Shooting is a fragile skill. It is not easy to put a 29.5-inch ball in a small hoop that is ten feet in the air. Especially from 20 feet away! The most difficult part of shooting is relying on muscle memory. The slightest inaccuracy can put the ball of course, resulting in a miss.
But, imperfect form is not synonymous with inaccurate.
THE THREE WAYS...
1. Don’t Rush Distance
I have encountered many parents wanting me to teach their young player to shoot 3-ptrs. However, the child is not strong enough yet. When he shoots from further away, he has to compensate.
There isn’t enough power in his legs to keep his shooting form natural. So, he supplements the power by giving the ball an extra push with his arms. If he does this repeatedly, he will train his muscle memory to push.
This might make him a better 3pt shooter in the short term. But, as he gets older his form will be inaccurate. I do not let players shoot 3s until they are in 7th grade. Even then, if they are not strong enough, I still won't let them. Be patient.
2.Don’t Be Too Picky
Despite what youth basketball booklets tell you, there is NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT FORM. I have known many great shooters. But, I have never seen two forms exactly alike.
It’s okay if their elbow is slightly out, or their release is low. As long as they are comfortable and the shot is somewhat accurate. Everyone shoots differently. Don’t obsess over the small details of their form.
When you do this you cause her to be over-analytical when she shoots. Which is the worst thing for a shooter. She needs to be relaxed. If she is insecure and anxious about her form, her muscles will tighten. Then, she will miss it short nearly every time. And DEFINITELY do not comment on her form during games!
3. Train…Then Train to Trust
It is imperative to train form and mechanics. But, you also have to train a trusting mindset. Practice shooting without concentrating on form. The good news is, muscle memory is very strong. Your form will do what it has been taught.
He needs to learn to shoot without contemplating mechanics. Those are game like shots. Have him shoot ten shots from different spots. But the whole time he has to trust his form, make or miss, it doesn’t matter. He is only allowed to focus on the rim. His only thought is, "find the rim."