Why do I shoot worst in games?

Q: Hello, I've been shooting a lot lately and making most of my shots during practice, but when it comes game time my shots just don't drop. They are almost always short but right on line. I think that my shots have enough arc. My problem might be that I can't tell how far away the basket is from where I'm shooting. I have complete confidence in my shot so that's not a question. Is there any thing you could tell me that would help me?

A: It sounds like it's just a matter of loss of focus. You KNOW how to shoot, but your fear of missing (or doubt in yourself -- same thing) cause you to lose focus, to hold back, to try too hard, etc., whatever it is. I recommend you just keep hanging in there, and start to notice what interferes. When it's a "game," do you have fear or doubt, or do you start thinking too much?

It's natural for you to have those interferences. A way to approach them is to just notice, on a scale, like from 1 to 10, how much fear or "craziness" you notice in you as you play games. Just the awareness will help calm your mind. Keep reminding yourself that you are a fine shooter. One of the great things about my method is the "full out" Release motion. That is, you fire it off at the same speed and force all the time. Thus, when you're under pressure, you can still just go full out and the ball will fly pretty much the same. But you need to be connected to your basket mentally, and aligned physically (as much as possible), and then connected in the follow through and completion. Also, you need to trust and let it fly. Don't hold back.

Note if your focus on the basket before, during and after the shot wavers. If it does not waver, and you shoot on the way up from powerful UpForce, and you have a strong, quick, aimed-high and full out Release, your shots should start dropping, even under intense pressure. You are, of course, just letting it fly and varying the arch to control distance, I presume.

Observe exactly how you are shooting. Are you wrist and hand relaxed? Does your shooting hand bounce in the follow through? If not, then you must be adding wrist and/or hand muscles, which introduce variable and causes variation in the result.