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High-Performance Mindfulness: Solving Ben Simmons’ Shot

Jake Rauchbach provides alternative Integrated Player Development solutions in the case that Ben Simmons continues to experience chronic shooting issues.

Jake Rauchbach

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Ben Simmons made his first career three-point shot during an Oct. 8 preseason game in Philadelphia versus the Guangzhou Long-Lions of the Chinese Basketball League. Sixers’ fans are now waiting in anticipation to see if Simmons emerges as a consistent shot-maker.
The made three-pointer, combined with offseason footage showing his ability to consistently knock down perimeter shots, could be signs that shooting efficiency improvement is imminent for Simmons.

Predicting whether or not Simmons improves his shot-making ability this season is not our aim. However, providing leading-edge player development solutions if Simmons’ improvement is not a smooth line upwards, is.

In this piece, we will also examine common underlying causes for players who have experienced chronic shooting issues. Before we can understand these issues, we must first take a look at the components that make up a player’s shot.

The Layers to Shooting Efficiency

When improving shooting consistency over a period of time, there are several levels to the player’s jump shot that should be considered.

The Physical: Form and structure is the outward compilation of a player’s inner dynamics. On-court shot repetition is requisite for engraining new behavior, such as of an effective shot. When a player’s form changes from shot-to-shot, or if there is an inconsistent percentage, more often than not, there are deeper issues at play.

The Mental: Mental clutter can affect form and consistency. The mental side should not be overlooked and is an important part of a player’s shot. If there is not alignment, it can be counterproductive, and create resistance for the player. This can cause issues with shooting mechanics and overall shot-making ability. This element can affect focus, confidence, form and consistency.

Outside Influences: When struggling with a shooting issue like Simmons is, there exists another major challenge. The outside world can create a level of pressure and distraction that many a player has a hard time dealing with.

The media, friends, family, coaches and teammates can complicate the shot process by causing alternative narratives that can make the player feel uneasy, not confident, and/or downright mad. With Simmons, there are many who hold an opinion and voice it for why Simmons is struggling. There are also many, who are offering suggestions for how Simmons can improve.

All of this outside chatter can be a distraction. Players must find a way to neutralize, and or avoid these distractions as they move through their preparation. If the player does not, this can add a layer of complication to the process.

Shooting Issues

Very rarely does the underlying cause lie in the player’s shooting mechanics.
Ineffectual mechanics and shooting inefficiency almost always map back to mental clarity and focus. If a player finds him or herself unfocused, this can ultimately cause issues with shot mechanics. If this persists over a matter of days, weeks and months, players can begin to lose proficiency with their shot.

This is especially true for players like Simmons, who go through a season or more of chronic shooting issues. The mental can weigh heavily on the psyche and can do a number on a player’s confidence.

Even in situations where they may not mean to, players are always building habits. If there exists a pattern for not being focused, than this can carry through all parts of a player’s game, wrecking havoc. This can be true for not only shooting but also on other skill-sets as well. Habits must be built through focused confidence. This is one of the most powerful ways to build shooting acumen.

The Rub

Attacking chronic shooting issues solely from the physical repetition side can produce mixed results. A one-sided approach like this can overlook the psychosomatic issues that are underlying the player’s shaky shooting performance.

Taking a look at Simmons’ summertime footage, and preseason three-point make, it looks as if his shooting mechanics are fluid and in rhythm.

(Courtesy: Synergy Sports)

Comparing this to his three-point attempts taken within the flow of the 76ers offense during the 2018-2019 season, it appears as if Simmons is taking steps forward.

(Courtesy: Synergy Sports)

However, it is important to not confuse initial progress with permanent improvement. For Simmons, there could be mental hurdles at play, which if left unaddressed could hinder his improvement in the shooting department.

The Integrated Player Development Approach

In the case that he is not, tweaking his current player development process to address the inevitable volatility from the mental side could work to stabilize his shooting efficiency.

Integrated Player Development combining on-court skill work with mental performance implemented early, often and continuously throughout the season provides the highest probability to do this.

High-Performance Mindfulness strategies, mental performance techniques, and on-court skill development could be most effective in doing this.

To learn more about High-Performance Mindfulness and Integrated Player Development methods, click here.

Jake Rauchbach is an Integrated Player Development Coach, specializing in High-Performance Mindfulness. He has coached professional and Division-1 basketball. He is the founder of The MindRight Pro® Program and consults on the Olympic, collegiate and professional levels. Follow him on Instagram @mindright_pro and twitter @mindrightpro

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Legacy

Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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Headlines

#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz

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With the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia. The Thunder completed a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the pick.

Pokusevski is a long term project, but one that has has an intriguing skillset. A 7-footer with good speed and quickness, Pokusevski plays like a wing and can pass like a guard. But, to truly thrive at the next level, Pokusevski will need to put on some serious weight.

Again, he’s a project. But Pokusevski’s ceiling is sky-high. And, with a rebuild ahead of them, the Thunder have more than enough time to work with him and ensure he reaches it.

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Mock Drafts

2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock

What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Steve Kyler

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What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:

 

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