Understanding = Confidence
There is a stigma in basketball when it comes to thinking and using your brain for shooting… I think most people who have been around the game of basketball have heard someone say not to overthink when you shoot. To a certain extent, there is some validity to the statement, but in reality far too many players spend their entire careers with no true understanding of what it takes to make shots.
I like to use the example of a kid taking a math test. I will ask guys this question: which kid has to think harder and worries during the actual test? The one who is prepared, studied, and knows the material like the back of his hand? Or the kid who has no idea what‘s on the test and is now panicking and trying to figure things out? Obviously, the kid who understands the material and knows it without question has no worries or concerns during the test. The same applies to shooting: do you think Steph or Klay ever question themselves or their mechanics during a game? I think a lot of players fool themselves into thinking they don’t doubt their own mechanics. So many players walk in the gym and “hope” that it is a good day, feeling like they have no actual control of whether they will make shots that day. Basketball is no different than most things in life… Confidence comes from understanding and knowledge.
When players can get past the point of not using their brain, they can start taking huge steps of growth towards becoming a great shooter… I have never heard of a great golfer who went out and starting hacking at the ball until he started getting good. It doesn’t work that way. You hit a certain wall with flawed mechanics. Some players find the right guidance or environment, some luckily and naturally end up good shooters, and others have to claw their way to mediocrity or get labeled as poor shooters when in actuality they spent their entire career never understanding what they needed to do to make shots.
It really is a simple formula: understand HOW to shoot, put the right work in with the right shot, become a confident shooter.