Originally Posted by dutchguy
What a lot of people stop doing after they've played for a couple of years is shooting from real close and shooting on a lowered basket. Afraid it messes up muscle memory. If you shoot some every day and do this once a week it doesn't. What it will do is force you to not solely rely on muscle memory and hone your technique.
If you have a bit sloppy technique (nobody has a perfect shot) than you will make the shots you practice most, but mess up from spots that are not as familiar to you.
So practicing this 'kiddie stuff' might actually help.
I stopped playing competitively about 3 years ago, and stopped playing regularly for about the next year-year and a half. The last 5 or 6 months, though, I've been playing once or twice a week, 2-3 hours each time. It was so weird walking out there, picking up a ball, going through my normal warm-up routine, and missing most of my short shots around the lane. I like to work myself form block to block shooting form shots, then back out to the second stripe, then to the elbows, and then to the short corner, and eventually out the three point line. Like you said, it's mostly muscle memory. The form and release felt good.
I still have my days where I miss a lot of mid-range and wide open threes, but for the most part, the contested and tougher shots go in pretty routinely for me. But that's how it was when I played competitively (high school, college) as well. Even the guy guarding me will start to pick-up on it and say something like "you only make it when I come at you." I've got a bad habit of baiting a defender to come challenge my shot and release it at the last second with his hand in my face.
Even though it's been 5 or 6 months, I'm still not making the bunnies and wide open 15-17 jumpers the way I used to. A lot of times I put too much on the shot and hit back iron or it goes off the board. Right now, I'm much more comfortable shooting from 20-25 feet out. Trying to work on getting my mid-range game back, though.