Some things in life get better with age. For Ray Allen, one of those things is his three-point shooting percentage.
At the ripe age of 36, Allen shot a career-best 44 percent from beyond the arc in 2010-11, good enough for second in the NBA.
The game has changed since Allen's debut in 1996, a time when MJ reigned supreme, the Hornets played in Charlotte, and Kobe was an 18-year old rookie sporting a mini Afro.
Since that time, Allen has played for three teams over 15 NBA seasons for a total of 1,102 career games [he started in all but four]. Through it all, his shooting form is one aspect of Allen's game that has remained constant, as awesomely illustrated by the peeps at Got 'Em Coach: Allen's right elbow is locked in the exact same position every time he rises for a jumper.
The locked elbow is just one aspect of Allen's textbook shooting form, according to Dave Hopla, a shooting specialist who worked with Allen during his Milwaukee Bucks days. "The most important part of the shot is having your shooting elbow in the letter 'L,'" Hopla says.
Take it from Hopla: "Ray Allen has perfect form. When he shoots, he believes every shot is going in."
Step up your game with instructions from Hopla for developing Ray Allen's textbook shooting form.
Ray Allen Shooting Form
- Assume slightly staggered position with shooting foot in front
- Keep slight bend in knees and waist
Toe to Target
- Point toe of shooting foot directly at hoop
- Bring shoulders in front of toes and head in front of shoulders
- Form letter "L" with shooting arm
- Cock shooting wrist until skin on back wrist wrinkles, allowing only fingertips of balance hand to touch ball
- Do not apply too much pressure with balance hand
Elbows Above Eyebrow
- Keep shooting elbow above eyebrow through finish
Hand in Hoop
- Visualize putting shooting hand in hoop when releasing ball
- Keep eyes on target; don't watch flight of ball
Freeze Your Follow-Through
- After releasing ball, freeze follow-through until ball hits floor
Shoot, Stay and Swish
- Stay put until ball goes in
Says Hopla, "Some guys chase their rebounds, but a good shooter believes he is going to swish every shot. If you run in, the ball could bounce right over your head, back to where you just were."
Shooting Form Drills
- Stand two feet from hoop with ball in shooting hand
- Using only shooting hand, take shots
- Upon making three consecutive shots, take half step back and repeat
Coaching Points: Adhere to "Shoot, Stay and Swish" practice // Keep elbow up while moving further from basket
- Assume triple-threat position
- Toss ball approximately three feet in front with backspin
- Step forward, gather ball and shoot
- Retrieve ball; repeat for 25 shots
- Alternate sets between spinning left, right and straight on
Coaching Point: Freeze follow-through
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock