Basketball Shooting : How to Get Accuracy, Consistency and Repeatability

I just did some clinics in northern California and noticed again the critical nature of these three qualities in a player's shooting. To shoot well, you have to have ACCURACY under control. Direction is critical, especially for the longer shots and the three's when the basket gets smaller and smaller and there's less room for error. CONSISTENCY in shooting performance is also needed, else your results will be streaky and spotty. And REPEATABILITY is the name we give to a motion that is so learned and mastered it can go on automatic.

ACCURACY comes from the ball being in line with the shooting eye and basket so the release motion can be easily gotten, and kept, on line. I see a lot of players who have the ball aligned with their ears or shoulders, some even the opposite eye or ear. If it's not on line with the shooting eye, then direction is always a challenge. If you shoot as far off line as the shoulder, good luck. You will be always struggling to get the ball on line to the target. There are some players who have shot well (at times) from in line with the shoulder, but it takes tremendous concentration and confidence. The slightest bit of doubt and the ball can be a foot off line on either side very easily.

To me CONSISTENCY comes from shooting more from big muscles and less from small muscles. If you would just shoot earlier in your jumping motion, you'll feel what I'm talking about. You'll feel the big muscles controlling things, and they are a large, powerful, steady source of energy. If you hesitate and start using more the upper body muscles, the shot becomes flatter and hotter, as we say. Little muscles are less reliable under pressure, too.

REPEATABILITY is what you get when you relax the wrist and hand and let the arm do all the work in the Release. The Swish Method is about how to control the Flight of a Basketball, how to control distance and direction. You want to maximize the use of big muscles and minimize the use of small muscles. A "Huge" part of this is the idea of relaxing the wrist and hand and then releasing the ball with the same speed and force every time. When you do that, all of the variables of shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers become ONE CONSTANT!!! I hope you can see the advantage of that. The Release can stay the same, thus making the shot more reliable, measurable and predictable. The lower body (legs, UpForce) provide the majority of power, the Release power is the same, and you simply vary the arch to control distance. It becomes really SIMPLE and something anyone can learn and start to master! How far you take it is up to you.

Tom Nordland is a shooting expert and coach from California via Minnesota. His videos, coaching and writings are inspiring a Renaissance (a rebirth, a revival) in shooting around the world as players and coaches are taught the things that really matter in shooting. A great shooter as a youth, Tom was given a gift of seeing shooting like few have ever seen it. He sees the “essence” of great shooting and how to get there. The good news is that it’s very simple. The few great shooters of today and yesterday mastered simple things, not complicated motions. Improved shooting is now possible for everybody in the game, and mastery is available to those who sincerely dedicate themselves to it. Visit Tom’s website ( to read of his background and his articles and newsletters, and to view the remarkable endorsements and amazing testimonials for this approach to shooting.