Common Shooting Mistakes – The Catapult

This month I wanted to talk about a second common basketball shooting mistake that I see all the time. The catapult happens when the shot pocket is incorrectly over or behind the shooters head.

Correct:                                                                            Incorrect:
Catapult Basketball Shot                Catapult Basketball Shot             
What is a Catapult Shot? 

When shooting a basketball, having a proper arc on your shot is extremely.  When your elbow rises up and your shot pocket is back behind your head you will shoot a line drive shot.  See the example in the “incorrect” photo above.  Which will cause you to hit the rim far more which will lead to a much lower shooting percentage. It will also reduce your shooting range. Catapult Basketball Shot

In order to become a better basketball shooter, you need to get your shot pocket down in front of your face.   This way you can drive your elbow, forearm, and hand straight up through the basketball.

Another reason the catapult is so disastrous to your shooting percentage is because you are moving your arms forward AND up at the same time.  More unnecessary movement is usually bad for your basketball shot. The best shooters in the world repeat a simple shooting motion over and over.  Nobody shoots the exact same way but most great college and NBA shooters like Stephen Curry, Steve Nash, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, and Kyle Korver have their shot pocket in the correct spot similar to the “correct” picture of Eric Gordon shooting above.

How to Fix a Catapult Shot

If you have a slight catapult shot but you are able to shoot 38% or better from 3 in games and shoot 70% or better from 3 unguarded in your shooting workouts, you probably don’t need to change your form much because you are already getting good results.  This article is for those of you that have a catapult shot and are shooting poorly.

Catapult Basketball ShotIt doesn’t matter if you shoot thousands of shots a day.  If you have improper shooting mechanics you won’t reach your potential shooting the basketball. You must make a conscious effort to change your form! This will take hours of practice and thousands upon thousands of reps. I recommend filming yourself from the sides, back and front so you can analyze your shooting form and make the proper adjustments. In the video below I talk about some specific shooting basketball drills that will help you correct your line drive catapult shot.