Why Do You Make Shots In Practice But Not In Basketball Games? Answered!

Why Do You Make Shots In Practice But Not In Basketball Games?

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It is very frustrating when you make shots in a basketball practice but not in basketball practice. It’s just like your gun has run out of bullets, or your ballpen has run out of ink. Yes, it is frustrating to make ten out of ten shots in practice but one out of twenty in basketball games.

Why do you make shots in practice but not in basketball games? Well, there are lots of reasons why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games. However, the main reason is that basketball practice is vastly different from basketball games, and I will discuss later why.  

But first, let me tell you my personal experience regarding this problem, which is also the problem of most basketball players on our planet. I think some of you can relate, and some have a different story. Let us move on! 

Personal Experience

To give you a piece of brief information about me, I am 20 years old, living in Asia and I like playing basketball today. However, I don’t solely focus on basketball now because I am more focused on moving out and having a nice place with a basketball court. I still love basketball, and I use basketball to improve my cardio. 

During high school, I practiced basketball a lot every week. I make every shot when I am practicing my shooting, my dribbling looks good, and my layups are proficient. Honestly, I have never missed a single shot during practice. 

Even during half-court basketball games, like 3v3 or 4v4, I rarely miss a shot during these kinds of games. However, whenever it is 5v5 or a real basketball match, it is like I lost all my skills. I am getting three out of ten field goals! My performance during practice is vastly different during basketball games. 

I know most of you can relate, and I know why and how to solve this issue. It is very frustrating to make shots in practice but not in basketball games. But don’t worry, I got you. We have researched everything that you need to know. I know what causes the problem and how we can solve it. 

To be honest, I know how you can improve your performance during basketball games, and I know how you can maintain your shooting during practice up to basketball games. Let’s move!

Is Basketball Practice Different In Basketball Games? 

Before we move on to the solution, let’s first check the six factors that make basketball practice and basketball games different. I will honestly tell you that basketball practice is very different from basketball games. The factors in which they differ are:

Time

In basketball practice, there is no shot clock and no clock that is ticking. You have more time to practice, and you can shoot the ball endlessly. No referees will call you a 24-seconds shot clock violation because you own your time, and you can end your practice anytime you want. 

However, in basketball games, it is different. There is a shot clock that only allows you to score up to 24 seconds per possession. It is hard to shoot in a limited amount of time with defense all over you, which will be our next factor.

Defense

In a basketball practice, there is no defense, unless you play a practice match with your teammates. Well, there is still a defense during a practice match, but the defense is not that serious. But when you are shooting out alone, there is a hundred percent no defense at all. 

The defense is different in basketball games. In basketball games, the defense is serious, and it is difficult to pass through the defense. While in basketball practices, there is no defense at all, and even though it has, the defense is not serious at all. 

Pressure

During basketball practice, there is no pressure at all. This is why you make most of your shots during practice. You can practice alone in a quiet place where no fans are shouting or yelling at you. You can shoot at any side of the court without any pressure.

However, in basketball games it is different. Some fans shout and yell at you trying to distract you. There is your coach who will also yell at you when you make a mistake, and teammates that you will disappoint when you make a mistake. 

The pressure is one of the common reasons why basketball players lose their focus during basketball games. However, I have a solution for handling pressure during basketball games, which I will talk about later in this article. 

Focus

Focus is connected to pressure. When you are pressured you lose your focus. Pressure can come from fans, coaches, and teammates. Being pressured for a moment is fine, but if that pressure becomes a hamper on your game, it is not good. 

In basketball practice, there is no pressure at all and you can hundred percent focus on your game. However, basketball games are different. Many people around you want you to lose your focus. That is why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games.

Shot Selection

In basketball practice, you have an unlimited shot selection and you can shoot the ball anywhere you like. Why? Because there is no defense at all, even though there is, the defense is not tight at all. 

In basketball games, you have limited shot selection. You need to shoot the ball where you are left open even though it is not your hotspot. You can only shoot the ball in a place where you are free because the defender might block your shot or steal the ball from you.

Stamina

What do you do during basketball practice? You practice your shooting, your dribble and you play practice games, etc. All that you do during basketball practice requires a little amount of your stamina. 

However, in basketball games, it is different. You are going to use all of your stamina because you need to run from court to court, dribble the ball fast, think fast, and shoot the ball fast. Everything should be fast but in an orderly way. 

