- IN THE ZONE -
THE ‘MENTAL ASPECT’ OF SHOOTING A BASKETBALL
THIS IS BRAIN TRAINING!!!
WE ARE TRAINING YOUR BRAIN TO SHOOT
!! THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ANY BASKETBALL PLAYER WILL EVER LEARN - EVER !!
- THE EYES HAVE IT - THE 'MENTAL KEY' TO HIGH PERCENTAGE BASKETBALL SHOOTING -
THE 'MENTAL KEY' TO HIGH PERCENTAGE BASKETBALL SHOOTING
‘Vision’ -The Eyes Have It -
Where, why and when to use your vision, and how...
Where to focus:
Consciously direct your focus to the far side of the rim - specifically - to the metal hook that is farthest away from where you're standing. Most rims have twelve metal hooks used for attaching the net to the rim.
When THE METAL HOOK ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE RIM IS YOUR BULL’S-EYE, your shooting percentage skyrockets.
Our body [the robot] is a slave to our five senses; touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. Stimuli to our five senses initiate chain reactions compelling our brain to release floods of chemicals which produce physiological responses. Through our sense of touch we are self-aware of our body’s proximity to the basketball. Our sense of sight allows us to be self-aware of our body's proximity to the basket.
When to focus:
We focus when we’re ready to shoot. The command center [our mind] armed with self-aware information supplied by our senses, triggers our brain to release an appropriate dousing of chemicals which in turn cause our body [the robot] to correctly and appropriately respond to our current situation, or to what is happening to us right now. This instantaneous process is repeated moment to moment, day to day [by all five senses] continuously from pre-birth to death.
Specific to shooting a basketball though, we are primarily concerned with our sense of sight and our sense of touch. In your past when you shot a basketball you looked up and saw a backboard, a rim, and a net. When you shot a basketball at this scene, as far as your brain/body connection was concerned that backboard, rim, and net was your target. If you hit that backboard, rim or net your brain/body connection was very happy! TA–DA!!! YOU JUST HIT YOUR TARGET - THAT’S WHERE YOU WERE AIMING – AND YOU HIT IT!!! Of course your mind knows the main objective is putting the rock in the hole. That’s what r-e-a-l-ly makes you happy.
So understand - until right now you’ve sent mixed and confusing signals to your brain/body from your mind, which is the underlying cause for your lower-than-it-should-be shooting percentage.
Mixed signals? What mixed signals? 1) I wanted to score. 2) I was aiming at a very large target [backboard, rim and net]. 3) If I hit that target [backboard, rim or net] I was happy. 4) When the ball didn’t go through the hoop I was sad.
These simultaneous mixed and confusing signals are sabotaging your shot!
STOP ALL THE CONFUSION. Narrow your focus. Give yourself a BULL’S-EYE.
When THE METAL HOOK ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE RIM IS YOUR BULL’S-EYE your shooting percentage skyrockets.
How to focus:
Study a rim UP CLOSE. For this technique to become second nature to you IT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT YOU STUDY A RIM UP CLOSE. If need be, go to a store, take a rim out of the box, hold it - feel it - study it - get to know it. Study specifically those metal hooks that hold the net to the rim, at least that’s what the manufacturers think those hooks are there for. You and I now know these metal hooks, each and every one, is really a BULL’S-EYE. You need to know exactly how these hooks look as you peer up at them from the court. So to closely study the hooks use a magnifying glass. Even if you’re an NBA star, use a magnifying glass. Look up through the bottom of the rim, that’s your perspective while standing on the court looking up at the basket. Use a magnifying glass to study the hooks.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE - IMPOSSIBLE - IMPOSSIBLE for me to overstate the importance of you examining the HOOKS with a MAGNIFYING GLASS!!!
