Every once in a while, I go to my local school to shoot some hoops. I used to play basketball on a team for a couple of years before I quit the last year before I went to high school. I wasn’t the best player, but I was able to start on the majority of the teams I was on. I lacked a dribbling and athletic ability compared to other players around me. I did have a long time coach that stuck with me, but I was mainly a role player on my coach’s teams (which did win the season finals one time). Like I said, I was a starter, but my position would often get switched around, like going from shooting guard which was main position to center to small forward. The only reason why I was switched around is because of my defensive effort and that about it. If there was any ability I had when I was a competitive basketball player, it was definitely shooting. Once I got into a rhythm, I would have the ability to make multiple shots consecutively for my team. Although I was in my 12-14 year old days, my shooting form was good enough for my age and very consistent. Part of that consistency, was the practice I put in. I didn’t put in the most practice compared to the better players on my time, mainly because I believe that I was not as good of a time manager as I am today, but I did put in a good amount of hours besides the team practices. I would always work on my shot every weekend with my dad helping me. I was a one-trick pony because I would always work on my shooting rather than working on my dribble or driving ability which severely lacked. However, this one-trick pony was able to knock down mid-range and long-range shots with around 40-50 percent efficiency and around 70-80 percent at the free throw line. It almost seemed like free throws were automatic or the classic mid-range open jumper.
Fast forward 3 years and here I am, playing basketball for fun and exercise purposes. Every time I step onto the court, I have horrible shooting efficiency compared to my competitive days. I would now shoot at an abysmal 20-30% from the mid-range and long-range areas and can barely make 50% of the free throws. My form now was wildly inconsistent, mainly because I try to change my form to the typical one hand slingshot motion compared to my old personal shooting motion. This goes to show that practice is always a requirement if one wants to retain an ability or be consistent at something whether it would be math formulas or shooting basketballs. Practice makes perfect.