If you run out of stamina, it is inevitably difficult to sink in all of your shots. You are already tired of running and tired of playing serious defense, so how come can you sink all of your ten shot attempts?

Why Do You Make Shots In Practice But Not In Basketball Games?
Why Do You Make Shots In Practice But Not In Basketball Games?

9 Reasons Why You Make Shots In Practice But Not In Games

Now that we already know the difference between basketball practice from basketball games, let’s move on to the problems.

The next thing we are going to talk about is all about the reasons or main problems why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games.

You Are Pressured

Like I have said, the pressure in a practice is different in basketball games. The reason why you make most of your shots in practice is that there is no pressure at all. However, in a basketball game, there is lots of pressure.

Your coach will pressure you, your teammates will also pressure you, and the fans will shout or yell at you to pressure you. Many things around you pressure you, and it is inevitable. 

If you are making shots in practice but not in basketball games, then one of the reasons why is because you are pressured during games but not in practice. I will discuss the solution for this problem so you can be on your game even under pressure.

There Is Defense

Do you know the saying defense is a great offense? Many basketball players think that offense is much more essential in defense. The defense is a great offense, and it is what every basketball player can do to prevent any shot attempt from going inside the basket. 

In basketball practice, there is no defense when you are only shooting out. But if you play a practice game, there is still a defense but not serious. However, in basketball games, the defense is very tight and it is difficult to pass through a tight defense. 

The other reason why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games is that in practice there is no defense or the defense is not serious or tight. But during basketball games, the defense is very tight, which causes you to miss some of your shot attempts.

You Lost Your Focus

Focus is connected to pressure. Like I have said above, when you are pressured, you lose your focus. When you are practicing, your focus is a hundred percent on the practice. There are no people around you yelling at you, so you don’t feel any pressure. 

But when it comes to the real game, all that you have been practicing for hours lost in one glimpse because you lost your focus. The pressure on a basketball game is different in practice because in practice there is no pressure at all, if there is, then it is a little bit of pressure only unlike in basketball games. 

The other reason why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games is that you lose your focus during basketball games. You lose all the confidence you have in practice during basketball games. You have to always stay focus my friend because if don’t stay focus, all the time you put in during your practice will be useless. 

Lack Of Practice

You may be practicing, and you may be thinking that the amount of time you put in practice is enough because you don’t miss any shots, or you rarely miss a shot during a practice game that has poor defense at all. 

However, when you come into the real basketball game, your shots are not falling in, and you are wondering why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games. It makes you overthink if your practice is not enough for the big game. 

Honestly, yes. If you make shots in practice but not in basketball games, it means that you lack practice. What is the solution for this? Expose yourself in pickup basketball games. Play more 5v5 practice games than shooting by yourself.

You Are Not Used To Games

This is connected to having a lack of practice. Yes, shooting out is essential to improve your shooting and your basketball game. However, when you are shooting alone most of the time, you neglect the other essential things that are important during basketball games. 

When you make shots in practice but not in games, then it means that you are not used to games. Practice your shooting but never forget to practice your overall skills through a 5v5 basketball practice match. 

Like I have said above, expose yourself to 5v5 basketball games always so that you can be used to basketball games.

You Have Limited Time

When you practice, you can practice anytime, and you can end your practice anytime as well. You can hold the ball for hours without shooting it and get no violation. However, during basketball games, the time is limited and you have to release the ball quickly. 

The other reason why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games is because of time. In practice, you can shoot any time you like. But during basketball games, you have to release the ball before the 24-seconds shot clock expires.

You Have Limited Shot Selection

During practice, you can shoot anywhere you want, and you have an unlimited shot selection. However, in basketball games, you can only shoot the ball if you have enough space to pull the trigger. It is essential to release the ball if you are left open even though it is not your hotspot. 

This is the other reason why you make shots in practice but not in games. You only have limited shot selection during basketball games. Unlike practices, you have an unlimited shot selection, and you can shoot anywhere even from out of the sidelines.

Lack Of Confidence 

Do you have confidence during practice but lose it during basketball games? If yes, then you have to keep reading. This also happens to me during high school. I have lots of confidence in myself that I can sink in any shot I release. But during a basketball game, my confidence goes low.

