Swish! Splash! Wet! Net! Those are just a few acronyms for making a perfect shot that doesn’t touch rim. Regardless of what you call it, aiming for the perfect shot should be a habit, not just something that happens every once in a while.
“Always aim for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” – W. Clement Stone
This is a great quote for setting big goals. Even if you come up short, you’ll still be a success. With basketball this can easily be applied to how you should aim when you’re shooting…
“Always aim for swishes, even if you miss, you’ll still make the basket!” – Coach Josh
The idea is to aim for a swish every time you shoot and it makes the most awesome sound in the world!
See the Bullseye
The smaller your target, the harder you try to hit it. Trying to hit the tiny red circle on a dart board is difficult, but even if you don’t hit it, you will rarely miss the whole dart board. Now picture that bullseye in the center of the rim on a basketball hoop. Your goal is to hit that bullseye with the ball every time.
Even when you make the shot, if it touches the rim, it wasn’t a perfect shot. And you were lucky the rim worked in your favor. Observe which side of the rim it hit and the trajectory of the ball. Was it a laser or a rainbow? Your shot should go high and come down like a rainbow. “More arch” is the number one tip I use to help players get more swishes. Was it left or right? Make sure your hand is pointed directly towards the rim. Learn from your last shot. The next time you take a shot, you can make minor adjustments to turn that lucky make into a skillful swish!
The Rim is a Variable
Don’t rely on the rim to help you every time. We’ve all had shots that rattled in and out, or spun around the rim and don’t go in. The rim can be a cruel tease. The rim can be very different depending on where you play. It can be stiff or too loose. It could be one of those dreaded double rims that is very unforgiving. But the net never fails! Regardless of how bad the rim is, it won’t matter if you’re aiming for swishes. You’ll start to see that shots that almost go in can be improved upon, rather than blaming it on bad luck. Don’t settle for imperfect makes!
The Ball is a Variable
Don’t blame the ball for your misses! Whether its rubber, leather or some kind of vinyl, the ball shouldn’t effect your shooting percentage. Aiming for swishes is the key. Hitting the rim is your bad, not the ball’s!
Some Faulty Theories
There are many philosophies about shooting. Some are wrong, some are just plain outdated. But nothing is 100% guaranteed and nobody can tell you one way is perfect. No one makes 100% of their shots even with ideal shooting form and even when the one shooting is a professional NBA player. It’s just impossible to be 100% consistent. Yes, repetition increases your chances of making shots, regardless of your shooting form. But there are some theories that incorrectly lead to missed shots that could be avoided:
1) Aim for the back of the rim – Incorrect. You hit what you aim for. So if you aim for the back of the rim, that’s what you will hit. Why would you aim for something you don’t want to hit? The rim is a variable that doesn’t always work in your favor. The net always works in your favor.
2) Aim for just over the front of the rim – Incorrect. For the same reasons as #1. This kind of aiming usually leads to better arch, but not enough accuracy when it comes to how hard you shoot. Sometimes you’ll hit the back, sometimes you hit the front.
3) Aim for banks on all shots if possible – Incorrect. Depending on where you are playing basketball, the backboard is either plastic, or metal or glass. The backboard could be white or clear. Even in the best of circumstances with an indoor basket, the backboard only has a square which is too large a target to aim for (the corner of the square, however, is a great target for layups and close shots within 5 feet from certain angles). The backboard is too much of a variable because the backboard changes based on where you play. The net never changes.
How You Can Use This Today
Shoot 25 free throws and only count your swishes. Don’t count it if it touches any part of the rim. The number will be very low at first. That’s ok! What you will realize is that the rim and/or backboard was helping you make a majority of your shots. Even though there may have been a fundamental problem with your shot, you ignored it because the ball went in sometimes. However, the rim is very unreliable and will hurt you in the long run. Aiming for swishes forces you to make adjustments even when you do make it.
At Least You’ll Make It!
Trying to get swishes every time can get very frustrating. It’s impossible to get a swish every shot. But luckily, swishing it is not the only way to score points. If your shot is close enough to a swish, the more likely you are to have the rim work in your favor. Also, there is still something to learn from every shot result. If it hits the rim, then next time you need to either shoot harder or softer, higher or lower, right or left. If it swishes, just rinse and repeat!