Marksman: The Mindset of a Shooter!
One of my absolute favorite quotes is by Super Bowl XLI (41) champion Tony Dungy. In his book "Quiet Strength" he said he encourages his teams to play "fast and fundamental". When adversity struck or they lost a tough game he pushed his mantra to his team, "Do what you do!" It's so simple but teams, in sports, business, or in any sense of the word need clearly defined roles. That's the beauty in any team. In basketball, one of the most clearly defined roles is that of a shooter. If your open, SHOOT. Run the floor, use screens, to SHOOT. Shoot, shoot, shoot. Or maybe I should say make, make, make.
Ryan Hoover is one of the best shooters I have ever been around. He was a standout at Notre Dame with big games against legends like Ray Allen and Allen Iverson. After nearly 20 years playing professionally he's a workout fanatic shooting outrageous percentages to start his day of work in the business world at ShotTracker. We have the pleasure of speaking to Ryan about his mental approach to the game.
Inspire: As a known shooter with years of experience at the highest level how do you approach the game when EVERYBODY knows you're going to shoot the ball at a high rate? Does the extra attention make you change your approach to the game?
Hoover: Does it change what I do on the court? No and yes.
- No it didn't change my approach in the fact that I had been working in the gym shooting the same shots, doing the same drills and workouts to prepare myself. So, my practice and training habits just carried over to the games.
- Yes often times I had to approach games and possessions differently, in the fact that the opponent would take away certain strengths. When they would face guard me or double team me or trap me, it always opened up opportunities for my teammates. In most cases being a shooting threat just created good opportunities for my teammates. I never forced the action, but tried to stay focused on reading the situation and making good decisions.
Inspire: How vital is preparation in shooting? How was your in season routine vs off
Hoover: Preparation, good habits, and getting quality training reps are CRITICAL to becoming a great shooter. My in-season routines were less strenuous than off-season routines. Fresh and energetic legs are highly important in being a great shooter, so I would try to build up my endurance in the offseason and training camp, to be ready to sustain a high level throughout the season. I was big on setting goals and hitting my marks in every shooting session that I had. The quantity wasn't as important as the quality of the shots that I was getting up.
Inspire: In college you played against some big time players, Ray Allen, Allen
Iverson included. How did that effect your mindset? Were you more excited
playing against bigger names vs other opponents?
Hoover: Playing against great players like Ray, AI, Ginobili and many other great players over the years always raised my level as well. So I usually rose to the occasion and looked forward to those challenges. The key thing was to bring the same level of intensity and focus every practice and every game, no matter who I was going against. If you're consistent with that approach, it allows you to be more focused on what you can control, and not exterior variables.
Inspire: How does missing shots effect your approach to the game? Are you a 'shoot
till you make it' type or do you like to get a layup or a free throw to get
Hoover: Missing shots never really affected me. Again it goes back to the quality reps, and good habits in every training session. Being consistent in my preparation and taking good shots in the games, which I work on everyday, allowed me to keep a level mindset and release stress over missing a shot. With that being said, it definitely seemed to help to see the ball go in the hoop early in the game, whether it be a layup or a free throw. Success breeds confidence.
Ryan, we appreciate your approach. You embody Dungy's saying, my favorite quote, "Do what you do!" After spending nearly 20 years playing at the professional level Ryan now works at ShotTracker. They have an amazing team and they are changing the way the game is recorded. Ryan tests the product every morning before work shooting a few hundred shots before hitting the office. Another great attribute of any great player, business person or anyone seeking improvement is the ability to tangibly track progress. If you're going to the gym not tracking your shots, how do you know where there's room for improvement? Track your results, find out more at www.shottracker.com.