There are certain feelings that come over us throughout our lives that make us feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. Feelings that get us through the day when everything might not seem to be going as planned.
A hug from a friend, a kiss from a lover, eating a chicken fried steak smothered in gravy, the creamy sugary taste of a large piece of German chocolate cake, a successful jumper from our German that barely touches the net.
Over the last 10 years, our comfort level with a Dirk Nowitzki jumper has gone from a finger crossed wish every time he jacked it up to, “I can’t believe he missed!”
This comfort level and his jump shooting skills were not created over night, nor was it accomplished with magic. It happened because Dirk Nowitzki is a gym rat who works on his skills daily. He has a single-minded focus on improving his shooting skills that even he can hardly believe it when a shot doesn’t fall.
Dirk shoots so many jump shots after practice and before games that just watching makes me tired.
Here is generally what he does after each practice and before each game:
1. Starts with shorts jumpers from a few feet to get loose.
2. Shoots 20 footers from four spots – basically both baselines and both elbows. He needs five makes to move to the next spot. He gets three misses to complete the 20 short shots to be deemed successful. He goes until he gets it right.
3. In between 20 footers (he might do two or three sets to get warm), he will do off-the-dribble jumpers and turn-around jumpers.
4. After 20 footers, he does 3-pointers. He needs three makes from each of five spots. He is allowed four misses to be deemed successful. Spots are both baselines, both wings and the top of the arc.
5. After 3-pointers, he may do dribble jumpers from the wings.
6. Then he varies it up and might do his long step/foot drag jumpers (you have to see to understand – I will video it soon). It is basically a long stride with front foot and a toe drag with the back foot. He ruins all his shoes with this drill. As he puts it, “I do this drill to get my ass down on my shots!”
7. He also does his complete knee bend jumpers. These are jumpers where he does a complete knee bend then springs up and extends into a jump shot. (I can video that too.)
8. I’ll let him tell you the rest: “Then I will hit a game winner from three. Maybe two game winners. Then I will make 10 free throws in a row. I gotta make 10 in a row. Then a dunk and I am done!”