Detroit Pistons rookie Andre Drummond – a graceful, talented giant who could be the steal of the 2012 draft – is the latest in a long line of big men (along with a smattering of forwards and guards) who struggle at the stripe because various coaches and shooting “gurus” taught them to shoot backwards.
Such instructors dream of a hoop landscape where every player of every size and shape has the same identical assembly-line shooting motion, the key to which is the position of the shooting hand, fingers and wrist at the completion of the stroke (a position that should be maintained for at least a few seconds).
Alas, this obsession with follow-through positioning frequently leads the students of the shooting scientists to put the cart (the follow-through) before the horse (the stroke). The stroke, such as it exists, is merely the means to an end: the holy pose that, in theory, guarantees jumpshooting and free-throw success.
These poor, deluded players (Dwight Howard, Evan Turner, Jason Maxiell, DeAndre Jordan, Ryan Hollins and Andris Biedrins, to name a few) are so obsessed with a mental image of “putting the hand in the cookie jar,” “holding the gooseneck pose” or, worst of all, “holding an elevated gooseneck pose,” that it short-circuits or supplants the stroke.
Fascinating and well worth reading Hans’ explanation in its entirety.