One of my fellow writers at Rivals.com published an article today on the early season struggles of Chris Lofton at Tennessee. This had me thinking as coaches about the different approaches to the situation.
Shooting is just one of those things that sometimes will go south for some unknown reason, often at the worst of times. I think in many instances, when players are slumping with their shot, it's a mental thing. They're thinking about it too much. And when you think too much, you tend to hesitate which makes things even worse.
So sensitive it can be, that sometimes as a coach you don't even want to talk about it. Because by talking about it, again it puts more pressure to perform, you don't want to jinx your own players. It's like when someone has a phobia, the more you talk that person about it, the more nervous they get. It's sometimes easier to not talk about and just try to shoot your way out of it.
I remember our best player last year got into a shooting slump, in the first game of our season ending tournament. We managed to win our first game, despite a terrible shooting effort where he only scored 4 points. We survived another game using our tenacious defense, but in the semifinal game, it finally caught up with us. Over that three-game stretch, our best player had his worst shooting stretch that we've ever seen. It wasn't anything mechanical, he just wasn't hitting shots he was hitting all year. Finally, in our consolation game, he was hitting everything, 3s, midrange, teardrop. It was a little late, but still we ended our season on a positive note.
Anyways, I know it's a slow news day on Thanksgiving but thought I would throw this out there in case anyone has any thoughts on this subject. Take a look at Ray Allen's tips on becoming a better shooter. Also, Coach Steve Smith's new DVD on team shooting drills is worth a look.