Your goal is to store the image of the MAGNIFIED HOOK in your mind. This image of a GIANT MAGNIFIED HOOK is ‘The Specific Key’ to high percentage basketball shooting. You're going to understand exactly how to use this ‘Specific Key’ immediately, continue reading. Study that rim so well so that you can imagine exactly how those hooks look when you’re looking up through the bottom of the rim, then read and re-read the next short paragraph again and again and again. ☺The key to high percentage basketball shooting is recalling that MAGNIFIED HOOK in your mind while focusing on that metal hook on the far side of the rim with your eyes. In other words, you’re imagining a MAGNIFIED BULL’S-EYE in your mind while focusing your eyes on that hook [your target] on the far side of the rim☺ You see, your brain sees everything your eyes see. See? However your mind has this unique ability to manipulate information received from your eyes and make specific images appear larger or smaller, even different colors. Example: right now imagine a full sized backboard, a rim, and a net. You’re doing this right now; you know what it looks like. Now focus in on that scene until you imagine only a rim [notice everything but the rim has disappeared]. Now, focus until only the hook on the far side of the rim remains in your image. See?
Now, let's take it to the next level. Make the hook larger by recalling exactly what you saw through the magnifying glass☺ See?
Do this imagination exercise for the rest of your life - WITH YOUR EYES OPEN - ALWAYS WITH YOUR EYES OPEN !!!
☺The 'key' to high percentage shooting is recalling that MAGNIFIED BULL’S-EYE in your mind while consciously focusing your vision on the hook on the far side of the rim☺ Right now, imagine a backboard, rim, and net. Focus in until you see only rim and net. Now focus until you see only your BULL’S-EYE. Now recall that MAGNIFIED HOOK on the far side of the rim☺ Do this imagination exercise multiple times a day for the rest of your life - WITH YOUR EYES OPEN - ALWAYS WITH YOUR EYES OPEN !!!
Why focus on that specific hook, the one on the ‘far side of the rim?’ Shooters bounce, consistency, and repeatability :
It’s late in the half. You’re body's running on fumes, your energy level is way south of where it was at tip-off. This is when shots drop short and bounce off the front of the rim. After consciously focusing on that hook on the far side of the rim and recalling that MAGNIFIED BULL’S-EYE in your mind ☺ you shoot. If your shot drops short of your target you’ll still be getting mostly net or possibly the famed ‘shooter’s bounce’ off the front of the rim. You’re increasing probability and ratcheting up that shooting percentage.
It’s the tip-off, adrenaline's surging through your body. Instantly you have the ball and you’re open for a shot. Focusing on that hook on the far side of the rim and recalling that MAGNIFIED BULL’S-EYE in your mind, you shoot. But adrenaline takes your shot long. Your shot banks in off the backboard or kicks up off the far side of the rim, rattles around and drops in - another ‘shooter’s bounce.’ You’re increasing probability and ratcheting up that shooting percentage.
Does this scenario always play out exactly as described? How can it? Is your concentration perfectly focused, 100% perfectly focused 100% of the time? How can it be? If your concentration is perfectly focused, 100% perfectly focused 100% of the time, then 100% of the time, while using this technique, your shot will drop through the hoop. But during a game and even in your basketball practice there are literally hundreds, even thousands of distractions. The greater your degree of focus the fewer distractions you have to deal with. Therefore your shooting percentage is dependent on your ability to focus. You now know how to focus. You now know when to focus. You now know why to focus, and where to focus. You do it by consciously giving yourself a BULL’S-EYE. You focus on your BULL'S EYE!
Now when you can MAGNIFY THAT HOOK ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE RIM, YOUR BULL’S-EYE, your shooting percentage skyrockets☺
What if you miss? What does that mean? Is this technique flawed? Let's see …
Pretend you’re shooting baskets for the very first time in your life. Before taking that very first shot you took the time to read and study this technique. What are the odds of you sinking your first shot - second shot - third - fourth? More than likely you’ve already shot a basketball thousands even hundreds of thousands of times. What’s your shooting percentage right now? Why isn’t it 100%?
THIS SYSTEM PROVIDES YOU THE 'MENTAL KEY' TO HIGH PERCENTAGE BASKETBALL SHOOTING.
Being 'InThe Zone’ can be described as a state-of-mind allowing your brain/body to run on instinct, unencumbered by distractions. I repeat; being ‘In The Zone’ is a state-of-mind allowing your brain/body to run on instinct, unencumbered by distractions. However one’s lack of experience and muscle memory limits the depth one can reach into ‘The Zone.’ In-other-words, professional and NCAA basketball players have vast amounts of muscle memory and learned behaviors because of years and years of experience, of practice, of repetition. These experienced athletes can enjoy going deeper in ‘The Zone’ than let’s say a less experienced AAU athlete can. If only they knew how to get there...
