Shooting: Mental confidence comes first
Dr. Hal Wissel attests that Gabe York has mentality of a marksman
Call it what you want. Swag. Confidence. Fortitude. Gabe York knows he can shoot.
"I'm definitely a scorer. That's what I do best," He asserted on today's ESPN HS piece, Mentality of a Marksman. "Missing three or four shots is not going to get me mentally down just because I know I can shoot the ball, and that's one of the best assets I have."
Stop right there.
Did you hear the self-belief? That's one of the fundamental hallmarks of a great shooter.
After peeping this video, Five-Star caught up with shooting specialist and former NBA Coach and General Manager, Dr. Hal Wissel.
Wissel's worked on shooting mechanics and mental focus with everyone from Mike Miller (Miami Heat) and Pau Gasol (L.A. Lakers) to retired NBA sharpshooters, Dale Ellis and Maro Ellie.
Yes, that Mario Ellie. The former Houston Rocket who extinguished with the Phoenix Suns in Game 7 of the '95 Western Conference Finals with a trey ball that left only 7.1 seconds on the ticker. A shot they still call the "kiss of death" in H-town.
Ellie knew the ball was going in. A mental sureness that all clutch shooters possess.
Basketball's largely a mental game, particularly when it comes to hoisting the rock. Take it away, Dr. Wissel.
"You have to believe in yourself. You want to have confidence in your ability to make the shot every time you shoot. Confident shooters control their thoughts, feelings, and shooting skill."
"Shooting is much more than good mechanics. It’s the feeling, thoughts and belief in your self that comes first. Developing the mental aspect is a key to enhancing shooting as well as performance in all fundamentals."
So what if you do miss a few shots in a row?
Go and brush your shoulders off. York does. He continues in the video, "It's me not getting mad, not shaking my head when I miss the shot. It's me going to the rim first, getting a few baskets; seeing the ball go through the rim first, and then I'll be alright."
Alternatively, hesitant shooters think negatively. Or as Dr. Wissel calls it, they "catastrophize."
"You have some people that are not positive. And what they do and when they miss a shot? They say, 'Oh, I missed my first shot. Then, they miss the next two and say 'Oh, I missed three in a row.'
"Now you have negative and a negative. Then they'll say 'I'm off tonight.' Another negative. Which leads to 'I'm just a bad shooter,' or even worse, "I can't shoot, I'm giving this thing up."
"When you miss a shot, you should know why you missed by the reaction of the ball on the rim and how it feels. And you should immediately correct it. Visually and physically."
Wissel offers an entire tutorial, free to the public, on physically correcting shooting errors. But the aim here is to master the mental aspect, and think like Gabe York.
Act like a shooter, feel like a shooter, be a shooter.
BONUS: Arizona's getting a good one in York. His Five-Star 'Coming Attractions' piece...