DO YOU HAVE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE?‏

A week ago I received a jpeg from my friend Chong Xie. The jpeg read:

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against their belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted.It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit with the core belief.” Frantz Fanon

For over a decade I searched for the right phrase of what I was discovering in the art of shooting and the rejection I often would receive from basketball coaches. During this time I would ask myself, “I just don’t get it. Why don’t some of these coaches see the light?”

If you are reading this you are either really bored or open minded (I’m guessing the second part). We have 40,000 emails of coaches, trainers and directors from across the world. We have also had 10,000 opt out during the past five years.

Some coaches actually look forward to our emails and teach the Pro Shot System. Other coaches believe the System is a scam, a hoax and doesn’t work because they believe in one way to shoot–how they were taught how to shoot. I ask them, “Have read the ebook or watched my 70+ videos on my website? They usually respond, “Don’t need to. I know it’s not right.”

When I show evidence that the best shooters do “turn, sway and dip” and that many great shooters do “hop” through video, pictures and power point, I get the same line, “I don’t want to see it.” When I watch their players shoot, they look nothing like what you see on TV (well maybe on Bloopers Show) and they always shoot poorly.

So why are these coaches non believers despite the evidence? The proof is on TV every night. In pictures on the sports page. Can be found in college arenas. Can be found in high school gyms. And yet I still get a high percentage of coaches and players that will say, “That’s not how Maya Moore shoots.” “That’s not how Stephen Curry shoots.” “That’s not how the best shooters shoot!!!” It is, they just refuse to see it.

Coaches ask me all the time, “Why do you give everything away? Why do you give your ebook away? Why do you give all your videos away? Nobody else does this.” It is really simple. My coaches and I are trying to change a culture. I always say, “We are changing the world one jump shot at a time.”

Because of my ebook and videos, I get emails daily from players across the world who I have never met that write, “You are changing my life.” This is very rewarding, but we also realize that there are millions upon millions of players that shoot poorly because of bad information and cognitive dissonance and we are trying to change that.

There is not a fundamental skill in all of basketball and perhaps in all of sports that is so “traditional” as shooting a basketball. Many coaches believe there is one way to shoot and that’s the way “I was taught and that’s how my dad was taught and that’s how I will teach it.” When you ask them about changing their ideas to better their players they do get very uncomfortable.

In the Pro Shot System there are 6 components (we call it the FOREST) that are crucial in becoming an accurate shooter. I understand that as a coach you may like all six, you may like a few and you might like maybe only one. I believe it is important to be open minded in shooting and that possibly there might be a new component that might help your players to make more shots. Last thing you want to have in life is cognitive dissonance.