to a position that is 5 yards wide of the near goalpost and 10 yards upfield and put your right foot at that point and point it at the far post.  Then pull the stick back and up into a good shooting position and hold it for a moment while you focus your gaze at the far post.  At this point your body is a bit twisted and there is torque on your midsection.  The coach or a partner can check all of the mechanics and look to see if his foot is pointed at the far post, are his hands up, back and away from his body, is his chin on his front shoulder and eyes fixed on the target.  If all of this checks out you can release him to follow through overhand.  Watch the arc of his stick, does he come over top or at worst, 3/4?  Does he follow through to the ground or does he slice across his body?  All of the mechanics can be checked and corrected each and every time and he isn’t released to  actually run down the alley with the ball and shoot until he has done this drill at the very least 20 times and best 50 times.

Hopefully the description above is helpful, however, if you need to see it in action you can view the entire sequence, including a long pole in this video:

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