Basketball Shooting Coach – Do You Need One?
Many players and families call or email us asking about their need for a basketball shooting coach. Sometimes it is a knowledgeable family and other times they are desperately seeking assistance on a problem without understanding the process and expertise that a basketball shooting coach can provide.
The Current State Of Basketball Shooting and Coaching
It is hard to say when it happened or even why it has happened but for some reason, we as a basketball culture have forgotten how important jump shooting is to the game of basketball. Maybe forgotten is not the right word, maybe overlooked is more appropriate. It would appear that in the AAU, Basketball Showcase driven world that American basketball has become there is more of a precedent placed on a player’s athleticism and their ability to drive to the basket. Perhaps this is a direct result of the watered down AAU, travel team market where with virtually non-existent defenses, there is no need to shoot the basketball from the perimeter. Or could it be that having “sick handles” and being able to break peoples’ ankles while going no where with the ball is much cooler than having the ability to shoot the ball with range? Either way, we are disillusioned as a basketball culture and a quick glance at any youtube video showing Michael Jordan’s greatest game winners will reveal that they were all jumpers. Why? Because at the higher levels, basketball players play defense and they help off the ball making those once Red Sea-like driving lanes disappear in an instant, no matter how nasty your handles are. With that in mind, it is imperative that if you have aspirations of becoming a good basketball player, it is in your best interest to add a good jump shot to your full compliment of basketball skills.
Becoming a great jump shooter will take personal work and a ton of repetitions and a good shooting instructor, all of which are hard to come by in the current basketball practice environment. There is a gym time shortage in New Jersey (and I would guess in other parts of the country) that is limiting the amount of time a team can be in the gym on a weekly basis. With too many teams vying for limited gym time spots, practice times are often between an hour and an hour and a half. Consequently, team offense and team defense becomes the focal point of this shortened practice and little, if any, time is devoted to skill development, more particularly, jump shooting. Furthermore, there seems to be a prevailing theory that jump shooting cannot be taught and that, “if they don’t have it by now, they never will.” Unfortunately, this defeatist attitude shows a lack of expertise and laziness. Last time I checked, the team with the most points at the end of the game wins and shooting the ball really well is a great way to be that team. Fact is, any player can become a good jump shooter with a willingness to learn, a motivation to work, and solid instruction. When I coached high school boys’ basketball for a decade shooting was an integral part of our daily practice plan. Each day we spent a large portion of our practice time in offensive breakdown drills that got my players game shots at game spots at game speed. This type of practice plan is a major reason why we, as a team, were consistently one of the highest scoring teams in our county. I have now transferred this mentality over to the basketball training world where we spend a substantial time in each workout developing our players jump shots. We do this by breaking down their jump shot and teaching them solid jump shooting mechanics including, but not limited to how to properly release the ball, how to shoot with arch, and how to shoot in rhythm. These techniques and more have enabled some of the players who train with us at Elite Basketball Training to go on to play at high level institutions like Rider, Villanova, Bentley, and UPenn where they continue to contact me regularly with jump shooting questions and to seek help fixing their shots when in a slump.
What Basketball Shooting Coaches Can Provide
Lack of gym time and a team oriented practice combined with inexperience on the part of the coaches, who in many cases are well meaning volunteers, make for a bad situation when it comes to being a great jump shooter. However, the good thing is that there is plenty of other time in your week to work on your jump shot and there are some really amazing shooting instructors out there that are ready and willing to help you become the knock-down jump shooter you have always wanted to be. Becoming a great jump shooter requires a number of components that include the desire to become a good shooter, a willingness to work at it, and an inordinate amount of good repetitions. However, none of these aspects are worth anything if you do not know how to shoot properly therefore making the most important aspect to becoming a good shooter is having a great shooting instructor.
