What is being down ready on your basketball shot? Down and ready is what is done in preparation for your shot. What you want to do is have your feet set, drop your butt, place your hands where you want to receive the pass, and be ready to jump or step into your shot simultaneously as the pass is received. This allows you to go right into your shot as soon as the basketball reaches your hands.
Ray Allen: Always Ready
When you look at great shooters in basketball like Ray Allen, who has a very quick release, his success can be largely attributed to being down and ready. Whether he is coming off a down screen or spotting up in the corner for a three, he is always down ready to shoot the basketball.
Why be Down Ready as a Shooter?
Why is it so important to be down ready? Let’s look at some of the positives of being in a down ready position:
- Being down ready not only allows you to shoot a higher percentage, but it also allows you to get your shot off quicker.
- When you practice being down ready on the catch, you will establish the same kind of reps when you shoot. This is important because if you have practiced your shot the same way repeatedly, you will shoot a much higher percentage when it comes time to shoot in the game.
- Being down ready avoids telegraphing to defenders that a shot is about to be taken as the player guarding you always sees an offensive player in a ready to shoot/ready to move stance.
There are certainly other positives to being in a down ready basketball shooting stance, but the three reasons given above should be enough to persuade any basketball coach or player of its importance.
The Negatives of NOT Being Down Ready
The negatives of not being down ready are pretty much the opposite of the positives. It takes a much longer time to catch the ball standing straight up and then load your shot. This wasted time allows your defender to close you out and better contest your shot, and this delay might even take away your shot opportunity. This will also drastically lower your shooting percentage because you are taking a different approach to your shot every time you catch the ball.
Coaching Muscle Memory
Being a great shooter in basketball has a lot to do with muscle memory, so it is important to take the same approach to each shot. This is a skill that any shooter can add to their game without very much effort. All it takes is the conscious effort to focus on being down ready until it becomes a habit.
As a coach, you can help your players by reminding them as they are getting balls for shots up or in practice so that they perform the habit without a thought in the game.
As you begin to play and coach at higher levels of competition, this will become an even more important skill to add to your game. It will be almost a necessity. Watch this quick video on basketball shot preparation to better understand what being down ready looks like. After that, when you work on your shooting with different basketball drills, make sure to lock in on being down ready on every shot.