Recently we asked a dozen high school coaches–“What was the key to shooting success?” They all said the same thing, “Reps.”
Over the past three years we have talked to over 20 collegiate coaches (both men and women coaches) that said they never correct their players shooting form (“our players are too old”) and believe shooting success is all about reps. In other words, they believe the best shooting teams take the most reps.
There are a few coaches that we have spoke with that believe accurate shooting is all about getting good looks. The better looks, the higher percentage.
So what is the key to shooting accuracy? If you practice shooting every day are you headed to shooting greatness? Is it all about getting open shots?
We believe reps are important and getting open looks is huge BUT what never gets mentioned for shooting improvement is mechanics. It’s like that drunk relative at Christmas time in the corner with a lamp shade on his head. Many coaches simply ignore it as if it’s not there.
Not believing shooting mechanics is important truly makes no sense. Imagine throwing a young child into a deep end of a pool and tell that youngster, “Go swim and you will be fine.” Doesn’t sound like a good idea.
Do baseball coaches not teach hitting mechanics or pitching mechanics? Do track coaches not teach mechanics? Do Golf or tennis coaches not teach mechanics? So why is shooting a basketball any different?
For many years we have thought–why do so any coaches believe shooting is all about reps? The only conclusion we can come up with is that coaches today are imitating their coaches. In other words, their coaches “preached”: reps and coaches are usually a product of their past.
Think of it this way–if you have terrible form and you keep practicing that form, why would you believe it is going to improve greatly? It probably won’t.
We have used this quote before and I will keep using it because it makes so much sense. Michael Jordan once responded, “”You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way.”
Let me pose a question to every coach and player reading this: Have you ever seen a terrible shooter who has great technique? We haven’t seen very many BUT have you ever seen a terrible shooter with poor technique. We see hundreds of these players a week.
One question we ask the players at the start of our shooting camps and clinics is: “How many of you think we will do mostly drills today?” Usually the majority of hands rise. Reps and drills are what players know. I respond, “We aren’t going to do shooting drills. I’m going to teach you how to shoot.”
All coaches should teach their players shooting mechanics and focus more on the mechanics and less on the drill. It will really help each player become a more accurate shooter.