You now know how:
consciously focus on that hook on the far side of the rim and recall that MAGNIFIED BULL’S-EYE in your mind☺
How can ‘focusing’ do all this?
Peering into ‘The Zone’ through an open doorway you never even knew existed is what’s really happening when you’re imagining that MAGNIFIED BULL’S-EYE while consciously directing your focus to that hook on the far side of the rim☺ Your focus of attention becomes a g - a - p - i - n - g portal in to ‘The Zone.’
Now this begs the question; what is ‘The Zone?’ How will I know if I’m in ‘The Zone?’ Here’s a Michael Jordan description of being in ‘The Zone.’ “The basket appears to be six feet across. [How can I miss a basket that large?] The nine other players on the court seem to be moving in slow motion! I know exactly what everyone’s going to do even before they know.” What a great place to be! However, even Michael Jordan could not drop into ‘The Zone’ at will! He would seemingly slip into it by accident. It was the focus of his attention that allowed Michael Jordan to pass through the portal. What Mr. Jordan was focusing on, specifically, I’m not certain, heck Michael's not even sure, but I have a pretty good idea.
How does getting in ‘The Zone’ change things?
Here's a quick lesson on the differences of your conscious mind and your imagination.
Your conscious mind thinks linearly; meaning, one thought then another. One thought at a time, one thought after another. Your conscious mind finishes one thought before going on to the next. This is called linear thinking. This happens at the speed of light and since these linear thoughts happen so rapidly they do not seem to be happening one thought at a time, one thought after another. But that is precisely how our conscious minds work, all of us, savants excluded. You've heard the following phrase used to describe someone playing their sport at an extremely high level, "He's playing incredible ball, he's unconscious, he's playing out of his mind!"
Well, in a sense that’s an accurate statement. He's entered 'In The Zone.’ He's no longer c o n s c i o u s of what he's doing. He's in his imagination. He is literally 'out of his [conscious] mind.’
OK, you’ve explained the conscious mind. What do imagination and unconscious have to do with getting 'in the zone?'
Think a moment about how your being functions. Your heart is beating, you're digesting food, you're breathing, you're seeing/hearing/smelling/tasting/feeling and all this is happening simultaneously. Your linear conscious mind is incapable of controlling all this, yet all this is still happens without you giving it a single [conscious] thought. All this is ‘unconsciously’ orchestrated by your unconscious mind. Your imagination resides in your unconscious mind.
Your imagination thinks in scenarios, simultaneous scenarios, all the time. It never stops! So when you consciously focus on that hook on the far side of the rim you are giving your conscious mind a job, and remember it can only do one job at a time. Then when you direct your imagination to recall that MAGNIFIED HOOK, multiple scenarios kick into action: every cell in your body knows you are going to shoot and within a millisecond every single cell in your body supports and gets behind that decision. At this same time your conscious mind is focused on that hook and CANNOT - IS INCAPABLE OF - FOCUSING ON ANY DISTRACTIONS PRESENT DURING YOUR GAME!!! At this very moment, you are ‘In The Zone.’ You are quite literally out-of-your-[conscious]-mind. Your imagination has taken over your being. You're running on instinct. Your imagination is now playing your game of basketball and is quite literally shooting for you.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BASKETBALL INFORMATION YOU WILL EVER RECEIVE – EVER
Getting 'In The Zone' happens because of one conscious thought; focusing on that hook on the far side of the rim.
THAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT BASKETBALL INFORMATION YOU WILL EVER RECEIVE – EVER
Young athletes must develop muscle memory and instincts by putting in practice time, repetition being one of our greatest teachers. But what if you’re practicing wrong? How can I practice wrong, you might ask? Doesn’t practice make perfect? NO. Only perfect practice makes perfect! When shooting baskets, the LARGER THAT HOOK APPEARS the more perfect your practice is☺ When you’re focusing in on that hook farthest from you, zooming-in on that metal hook on the far side of the rim, your BULL’S-EYE, and that hook looks e x a c t l y like it did when you examined it with the magnifying glass…
Then my friend, you are ‘In The Zone☺’ You are practicing perfectly☺
When you shoot, follow through with your eyes. Keep your eyes on the HOOK until the ball goes through the hoop.
