Shooting Drills and Keeping Shot Straight

Basketball coaches love shooting drills and reps. There is a belief throughout the basketball coaching fraternity that to be a successful shooter all you need to do is shoot a lot of reps through drills.

If you have followed Pro Shot you know we believe in shooting form and technique and with technique, discipline and reps a quality shooter can develop.

The Pro Shot Shooting System is based on three principles: 1) Figure out what direction you are missing. 2) Figure out why you are missing. 3) FIX IT!!!

Accurate shooting is much like trying to trying to slay the three headed beast. There are basically three different directions a player can miss: sides (left and right), short and long.

The problem is that coaches and players don’t focus on eliminating these directions one at a time. Players fail because they try to fix everything at one time. Too much information. Basically it becomes brain overload.

In our camps and clinics we explain to the players, “Imagine you are a super hero and you have three evil villains that you must conquer. How do you defeat these bad guys? Do you go after all three at one time? No because they will beat you. The only way to defeat all three is to defeat them one at a time. Accurate shooting is the same way.”

Good shooters are straight shooters. They rarely miss to the side. Bad shooters miss all over the place but most misses are to the side. I have never met a quality shooter that misses to the side and I probably never will.

To be a quality shooter, a player needs to be straight and eliminate missing to the side. A player generally misses because:
1) Arm is pulling to the side (70% of misses)
2) Hand is pulling (20% of misses)
3) Coming off wrong fingers (9%)
4) Drifting to the side (1%)

We believe it is imperative for coaches to explain why a player misses to the side and then install discipline that each player must fix his or her shot. Do not allow your players to fail. Explain that missing to the side is not an option. That there will be consequences for missing to the side. Explain that your program is not allowed to miss left or right.

Focus on your drills to become more about the process and not about results. Many coaches scream, “Make your shot!” Players focus on the result and not about the process. Coaches need to be more about, “Lets be about keeping the shot straight.”

One process drill that works is have players rebound for each other. Try shooting between elbow and elbow (can be a three pointer). Have shooter keep track of how many shots he/she is straight consecutively. When the players misses to the side, the two players rotate. Keep track of personal best marks and have each player try to break their personal best every day.

In April I was watching a college womens D-1 practice and noticed they were charting shots of their players. I asked the head coach, “what is that all about?”

She responded, “We are keeping track of our makes.”

I asked her, “Don’t you know who your best shooters are?”

“Yes. Of course.”

I responded, “Doesn’t it make more sense to figure out why a player is missing and chart how players are missing?”

She smiled and nodded. “That makes perfect sense.”

Sometimes perfect sense is needed in basketball and shooting.