Pete Maravich averaged 44 points-per-game for every one of his three years at LSU. He was Player of the Year in his senior year. He is the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history (by a long shot). He amassed over 16,000 points in the NBA. He was selected to the All-Star team several years, led the league in scoring once and was close several other times. He scored 68 points vs. the NY Nicks in 1977. Pete Maravich could shoot the basketball well.
Due to countless hours of practice, Maravich developed his main shot along with several trick shots, so that he could use any one of them depending on the situation at hand. His main stroke, though, was incredible. Analysts have stated that if the three-point line was around during his LSU career, he would have averaged 57 points a game. That means Pete shot frequently from long ranges. So, one may ask, how did Pete get so good?
Maravich gave several instruction seminars and camps in his career, and many of his shooting tips are still being taught today. This article will cover a few of those tips in the hopes that any young player can enrich his playing by practicing these techniques.
First, you must have finger pad control of the ball. You always grip the ball with your finger-pads — not your outer-most finger tips, and not with your palm. This gives optimum control over the ball not only when shooting but when dribbling. With good finger-pad control of the ball, with your dominant hand on top of the ball and your supporting hand to the side of it, bend your knees slightly. This gives you good balance. Then raise the ball over your head, with your dominant arm’s elbow directly aligned with the basket. Remember to keep the ball to the left or right on both of your eyes when you’ve raised the ball and are about to shoot. If your shooting arm is blocking one of your eye’s view of the basket, you lose depth perception.
When you’re ready to release, make sure you’re shooting the ball in an upwards motion. You’re shooting the ball, not pushing it to the goal. Straighten your legs to give power and shoot. On your follow through, align your arm, hand and index finger with the goal. Make sure you shoot with a good arc to the ball. This will increase the area of the rim that the ball can go through.
Those are the basics of any basketball shot. Pete Maravich also gave a great tip on visualization. When practicing, and when you’re just about to shoot, imagine a little green man right in front of you. Imagine that he just shot and swished the goal with ease. As funny as this may sound, if you practice it enough, it gives you an instant feeling of confidence. It can do wonders when you’re in a shooting slump.
The key to success in any sport is practice. Use the techniques found here and you’ll be well on your way to playing basketball like the “Pistol.”