One of the most common mistakes when it comes to shooting mechanics is the elbow out or “Chicken Wing Syndrome” as we like to call it. Basically it is when the shooters elbow is facing out rather than down (or in). This is especially common when a player is coming off a dribble or screen towards their strong hand. This problem in mechanics will cause you to miss left or right most of the time.
There are generally four directions you can miss a shot (front, back, left, and right). If your elbow is facing out upon extension, your follow through will automatically be pointing off to the side of the hoop (causing you to miss left or right).
To fix this you need to concentrate on having your elbow point straight towards the floor. This way when your arm extends, your follow through will be perfectly aligned with the hoop. By correcting this you may change your misses to only front and back, increasing your chances by 50%.
One trick that works really well is to tap your rib cage with your shooting elbow before every shot (or at least until your muscle memory has taken over). By doing this it forces your elbow in before you even have started attempting your shot.
You can also use a verbal cadence to help get you in a rhythm (Repeated, Rhythm, System). As you are shooting just think in your head as you are shooting “Elbow in, elbow up). Time your cadence so it corresponds with the movements you are doing.
I have a dream that one day we will live in a “Chicken Wing Syndrome” free world… Lets take the first step. Get those elbows in people!