Where has the pull up jump shot gone?

This week I got the opportunity to work with a tremendous group of young basketball players at their Ocean Elite AAU basketball practice.  We focused heavily on basketball skill development with some on court sports performance training sprinkled into the mix.  The players were a blast to work with.  They were attentive, enthusiastic, and hard working which is a lethal combination and will, no doubt, lead them to success.

During our workout we worked a ton on creating space off the triple threat using my jab series and rip series.  The first half of the practice was spent developing finishing moves at the rim while the second half focused on secondary finishing moves away from the basket.  As always, I teach the basketball skill, then the players work on it at a slower speed (roughly 60-70% of their max), and finally we go at game speed against live defenders.  It was during the period with the live defenders where they should have been working on secondary finishing moves that something curious happened and it happened at all of the baskets.  The offensive players, time and time again were consistently going to the basket whether they had the drive or not.  As a matter of fact, not one player took a pull up jumper despite the fact that we had just spent the last 20 minutes developing that skill.  I fixed this small issue by adding a secondary defender to clog the lane thereby forcing the offensive player to shoot off the dribble.  However, this occurrence is not uncommon and begs the question, where has the pull up jump shot gone?

In today’s time and pretty much since the advent of the dribble drive offense the notion of key or three has taken over the game of basketball. Players, for whatever reason, feel the need to either spot up from three point range or take the ball to the basket no matter what type of situation the defense presents.  This mentality has virtually eliminated the pull up jump shot at the youth, high school, and even college levels.  However, it should be noted that the best players in the NBA make a living off of their pull up jump shot.  Pros like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving are among the NBA leaders in pull up jump shots taken and made per game (pro shot system, Youtube).  Beyond that, the greatest player ever, Michael Jordan may have dazzled fans and dominated opponents with his acrobatic dunks and finishes however, in a video of his top 10 buzzer beaters of all time, all ten of the shots he made were pull up jump shots.  Why?  Because in crunch time, it is extremely difficult to get the ball to the rim against an opponent’s defense which tightens ups to force players to put the ball on the floor and pull up rather than catch and shoot a three or finish with a layup.

That being said, the pull up jump shot is a vital part of the game of basketball and should be worked on daily along with finishing at the rim and shooting off the catch.  I’ve always felt that players who had a great pull up game could dominate at all levels in large part because teams don’t necessarily focus on defending that shot.  Furthermore, when push comes to shove, the pull up jump shot is most likely going to be the type of shot that you get when the game is on the line and the defense tightens.  So add a third dimension to your game, develop a deadly pull up jump shot, and bring back this lost art.

This summer, we will developing players’ pull up jumper at the Nothin’ but Net jump shooting program.  For more information on this program that utilizes the renowned Pro Shot System and a chance to register visit out Training page.


When Is a Good Time to Change My Jump Shot?

when should I change my jump shotShould I Change My Jump Shot Form?

The other day at one of my basketball skill development workouts, I had a player come up to me and ask when it would be a good time to change his jump shot.  My response?


In all seriousness, if you have been told by a coach or basketball trainer that you need to make changes to your jump then now is really the perfect time.  Making a change to your jump shot will take time, repetition, and an understanding that you will miss a lot of shots at first.  With the summer months approaching, there is no better time to make these changes.  The summer provides you with the time necessary to get in the repetitions that you will need to ensure proper jump shooting mechanics, and since most players don’t have competitive games in the summer, there will not be any added frustration that develops because of the missed shots that will occur.

Basketball Shooting System – You Need This!

At Elite Basketball Training, we are huge advocates of the Pro Shot System that was developed by Paul Hoover. Using the Pro Shot System we break down the jump shot into six components: the release, the turn, the set up, the hop, the dip, and the sweep and sway.  Doing so allows us to focus on a specific facet of the jump shot and drill that component in and of itself.  Once mastery of that component has been achieved we move on to the next component of the jumper and repeat the process.  This system of basketball development is imperative to your improvement not only with your jump shot, but any basketball skill and as you can see it can take a good amount of time.  For this reason, I recommend making the changes that your basketball trainer has suggested now and through the summer.  This will ultimately build confidence through mistakes and changes, allow you the time to make those changes, and have you ready to go for next winter’s basketball season.

Basketball Shooting Form Clinics and Training

Are you interested in changing your jump shot this summer?  If so, then Elite Basketball Training has the program for you.  Elite Basketball Training’s Nothin’ But Net is for basketball players of all skill levels in grade school, middle school and high school, both boys and girls, and is designed to develop their jump shot, using the famous Pro Shot System. Summertime is the time to develop your game and the jump shot is the foundation of this development. Learn how to shoot the basketball using the secrets of professional basketball players like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and Michael Jordan.

