how to increase shooting range

How to Increase Shooting Range and Score like Damian Lillard

Do you want to be able to make logo shots in basketball and scream “DAME TIME!”? If so, here’s how to increase shooting range so that you can score like Damian Lillard.

Damian Lillard is one of the greatest shooters to ever play in the NBA.

He often takes tough shots from distance and frequently sinks them (career average of 37.3 percent 3P% in first 9 seasons).

This is why his fans (and opponents alike) call him “Dame Time” –when it’s time for him to step up and make big shots, he accepts the challenge and succeeds.

The NBA world has witnessed this multiple times. One time was during the 2021 NBA All-Star Game:

Throughout this game, I swear it felt like Lillard purposefully shot from as far away as he can. It was like he came into it with the challenge of making a basket at every logo.

But the amazing about it was that he made half of the 16 3-pointers he took. And one of them was the game-winning half-court shot.

However, what was more astonishing, to me anyway, was how seamless the shots were.

He wasn’t forcing any of his shots. It came naturally to him like he was supposed to shoot the ball from way past the perimeter.

It was as if it was a language that he was very, very fluent in.

How Damian Lillard Practices

So, how did Lillard become an articulate shooter? Well, it’s because he practiced.

“Well, that’s obvious! But what did he do to work on his shooting?” you’re probably wondering.

Lillard just practiced shooting a lot. He put in his 10,000 hours of practice and mastered the art of perimeter shooting. Before every game, he practices shooting from the areas he often shoots from.

And before every team practice, he does the same thing. He just practices shooting every opportunity he gets and this is why he’s a great shooter.

How to Shoot from Distance like Damian Lillard

Now, I will admit that I don’t know the specific shooting drills he does, especially the ones he used to do prior to becoming a star basketball player.

But there is this one basketball drill that will improve your shooting.

And if you do it consistently enough with the same effort that Dame puts into practicing shooting, your range will increase and your shooting percentage will too.

The shooting drill is from former college player and basketball YouTuber Austin Mills.

Key Notes:

  • Be mindful of your shooting form. Try to keep the same form for every shot, regardless of distance. If you’re not a proficient shooter, just shoot from inside the perimeter until you figure out what your shooting form is and are comfortable with it
  • If shooting from half-court is too far or is too hard, you can make the 3-point line the final shot, especially if you’re new to this drill or new to basketball
  • Your shooting form is the most important thing, so if you notice it getting wonky, take a step or two in and try to perfect your form from in-close before moving outwards
  • After you do the drill without jumping the first time, do it with jumpers immediately afterwards
  • Be consistent with this exercise. If you want to get better, you have to do it a couple of times a week, every week

How to Get Stronger for Shooting

Additionally, if you find that you are too weak to shoot from far away, try doing strengthening exercises. This will also condition you to play pick-up basketball games.

The main things you want to strengthen are your legs, core, wrist, forearms, and triceps.

So, I recommend you begin with bodyweight squats, push-ups, and pull-ups (or inverted rows). These exercises will target all the “shooting” muscles.

To start, I suggest doing 3 circuits of 10 push-ups, 10 squats, and 2-5 pull-ups (or 5-10 inverted rows). After each round, rest for a minute or a minute-and-a-half.

Do this workout twice a week after you do your shooting practice.

However, if doing strengthening exercises isn’t your thing, there is another activity you can do.

You can strengthen your “shooting” muscles by just shooting as often as possible.

Instead of doing the drill a couple of times a week, do it 4 or 5 times. It may take longer to get stronger, but while you’re doing it, you’re also improving your shooting form.

Also, you can also use a heavy basketball to expedite your progress.

Final Thoughts

Dame Lillard is an incredible shooter.

He’s probably a top 5 all-time perimeter shooter in NBA history.

But the only reason he can make long-range bombs from the logos is that he practices. He puts in the time and effort to work on his shot.

Thus, if you want to be able to shoot like Dame, you have to consistently practise shooting from distance.

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