By Cody Altizer

Steve Kerr is one of the most prolific and decorated three-point shooters in NBA history.  A 5 time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs, Kerr shot 45% from the three point line for his career.  Quite the impressive resume, if I do say so myself.  With such notable credentials you’d think Steve Kerr had a super secret formula or trainer he relied on for his success.  Truth be told, he did.

During the season Steve Kerr’s workout consisted of casually making it a point to shoot 6 shots every day.  Yes, you read that correctly, 6.  He also shot them cold, without warming up, without stretching, without running up the court.  Why?  Because that was his role, and that was as realistic and game like as he could get.

There was an obvious method behind his madness.  Steve Kerr wasn’t a prolific scorer; he was, however, a three point assassin coming off the bench.  It didn’t make sense for him to shoot hundreds of jump shots in workout, because realistically, he may have only taken 3 shots during an entire game.  It was efficient, and it just made common sense.

How does this relate to deer hunting?  Simple.  During the season (this is actually a good practice to adopt during the offseason as well), provided you have the time, instead of lazily waltzing into your backyard, firing a couple arrows, realizing they aren’t the best, then really focusing in on shooting well; really put the pressure on making your first and ONLY shot of the session count.  That’s right, limit yourself to one shot.  If you make a bad shot, then, well, you made a bad shot.  Bad shots in the whitetail woods can and will happen, but something can be learned from every one of them.  Why not start learning while you’re practicing.

Make it a kill shot.  Put pressure on yourself.  Convince yourself your 3D target is a 150” class 12 pointer at 17 yards and you’ve got one opportunity to send an arrow right through his heart.  Focus.  Become a killer.  When you’re at full draw you’re no longer hunting, but getting ready to kill.  Pick your spot.  Float the pin.  Let your muscle memory take over.  Take a deep breath.  Realize he’s yours.  Take the shot.  Watch the arrow disappear into the buck’s chest.  You’ve done it.

One shot.  That’s likely all we’ll get at a whitetail while in the field hunting.  Treat your in season practice as such to keep your mind and body in peak performance and ready for the next opportunity.  When you’re in the treestand this fall, you’re not going to get a couple practice shots to loosen your muscles and time in between to focus on making a good shot.  Your muscles will be tight; it’s hard to tell where you’ll have let your mind wander during time in a tree.  Everything about shooting at a whitetail is the exact opposite of how we practice, but if we practice correctly, then our results will change.  My brother, a full time basketball trainer, has a simple saying, “don’t train hard, train smart.”  Hey, it worked for Steve Kerr, I’m sure it can work for you.

- Cody Altizer