In the Oracle Arena, October 24 when the Golden State Warriors faced the Chicago Bulls, Klay Thompson made 14 three-point shots in a single game, setting a new NBA record.
The previous record of 13 three-pointers in a game was held by Thompson’s teammate, Stephen Curry, a 3-time NBA Championship winner. Prior to that, it was held by Kobe Bryant, a 5-time NBA Championship winner with 12 threes. All three players are talented shooters, but what did these stars do to get that good?
Drills. Serious drills. And now you can try them too.
Thompson likes consistency and repetition. A drill he likes to do is shooting from 5 different spots around the three-point line. He will not move to the next spot until he makes 5 baskets in a row. The heavy repetition creates muscle memory which will helps to be extremely consistent. He also knows his place, which is mid range near the three point line. That being said, he likes to work from close to far.
Curry likes to train with a partner–usually his personal trainer Brandon Payne–as it helps him with real game situations. One drill he often uses is called is called “Beat the Ogre,” and it’s a modified version of an old basketball drill called “Beat the Pro.” The game is simple: shoot a series of shots from wherever you like—threes, midrange, wherever. Every make is one point. Every miss is negative two. Reach seven before you hit negative seven and you beat the “Ogre.” Like Thompson’s routine, this enforces strict consistency and makes the player determined to make every shot count, as errors are punished severely.
Recently, the Warriors have been putting Curry through a rather unique drill near the end of practices where the ball is bounced to a random location on the court and he has to score right away while being defended by two coaches. This mimics games where the player has to react to a dynamic situation under pressure.
Bryant Like Thompson, one of his shooting drills involves taking shots from 5 designated areas around the court. He makes 10 shots at each location, before moving onto the next one. In addition Kobe likes to focus on the type of shot he makes like 10 swishes only or 10 bank shots. Kobe will typically begin his pregame warmup beneath the rim, making 15 to 20 shots with one hand then the other just to get loose and gain a rhythm and a good feel for the ball going through the net. He never starts his main practice until “until he feels good and until he feels like he wants to move,” said coach J.J. Outlaw, Baxter Holmes reports.
The only way you can become a perfect shooter like these stars is through intense, repetitive practice. It requires dedication, consistency and a lot of time, but the results can be seen in their unbelievable game stats.