This all comes together during a game while taking your shot. The flow of the game seldom allows you to get into complicated text book shooting positions or allows you to use your practiced text book shooting form.
So now what? Well, by now you should know; you locate and grow that HOOK on the far side of the rim, your BULL’SEYE☺ Your mind knows you’re going to shoot and directs your brain to direct your body to coordinate itself in whatever fashion is necessary in order for you to fire the basketball and hit that specific metal hook that’s holding the net on the far side of that rim, your BULL’S-EYE. FOR ALL OF THIS TO HAPPEN - all you need to do is direct your focus specifically to the hook that is farthest from you, that HOOK on the far side of the rim, your BULL’SEYE while recalling that MAGNIFIED HOOK in your mind and shoot☺
Always follow-through with your eyes by keeping them on the HOOK until the ball goes through the hoop.
Getting lost in your shooting mechanics is too easy.
Where are my feet? Where is my elbow? Are my shoulders squared? Am I jumping straight up?
These questions go on and on and on. Do not believe, not even for one instant, that I’m dismissing good strong shooting mechanics. Shooting mechanics are time tested and invaluable. However, mentally and physically we are all built differently. The very best shooting mechanics for one athlete may be the very worst shooting mechanics for another athlete. One size definitely does not fit all.
You cannot be thinking about your shooting form while you’re shooting. Thinking while shooting is a very bad thing!
THINK ABOUT YOUR SHOT ONLY WHEN YOU’RE PRACTICING YOUR SHOOTING MECHANICS.
THINK ABOUT YOUR SHOT ONLY WHEN PRACTICING YOUR SHOOTING MECHANICS!
We all must realize that text book shooting conditions are rarely presented during the flow of a game. There’s another team on the court playing defense making it as difficult as is humanly possible for you to score; a clock is ticking off the seconds; fans are cheering and screaming; your own mind is even screaming at you.
There's one exception; the free throw. It is text book every single time.
Many, if not most, games are won or lost at the free throw line. All basketball players must develop a free throw shooting routine.
Why? A rehearsed and consistent free throw shooting routine assists you in calming down from the frantic pace of the game you’re playing.
As you develop your routine, or if you already have an established routine, include as the very first and the very last thing before going into your shooting motion; zoom-in on that hook on the far side of the rim, your BULL’S-EYE. ALLOW THAT GIANT MAGNIFIED HOOK TO FILL YOUR MIND☺ THEN AND ONLY THEN SHOULD YOU FLOW INTO YOUR FREE THROW SHOOTING MOTION. Follow-through with your eyes, keep your eyes on the HOOK until the ball goes through the hoop.
Once you've had a chance to mentally and physically adjust to this system, which happens quite quickly, every cell in your body knows you are going to shoot when... you zoom-in on that hook on the far side of the rim, your BULL’S-EYE. Within a millisecond every single cell in your body supports and gets behind that decision. That’s why and how this system works. This extremely pleasurable mind/body experience evolves and grows over time and is triggered when you zoom-in on that hook on the far side of the rim, your BULL’S-EYE.
Through out your entire basketball career you will be strength training. Your body’s shape will change and you’ll get stronger. As long as you continue your ‘warming-up routine’ before playing any basketball, as long as you focus on that hook on the far side of the rim, as long as you recall that MAGNIFIED HOOK before you shoot ☺ and as long as you follow through by keeping your eyes on that HOOK until the ball goes through the hoop ☺ those physical changes you go through will not affect your shot - except to make it physically easier to shoot.
THE 'MENTAL KEY' TO HIGH PERCENTAGE BASKETBALL SHOOTING?
Consciously direct your focus to the far side of the rim, specifically on the hook that is farthest away from where you are. When THAT HOOK ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE RIM IS YOUR BULL’S-EYE your shooting percentage skyrockets☺
Now, after your shooting percentage skyrockets and your reputation precedes you... add another weapon to your arsenal. Become an exceptional passer.
Sports psychology and sports psychologists have been searching for this key for what seems like forever.
You must remember -
THE 'MENTAL KEY' TO HIGH PERCENTAGE BASKETBALL SHOOTING: FOCUS ON THAT HOOK ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE RIM☺