Jump shooting is a skill, it is not something you are born with and a shooting instructor can provide you with the expertise to learn how to shoot the basketball properly. One of the many problems with our society when it comes to jump shooting is that players are not taught the correct way to shoot the basketball, mainly because coaches don’t know how to or because they feel jump shooting cannot be taught. This type of negligence has destroyed the jump shot of American players. At Elite Basketball Training, we utilize the Pro Shot System, created by renowned shooting instructor, Paul Hoover as the basis for our shooting philosophy. When I first met Paul over three years ago it was during the NBA playoffs and he encouraged me to read his book and I did. The interesting part about it is that as I was reading the book I had the chance to witness first hand the techniques he describes in his book by watching the NBA playoffs and I could not believe my eyes. Almost all of the information that I had learned in my 25 years of playing and coaching basketball was wrong. I could not believe this but it was true. How could over two decades of knowledge be wrong? The game of basketball has evolved, so has the jump shot and unfortunately we as coaches and trainers failed to evolve along with it. I was guilty of this up until that point three years ago when I read Coach Hoover’s book. After that, I personally got in the gym and changed my jump shot to fit the techniques of the Pro Shot System. Furthermore, we began using our own spin on this system with all of our basketball players that train at Elite Basketball Training which has produced tremendous results with many of the players who train with us leading their teams in three point shots made or being ranked in the state for most three pointers made in a season.
Basketball Shooting Coach Philosophy Here At Elite Basketball Training
At Elite we focus on four key components of the jump shot which include: the release; the dip; the set up; and the sweep and sway. Each of these components have their own purpose and are taught in the order they are listed above. The release, which includes the index finger release and the off hand in to help keep the ball straight. The dip adds rhythm and power. The set up insures that you will be in the proper position on the catch or off the dribble so that your hips and shoulders can work together to release tension and create a smooth jumper. Finally, the sweep and sway builds on the correct set up and will allow the player to shoot with arch and from a deeper range. All of these components when combined create the perfect jump shot that has been modeled after the great jump shooters in the NBA and college. These professional players have learned the proper way to shoot the ball and have become great through thousands of repetitions. This is no different for any player who trains with us at Elite Basketball Training. In order to become a great jump shooter, it takes an open mind and a willingness to change your jump shot based on the correct shooting form that we teach. It is imperative that a player has proper form before they go any further.
Basketball Shooting and Coachability
More often than not, players come to us with awkward shooting form that needs to be changed. Being willing to change requires a player to be coachable. They must listen to their instructor’s cues and make changes based on the coach’s instruction. Doing so, is the only way to overcome the thousands of bad reps that have produced their current inconsistent jumper. I currently work with a nine year old player who is arguably the most coachable player I train. No matter what I tell him to do, he will consistently make the adjustment on the next repetition. Because of this, he has one of the best jump shots not only for his age but just in general. His father recently told me how he get complimented all the time, saying that his son’s jumper is so advanced. Much of this has to do with the technique that he learns through our training but more of the credit is on him as a player for being so coachable. This young player gets it. He knows that being a good jump shooter takes time and effort. Ultimately, players have to accept the fact that they will miss shots, in some cases a lot of them, but if they look past the misses, are coachable, and trust the process the result in the end will be a much more consistent jump shot.
Jump shooting overall has taken a hit and our basketball society has produced more poor jump shooters than good ones. This is a byproduct of a number of things that include a lack of gym time, which forces coaches to eliminate skill development from their practice and limited expertise on the key aspects of jump shooting and how to teach it. There is also a prevailing theme that if a player can’t shoot, then they never will be able to. We at Elite Basketball Training do not subscribe to this philosophy, and know that all players can learn to become better jump shooters with a few key changes.
Basketball Shooting Keys To Improvement Thru Coaching
Primarily, you need a good basketball shooting instructor, a willingness to change and being coachable in order to break bad habits and learn proper technique. Once you have the proper technique it then takes thousands of repetitions with good form in order to develop the muscle memory needed to shoot the ball correctly every time. This, however, is not the end. A player should continue to have a relationship with their shooting instructor throughout their career so that when and if you hit a shooting slump you can have them look at your jumper to make changes. Despite all it has going against it, our poor jump shooting society can be changed. Find the right instructor, get in the gym, and trust the process. Doing so will eliminate those misses and start making swishes.
New Jersey Basketball Shooting Coach Rich Stoner has players from Holmdel, South Brunswick, Red Bank, Edison, Westfield, Clark, Middletown and beyond all come to Elite Basketball Training to hone their shot. Call Rich today if you would like to learn more.