The Mechanics Behind Steph Curry’s Shooting Mastery
In the world of basketball, few players have made as big an impact as Steph Curry. Known for his incredible shooting skills, Curry has revolutionized the game with his ability to knock down shots from long distances. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the shooting mechanics behind Curry’s prowess and understand what makes him the greatest shooter the NBA has ever seen.
Shooting Mechanics Key #1: Feet and Jumping Technique
One of the first things to notice about Steph Curry’s shooting mechanics is his footwork. He utilizes a turn, with both feet parallel and pointing to about 10 o’clock. This allows his shooting hip and elbow to align properly with the rim in one vertical plane. Despite not jumping very high, Curry is able to replicate the necessary height without fear of fatigue. Additionally, a slight rotation in the air helps him maintain a smooth and relaxed shot.
Shooting Mechanics Key #2: Knee Alignment and Footwork
Curry’s shooting mechanics also involve the alignment of his knees and footwork. His knees are parallel, most likely because the pass usually comes from the left. However, when shooting from the left side or the top, his right knee tends to cross over his midline slightly. This adjustment may be caused by catching the ball from his right side. His feet flow forward a little bit, hinging at the waist in what is known as a sway. This movement isn’t pronounced, but it helps generate more power when shooting from several feet behind the three-point line.
Shooting Mechanics Key #3: Catching the Ball and Shooting Pocket
When catching the ball, Steph Curry doesn’t extend his arms far from his body. This eliminates the need to bring the ball back into his body before shooting. If the pass comes from the left, Curry uses the turn to allow the ball to hit his hands right in alignment, enabling a smooth shooting motion. When the pass comes from the right, Curry cocks his shooting hand’s wrist back while the left hand absorbs the energy of the ball before catching it. He has already established his shooting pocket once he catches the ball.
Shooting Mechanics Key #4: The Dip and Set Point
Steph Curry uses a short dip to get rhythm and power into his shot. The dip is not very large, about the size of a basketball below where he caught it. This dip assists in shooting by enabling Curry to generate power from his legs and dip into a fluid release. It’s important to note that Curry is a mid-line shooter, meaning he brings the ball to the center of his body for alignment. His elbow is slightly to the outside of the ball, and there is very little space between his palm and the ball. His set point is lower than traditionally taught, with the ball covering his right eye before immediately going up and out. This lower set point enables a one-motion shot, maximizing the power generated from his legs and dip.
Shooting Mechanics Key #5: Timing and Wrist Snap
The timing of the upward movement of the ball is crucial in Curry’s shooting form. He starts bending his legs before the ball begins to move up, allowing for a quick and fluid release. The wrist snap is also a crucial aspect of Curry’s shooting technique. Both the elbow and wrist snap at the same time, ensuring consistency of release. His left hand also plays a role, with some influence from his left thumb as the ball is being released. This is not abnormal, as many great shooters in the past have had similar tendencies.
Shooting Mechanics Key #6: Following the Ball and Focus
After releasing the ball, Steph Curry follows it with his eyes. Although some may argue that it doesn’t matter what you do once the ball is released, many great shooters have followed the ball with their eyes. This habit may bring the focus back to the mechanics of the shot instead of solely focusing on the distant target. By following the ball, Curry remains aware of his hip and elbow alignment, wrist snap, and other crucial aspects of his shooting form.
Off the Dribble Shooting
Curry’s left-handed dribble plays a significant role in his shooting efficiency. By bringing the ball to his shooting hand, he enables a faster release. As a mid-line shooter, the ball doesn’t have to go all the way to his right side before starting the jump shot. This efficiency of motion with his left hand dribble makes him more effective in pull-up jump shots off the dribble from long distances.
Steph Curry’s shooting mechanics are a work of art. His ability to effortlessly knock down shots from long distances has changed the way the game is played. By analyzing his footwork, knee alignment, catching technique, shooting pocket, dip, set point, timing, wrist snap, and focus, we can gain a better understanding of what makes him the greatest shooter the NBA has ever seen. As young players study Steph Curry’s game, we can expect to see several more shooting prodigies emerge in the future, further evolving the game we love.
Learn the mechanics from Steph Curry’s shooting coach Brandon Payne available only at brandonpaynebasketball.com