The most important aspect of shooting is discovering how you miss and then fixing the problem. I have written about this a few times, but I believe it is crucial to keep mentioning it.
I would estimate a good percentage of players have no idea what direction they miss their shot. This past summer I had a Division I player in my gym who was a poor shooter. He basically got his Division I scholarship because he’s 6-8 and athletic. I was watching him shoot and he proceeded to miss 15 straight shots to the side. I finally asked him, “What direction are you missing? He shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”
This bricklayer (who has improved greatly and is now much more accurate) had no idea how and why he was missing. He had been taught over his basketball life that a made basket is good and a missed shot was bad AND nothing else.
I believe there are millions of youth, high school and even college players that have no idea what direction they are missing and why they are missing. There is nothing more frustrating than to watch one of your players who constantly misses the same direction every single time.
I was speaking with my associate director, Matt Williamson yesterday regarding what was the most important video we have ever produced. We both agreed that Basketball Shooting Guide to Improvement (see below) is easily the most informational video we have produced because it explains why players miss. If you have not watched it, you might want to (seven minutes long).
There are basically four ways you can miss–right, left, long and short. To become a great shooter you must be cognoscente of the direction you miss. As a coach, you will have to have be on your players constantly.
I truly believe many players play basketball and sports as an escape from the classroom and there’s nothing wrong with that. I also believe that many basketball players leave their brain in the classroom and fail to bring it to the hardwood especially when it comes to shooting.
As a coach you need to be their eyes and sometimes their brain. You need to constantly remind players how and why they are missing. I have heard coaches tell me, “I’m not going to constantly remind each player.” I always remark back, “If you want a good shooting team you will.”
Last year we hosted over 600 shooting camps and clinics in 45 States. Some teams we work with go on and break school scoring and shooting records (I can give you references if you need them). Others improve a little and other teams and programs stay the same. But why don’t all schools go on and break records?
Here’s is what I have discovered: The most disciplined and dedicated coaches stay on their players year round. If they don’t do it right, players are reminded. If they continue not doing it right, there are consequences. Coaches demand it and players produce.
Then there are some coaches that only remind the players from time to time. They see “some” improvement because there have been “some” effort given.
Finally there are the coaches that demand nothing of their players. They will call me and say, “They aren’t doing it.” Most youth and high school players will give as much focus and energy as the coach demands.
I have no idea why some coaches use shooting drills but never say anything during these drills. In other words, they never correct the player. That to me makes no sense. Drills alone DO NOT help a player. It’s mechanics and focus that make up a quality shooter. Once again, players MUST be corrected or they will continue shooting the wrong way.
If you don’t have enough discipline as a coach to remind your players, correct your players and make your players shoot correctly, then you will never have a quality shooting team.
In my backyard gym I have a sign that reads: “The Pro Shot System does not fail. It’s players that fail the Pro Shot System.” It should probably read as well, “It’s coaches that fail the Pro Shot System.” I also believe many times its coaches that fail not just my system but shooting in general.
Today I was speaking with South Lutheran boys assistant coach Dusty Holbrook from Houston, Texas who uses the Pro Shot System. His team shot 44% from the three point line this year. Yes, you read that right!!! That’s 44% for the whole team!!!
Last night I asked Coach Holbrook “How were you able to get an entire team to shot this well?” He responded back, “Pro Shot works and we stay on them the whole year. If they don’t shoot the way we want, they don’t play” He then continued, “Its funny but many coaches comprise. If their players don’t defend their way, they don’t play. If they don’t run the offense the right way coaches don’t play that player. But with shooting, there is usually no punishment if you shoot the wrong way. We are different and that’s why our kids shoot so well.” INTERESTING TAKE.