"As much time as kids spend playing video games," Hopla said, "if they spent that time playing the actual game, they'd be on the video game."
Though the numbers disagree, Hopla insists he is nothing special. He's devoted his career toward showing players of all levels that his remarkable gift isn't a gift at all--it's a skill that anyone can learn.
"If you want to be the greatest shooter in the world, there are two things you have to do," Hopla said. "Number one is shoot the ball correctly with correct shooting form. The second part is why nobody wants to be the greatest anymore: You have to shoot it more times than anybody else the correct way."
Consider the personal records he's constantly striving to beat, records he says "keep me motivated."
"If someone misses 15 out of 20 shots from a spot, a lot of guys don't want to go back to that spot. The great ones say 'Hey coach, I'm not leaving this spot until Imake 15 out of 20.'"
That kind of dedication often is the difference between an OK shooter and a great shooter. Even if your shot feels comfortable, it might not be correct. You need a willingness to sacrifice short-term comfort for long-term benefits.
Tips for success:
Elizabeth Borowsky is a pianist, teacher, and composer. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano (Music Teachers National Association).