This is the other reason why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games. When you are only confident during practice but not in games, then it also means that you are not used to basketball games. Again, you have to be exposed to a basketball game.

Your Stamina Is Very Low

The stamina that you consume during practice is only low, but during basketball games, you consume lots of stamina. Why? Because during basketball games, you have to run from court to court, play defense, dribble the ball, run fast, etc. 

See? It is very exhausting. But during practice, you only shoot the ball with no pressure at all, there is poor defense or no defense at all, and you don’t need to run fast from court to court during practice. 

This is the other reason why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games. Shooting the ball requires stamina. If you already consumed all of your stamina on running and playing defense, and you are having some difficulty sinking your shot, then it means that your stamina is very low and you need to work on your cardio. 

How To Be Proficient In Basketball Games Under Pressure? 

One of the main reasons why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games is because of pressure. Yes, I know the pressure that you are feeling during a basketball game, especially if it’s a big game. 

Worry no more, because today, I am going to tell you how you can be proficient in basketball games even under pressure. 

Expose Yourself

This is what I am telling you all the time in this article. You have to expose yourself if you want to get better. Get out of your comfort zone, and do something you are not used to consistently until you get used to it. 

Play 5v5 basketball practice games so that you are going to understand the flow of the game during 5v5. Practice alone but practice with others a lot more. Expose yourself to something that you are not used to. Over time, when you do it consistently, you will get used to it.

Practice More

Practice more! You have to practice on your overall game not just on your shooting. It is better to practice with a companion rather than shooting by yourself. Try to invite your friends or teammates to help you in practice. Tell them to contest your shots or play 1v1 with you. 

Ask An Experienced Player

You need to be humble enough that you don’t know everything because that is the only way you can learn, especially if you are a young basketball player. Ask an experienced basketball player or coach about how they handle various pressures during basketball games.

Positive Self-Talk

Before the game starts, have a positive talk with yourself. Tell yourself that everything will be good, even though you make some mistakes. It is better to talk positively to yourself rather than overthinking that you can’t. 

It is scientifically proven that it will improve your physical performance if your thoughts are always positive and confident. So start slapping away the negative things on your mind and start talking and thinking about positive things only. 

Fix Your Mindset

Having a positive mindset is essential for every basketball player. If your mindset is full of garbage things, you will never get anywhere. Fix your mindset! If you are afraid to make mistakes in a basketball game, fix your mindset.

One mistake doesn’t define your basketball career, and even if you have made many mistakes, it doesn’t mean you can’t change it. Your mistakes will be forgotten by people once you make one shot. Even if you have 100 mistakes, your one memorable shot will be the one remembered by people. 

Fix your mindset, young fella. I know it is tough, but you have to continue. Haters gonna hate so let them. Never let your haters or negative thoughts go inside your mind and try to destroy your positive mindset. 

How To Get More Shots In Basketball Games?

Now that you know how to be proficient in basketball even under pressure, let’s move on to how you can get more shots in basketball games.

There are only three important things that you need to do to get more shots in a basketball game. One is practice, two is exposing, and three fix your confidence. 

One is practice. You have to practice every day consistently. Practice your shooting, your ball handling, and your overall basketball skill. Practice shooting alone, but never forgets to play a 5v5 practice game to improve your other basketball skill. 

The second is exposure. For you to be comfortable in playing a basketball game, you have to play basketball every day. Expose yourself to pressure and people so that you will get used to it if being pressured is the reason why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games.

The third is to fix your confidence. If confidence is your problem why you only make shots in practice but not in games, then you have to fix it. How to build your confidence? By practicing consistently and exposing yourself to what scares you. 

Final Thoughts 

I know most of you relate to what we have talked about today, and I know that most of you have this problem. When you make shots in practice but not in basketball games, you have to execute what I have told you above, and I promise you that it will work!

The pressure is the common reason I heard from basketball players on why they make shots in practice but not in games. They are pressured because of their coaches, to make mistakes, and what other people may think of them. 

Let me tell you one thing. One mistake doesn’t define your basketball career, and even if you make a hundred mistakes, the only thing that people will remember is the shots that you have successfully made. So, carry on young fella. Continue to get better at basketball!

What are your reasons why you make shots in practice but not in basketball games? Comment your reasons below! 

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