Larry Bird's shooting mechanics?
Is he shooting it like a two-handed "throw", or is he shooting one-handed? I've tried replicating his shot, but I can never figure out his mechanics. Here's one video I like to study because it has one slow-motion segment of Larry shooting the ball. I've watched and re-winded it over and over and it looks like he's shooting it with two hands like a throw! Tell me what you think. The link to the clip is below. The segment I am talking about is at the 2:00 minute mark.
You are correct. Larry Bird is shooting with what shooting coaches call one and a half hands. You do see his left hand helping push the shot. His form is NOT like MJ or Jimmy Chitwood in Hoosiers, who clearly get the off hand off in time. The correct placement of the off hand is for its palm to be facing sideways in the follow through, not facing the basket as the shooting hand should be.
He is an exception to the rule. Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr are in that same category of consistently good shooters with this shooting flaw. Charles Barkley and LeBron James are in the next category, flawed shooters who are streaky good instead of consistently good.
One and a half hand shooting is the most common shooting flaw out there. Superior athletes often go uncorrected on this point because they are superior at other things or because coaches do not know how to deal with this problem. Check out www.starshooter.net for a product that helps fix this flaw. Source(s): 11 years as a shooting coach for Shot Doctor Basketball, Inc.
Why are you wasting your time trying to replicate his shot form? Just because you'll look like him doesn't mean it'll go in as often.
I actually has his book, Bird on Basketball: How-to Strategies from the Great Celtics Champion, and in that book he tackles many topics, one of which is shooting. Generally, he spoke of 6 steps for any type of shot, these are:
1. Get ready - Whenever you receive a pass or pick the ball up off the dribble, be sure to grab it so you're ready to shoot. The fingers of your shooting hand should be straight up and spread comfortably on the ball. This means that there should be a slight space between the palm of your hand and the ball.
2. Get set - Your body must be balance. You must have a solid platfrom from which to begin your shot motion, because an accurate shot is the result of a smooth, rhythmic body and arm motion.
3. Aim - Zero in on a spot in the middle of the rim toward the back of the basket. Visualize your target on concentrate on it.
4. Fire - At the peak of your jump or shot motion, quickly release the ball by smoothly moving your arm toward the basket, and snapping your wrists. Release the ball off your fingertips so you give the ball a slow reverse spin.
5. Follow through - After you shoot the ball, your arm and hand should continue their motion to the basket so your fingers end up pointing at your target.
6. Follow your shot - Follow through and watch your shot all the way to the target, but as soon as your shot hits the goal, be ready to go after a missed shot.
From the pictures in the book, one can clearly see that Larry shoots the ball with one hand, but he always uses his off-hand to guide the ball and keep it firmly in his right palm. When he follows through, his left hand turns and faces the target as well. That may be the reason why it looks as if he shoots two-handed shots.
No. What you are seeing is the guide hand following through. He has the same mechanics as Michael Jordan and Steve Kerr, Jerry West....
Listen to Red at the 1:30 mark. he says to follow through.
The mechanics of a shot are simple. Others shoot funny because they've shot that way until it has become natural to them. They're also RARELY known to be great shooters.
To get a fundamentally sound technique, practice shooting straight up in the air while lying flat on the ground.
point your elbow straight toward your target, keep your forearm lined up as well. Your hand should be coming back as if to go straight above your shoulder.
Watch @ 1:28 how Birds arm and elbow are pointing straight toward the basket. The left hand is to keep the ball properly placed in the shooting hand as its being thrown. he follows through with the wrist giving it the perfect backspin. From NBA range, it should rotate 2 1/2 times by the time it hits the basket.
If you can get a better film of Bird, you'll ntice that his guide hand pulls away from the ball about mid shot and kinda just follows through with the other arm.
If you can see Jordan do a free-throw, it's the same thing, only he doesn't follow through with his guide hand as much as Bird. But the mechanics are the same. Fluid movement with the knees all the way to the squared in elbow pointing straight in toward the basket and forearm doing most of the throwing.
If you can, and it's gotta be somewhere. Find video of Bird shooting a free throw. Thats his shot mechanics broken down to its most visible.
He is shooting one-handed with his left hand on the side to keep the ball steady. Watch Jimmy Chitwood in the movie, "Hoosiers" and he shoots much the same way.
A big part of the success in shooting that way is having large hands--it's much easier to shoot with one hand when your hand is half the size of the ball! If you have smaller hands, it will be a lot harder to shoot this way.
Guys like Larry Bird shoots that way simply because that's HIS shot. He feels comfortable while shooting if he shoots like that. Now why would you want to replicate his shot????
Remember, you don't have to replicate a shot of a good shooter and expect the same results. The key to becoming a good shooter is to be comfortable with your shot. You don't have to study the "mechanics of Larry Bird's shot. That is plain foolish.
Take Peja Stojacovic for example. Examine his shot, then replicate it. All you're gonna get are airballs cuz that's a very unusual kind of shot. The reason that he makes it with that shot is because that's the shot that he's comfortable at. If he changes his shot and shoots the normal jumpshot, then he might not make it most of the time.
Here's my advice, know what shot comforts you then practice it. You don't need to study nobody's shot.
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