Steph Curry didn’t shoot from distance for an entire summer.
He was in high school working overhauling his shot. It was mostly from the hip and his release was too low for it to work well against bigger varsity defenders. So he worked with his dad to start from scratch.
Curry talks about this in his MasterClass course on basketball.
If you’re teenage Steph Curry and shoot like a catapult and you want to shoot like an adult Steph Curry, how do you fix it?
Shoot from inside the key. A lot. Like the entire summer. (And then keep doing that.)
There was a time where I—basically for three months in the summer I couldn’t leave the paint. To really work on the mechanics of my shot, the rhythm of my shot, getting stronger so I could repeat that form every single time. You had to be patient.
Curry says the worst thing you can do is start launching from the 3-point line right when you walk in the gym. You want to start with some makes. Make from up close so you establish the mechanics when you’re fresh. If you can establish the mechanics then you can tweak the variables to increase range and adjust if you’re missing left or right. But if you start launching from the 3-point line right when you walk in, you’re going to miss a few. Or, in my case, you’re going to miss a lot. Get on track first.
Try to miss short or long (instead of left or right)
That means your mechanics are in a good place, but you just need to get in rhythm and get your touch correct. Missing left or right means something in your form is off. It’s more off than if you’re missing short or long.
All the little wins add up over time (a little bit of simple math)
The warm up he has is starting right in front of the rim with 5 makes and then taking a big step back, 5 makes, and so on until you’ve shot from 4 different distances.
Then you start right in front of the rim again but from a different angle. You do 5 angles, 20 makes each, for 100 total makes.
Do that 5 days a week that’s 500 makes. That’s 2,000 in a month. And 20,000 in ten months.
The math is straightforward step-by-step. If I guessed right at the top I wouldn’t think a ten-minute drill repeated would lead to 20,000 makes in less than a year.
Shooting is Steph Curry’s specialty.
My specialty is taking lessons from one field and ham-handedly applying them another. Let’s take basketball lessons and convert them to writing.
- Shoot inside the key: Start your session with quality. If you’re practicing writing then do something you know to warm up before stretching yourself. Don’t jump into the hard stuff yet. Warm up a little with some quick wins.
- Miss the right way: If you’re writing and you’re telling great stories, making brilliant connections, and writing beautiful prose but you’re making a few typos here and there. Well, good job. There are tools and copy editors that can catch those things. On the other hand, you can get all your grammar perfect and not have a single typo and create something completely boring. (Ahem.)
- The little wins add up over time: You probably already know that. But it can be motivating to step through the math again and see just what you can accomplish over a year if you dedicate 10-30 minutes to something daily. If you write 1,000 words every weekday then you can write 250,000 words in a year. If you publish half that, then you can turn that 125,000 into many, many blog posts or a couple of books.
Don’t shoot any 3-pointers for the entire summer. Don’t aim to write a book every session.
Write a section here, a section there. Get your mechanics right in smaller chunks of text. It’ll add up.