How to coach a 'constant' release

Q: Knowing your Method, how do I get a "constant" Release?

A: As you are beginning to understand, it's critical to master the Release! If it's shaky and can't be counted on to do the same thing every time, you're in trouble, especially under pressure.

To solidify your Release, you need to start every shooting practice from what I call the "Pure Release Distance." From just 3', 4', 5', 6', whatever your strength allows, stand there with no leg action (or just a horizontal rocking motion to "trigger" the motion) and learn to drill high-arching shot after high-arching shot, over and over and over. You will be training yourself to fire off your Release the same, an upward pushing action, to the "end-of-the-arm," in what I call a "full out" motion. By "full out," I mean about 70-75% of max. speed and force, something that is quick and strong, but not so quick and strong that it can hurt your elbow. Your wrist and hand are TOTALLY relaxed!!!

NOTE: It's assumed that your body is "open," not square, and that you have a solid Set Point, above the eyes if you're strong enough, and it's pretty much "in line" with the shooting eye and the basket. Your hand is pointed in line with the basket. That's what critical as far as grip and hand. When the center of the palm is aligned with eye and target, the elbow of your shooting arm will be to the side 4-5 inches. That's normal! That's expected. (Elbow is NOT under the ball!) From there you can push your arm directly in line with the target and the ball will fly true every time.

And when working off the dribble and, if right handed, you are moving to your right and turning counter-clockwise to shoot, you probably won't have time to turn all the way to have the open stance and everything aligned. You have to just turn as much as you can, get as aligned as you can, then connect to the UpForce and let it fly! It's much more important to connect to the target and trust yourself and have a great Release and Follow Through with this kind of chaotic shot than to get exactly turned, aligned, etc., which take time. The UpForce and a great Finish will work wonders for your shot!

When you can go to the PRD (a semi-circle) and immediately start drilling shot after shot, dead center, no-brainer, then you will start to have a Release you can rely on. Then, since the Release by itself goes only 3', 4', 5', you HAVE to shoot from the leg power, which is a nice symbiotic relationship to have. You WANT to do that. You WANT to need that. It gives you power, a quick release, high arch and a stable action.

With a truly "Constant" Release, you should then be able to apply this method to your various shots. Catch-and-shoot shots and free throws are the easiest, but even off the dribble, if you "Catch" the UpForce powerfully and trust yourself when you pull the trigger on your Constant Release, the shots will start to drop. All you're thinking about when you go to shoot, then, is (1) when you shoot, and (2) how high to aim. The rest of the mechanics can go on automatic.

Check this out and let me know what you discover. Keep it simple. Watch the video over and over.