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How To Overcome A Shooting Slump In Basketball

One of the worst and most detrimental things that a player can experience is a shooting slump.

This can have many deleterious effects on a player's confidence and ability to perform at his or her highest potential.

You might be asking yourself "why am is shooting so poorly" or "will I ever be able to shoot well again".

These types of fearful thoughts and doubts only exacerbate the problem and cause players to get into their own heads even more as the games go on.

In this article, I will be going over a few effective and worthwhile strategies you can use to hope stop and handle your shooting slump.

1. Law Of Averages

This law states that every deviation from an average will at some point have to go back to its original average at some point or time.

This is actually great news for a player experiencing a bad shooting slump. By knowing this law you can then recontextualize your shooting problems and know from reason and logic that eventually these shots will have to fall.

This happens in the NBA all the time. You might see players struggle for a couple but then all a sudden they have one game where they explode and make every shot.

The key is just to stick with it. If you know you are a good 3 point shooter then you must keep shooting the ball. The only time a shooting slump can affect you in the long term is if you stop shooting the basketball.

Below is a great example of the law of averages kicking. With Steph Curry being held to 0 points in the second half only to explode for 33 in the second half.

2. Eliminate Stress

A lot of times in basketball we overlook how our mental health can affect how we are playing on the floor. With a shooting slump, this can sadly only compound and make the stress even worse at times.

So it is important to realize and contemplate your mental state when you are playing or shooting a basketball.

Below I will give you a few ideas and strategies to mitigate the stress you might be feeling in your game.

Things You Can Do To Mitigate Stress

- meditating

- Naps and Good Sleep

- Clean Diet

- Alone Time. Or quiet times where you can really be alone and quiet the noise from the outside world.

3. Attack The Basket

One of the best ways to get out of a shooting slump is simply getting your confidence back by seeing the ball go into the basket.

A great way for a player to get easy points is by attacking the rim and getting to the free-throw line.

By doing this you can then put your body and mind in a rhythm which in turn can lead to you making more shots farther from the basket.

A great example of a player who does this very well is James Harden. He is a player who can still score and be effective even if he is not shooting particularly well in that game.

4. Focus On Other Things

Sometimes a major cause of a shooting slump is that you are simply thinking way too much about just your shooting.

Remember there are multiple facets in the game of basketball that do not involve shooting.

By focusing on other aspects of your game you can then put less pressure and strain on yourself when shooting the ball since you will not be basing your whole game on this one aspect of the game.

This can not only quiet your mind but also expand your game in ways you did not see before. And then naturally you will start to slowly get out of your slump but instead without all the added strain and pressure.

5. Study

A great way to fix your jump shot is by actually studying what is going wrong with your shot.

Some easy and effective ways of doing this are having someone film your shooting in games or in practice.

Then this way you can get a better idea of what might be wrong with the mechanics of your shot with a more outside and objective perspective.

6. Practice Like You Play

Many players who struggle with a shooting slump are usually talking about their ability to shoot in games or competitive situations when the defense is defending them.

A big cause for this shooting slump is that their body and muscle connections are not used to the speed at which they play.

Think about it by practicing at a different pace than game speed it is almost like developing a whole different skill.

So instead of just walking around and taking random shots the next time you practice try picking up the tempo a bit and treating it like a game-time situation.

7. Mindset

It does not matter who you are. One day you are going to go through a shooting slump.

But one thing you must keep in mind during the dark days is that this too shall pass. If you know what you are capable of as a player then having a shooting slump should be seen as a small bump in the road.

Some of the most confident players will have an attitude like " there gotta be something wrong with the rim".

This does not have to be a cocky or arrogant thing, but a positive belief system that you can rely on when this does occur.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is a shooting slump and how do I know I'm in one?

Answer: A shooting slump is whenever you constantly are shooting below your average percentages for a consistent amount of games. Most players will consider themselves in a shooting slump when they are shooting poorly for more than 2 or 3 games.

Question: What causes a shooting slump?

Answer: Most shooting slumps are mainly caused by just the natural law of averages kicking in. Now other shooting slumps could be caused by lack of practice and general stressors in your life at that time. Everyone is going to be different.

That is why it is important to contemplate and do some self-inspection especially when these slumps arise.


Even though a shooting slump can be a very stressful period in any basketball player's season or career the truth of the matter is that these problems and issues can be transcended and turned into an experience that makes you a better player and person as a whole.

I hope this article gave you the necessary measure and steps to solve your shooting issues and problems.

Thank you for reading and as always keep hooping my friends.

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1 Comment

Oct 16, 2021

Even Steph Curry has shooting slumps. Hopefully the Nuggets won't!

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