Steph Curry will most likely be remembered as one of the greatest shooters in the history of basketball. His eagle-eyed accuracy has transformed the Golden State Warriors from a good team into world beaters. He isn’t doing it all on his own of course, but the man can shoot. If you’re like Curry and aren’t the biggest baller on the court, then here’s a guide to turn you into a sharpshooter. This is how to shoot threes like Steph Curry.
The rise of shooters
Basketball players are encouraged now more than ever to shoot for threes, and the best example of that is how well the Golden State Warriors are doing. Steph Curry’s career three-point percentage is 43.6, which puts him at fifth in the all-time rankings. His Warriors buddy Klay Thompson’s 3pt percentage is 41.9 and teams can’t rest for a second when those two have the ball.
The best three-point conversion rate in regular season history is 45.4, and it might not surprise you to learn that the man responsible for that is Steve Kerr. That’s right, the man behind one of the greatest basketball dynasties of all time was a sniper on the court. It’s no wonder Curry and Thompson are encouraged to shoot for threes so often when their coach was such a fan of shooting from distance.
The first thing that shooters like Curry need to excel on the court is some space, especially when they aren’t the tallest players. Curry is so good at shooting, but before he can even think about the shot he needs to consider where he is on the court. One of the best ways he does this is to dribble the ball toward the hoop before taking a huge step back and shooting over his guard.
That requires his body to be in great shape, and he needs great core strength for balance when stopping on a dime. Working space is super important, and Curry makes it look easy thanks to little explosions of power to get him some room for a shot.
Working on the jump
The key to Curry’s accuracy is getting the jump shot right, every single time. There is a reason why Steph is so consistent from deep range, and it’s because his body is in tune. When Curry begins his jump shot his knees, hips, and most importantly, ankles, all pop up at the same time. That means his entire lower half of his body is working as one, helping to propel him in the air in a steady motion.
The more he reduces the motion in the air, the more consistent his shots are going to be. There is one more secret to Curry’s jump shot, and it’s all about where his heels are in relation to the floor. When Curry is getting ready to fire off a shot, his heels will never touch the ground. He jumps from the balls of his feet, and that helps give him as much elevation as possible, making the three-shot easier, from anywhere on the court.
Always keep the ball moving
When Steph lines up his shots, there is one thing that happens every time to the ball, it never stops moving. Some players will pause the ball before they release it as they think it will improve their accuracy, but actually what it does is take some control away.
Curry’s jumper is one fluid motion which allows him to generate the power needed to score from deep. His fluid motion also improves his accuracy because he’s not trying to regain any moment lost from stopping the ball, even for a split second. If you want the consistency and power of Curry, then you’ve got to keep the ball moving at all times.
The palm roll
When basketball coaches try to teach younger players how to throw a mid-range or deep shot, they tell them to get their hand behind the ball. That way, once they bring the ball up to shoot their hand is already in the right place. What Curry does is slightly different, and it allows for his continuous motion shot.
When he’s getting ready to shoot the ball, Curry’s hand is actually at the side of the ball and as he brings it up to shoot he rotates it. As the ball is in his middle Curry then releases his shot, with his hand at the back of the ball. Once more, this reduces the need to stutter his motion and improves the power behind his throw.
This one might be obvious, but the best way to improve is to keep on practicing. No pro athlete got to the top without putting in the hours into their games. Curry is no different, and you can bet he’s spent months of his life repeating the same shot over and over again to create that muscle memory. Now he doesn’t even have to think about his shots because his body already knows what to do.
If being able to shoot like Steph Curry was easy, then everyone in the NBA would be doing it. Clearly, it’s not that easy, but these are the secrets behind his seemingly flawless technique when shooting from deep.