Reserve your spot for Nothin’ But Net, Elite Ball Handling and Attacking and other summer programs today at

This Really Bothered Me – Shooting Form Debate Continues

Basketball Shooting Form Debate

Basketball Shooting Form Evolution

As a basketball trainer  I try to keep an open mind about basketball training and coaching methods.  As a matter of fact, for the nine years that Elite Basketball Training has been around, we have evolved year in and year out by learning, teaching, making mistakes, adjusting, and learning some more.  It is for this reason that we are the most complete basketball skill development and basketball sports performance training company in New Jersey. However, I fear that other coaches, trainers, and players may not be as open to learn.  Two Days ago I posted the above picture on Facebook and it was highly criticized by someone saying that this player’s, “shoulders should be in front of his feet. Shoulders should follow the ball it keeps you from being short.”

My response was that this could not be more incorrect.  In fact, if your shoulders follow your jump shot that will produce a flat shot and you will miss short or long off the back rim because your body simply cannot produce any arch that way.  The body is a machine and it works efficiently in certain ways.  Having your shoulders forward when you shoot and keeping them ahead of your feet at extension and follow through forces all of your weight to go forward thereby making the shooter unbalanced.  I explained to this person that great players know this and that is why the best jump shooters in the NBA like Kevin Durant and Steph Curry have form exactly like the boy in the picture above.  It is also why I teach that method because if it’s good enough for the reigning league MVP then it is good enough for guys like us.  The guy wasn’t too keen on my response and shot back at me with a sarcastic comment about basketball being the only sport where you “take mass, as in the ball, in one direction and your body weight in the opposite direction.”

I’m trying not to chuckle as I type this even two days later.

Open Your Mind to Change of Shooting Habits

The close mindedness of this guy is not uncommon but it really angered me that someone could be so stuck in his ways to totally blow off what I was saying.  All you have to do is watch an NBA game and you can see that good shooters do NOT in any way shoot with their shoulders in front of their feet.  Their shoulders come up and back as they shoot and their feet sweep forward. This is a natural body movement and ultimately puts arch on the shot.

I responded to this guy in one final statement saying that he should check out this video and then tell me I’m wrong =>  Sweep and Sway

Our Shooting Form Influence

Much of what I now know about jump shooting I have learned from Paul Hoover, the founder of the Pro Shot System.  So much so that he trusts me to teach players his system and refers them to me regularly.  If you are interested in learning the Pro Shot System then I have the program for you.  My Nothin’ But Net  summer basketball program is for basketball players of all skill levels in grade school, middle school and high school, both boys and girls, and is designed to develop their jump shot, using the famous Pro Shot System.  Learn how to shoot the basketball using the secrets of professional basketball players like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and Michael Jordan.

This system will replace your misses with swishes so don’t miss out on this opportunity this summer.

New Jersey Basketball Training Programs

For more information and to register, visit today.

Turning Weaknesses into Strengths

Turn Basketball Weaknesses Into Strengths

Do You Know Your Basketball Weaknesses and Strengths?

With the summer right around the corner, the basketball off-season is upon us here in New Jersey.  That being said, The Time is Now to begin your basketball training for next basketball season.  If you are like every other basketball player, you most likely have weaknesses in your game that need to be addressed this off season and whether they are basketball skill related or sports performance related, now is the time to assess your game, find your weaknesses, and come up with a plan to work on them.  The following will address how to determine what those weaknesses are and provide a step by step outline on how you can develop your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

Basketball Comfort Zones – Explore Yours

It has been stated many times on this site that there is no place on a basketball court that a player should be uncomfortable.  That being said, a simple way to determine your weaknesses is to determine where on the basketball court you are uncomfortable.  Now, I do not mean a specific location like in the corner of the baseline, but rather a specific skill that if asked to perform will make you go running for the hills.  For example, many taller players  at the youth, middle school and high school level are uncomfortable handling the basketball.  Most of the time taller players at the youth level are stuck under the basket and never allowed to step away from there or even consider dribbling the ball.  Consequently, ball handling becomes a major weakness for these players that often times gets overlooked.

Basketball strengths and weaknesses

Ask Your Coach And Basketball Trainer

Aside from figuring out what skill makes you uncomfortable, a really simple and effective way to identify your weaknesses is to ask your coach or trainer.  Aside from just X’s and O’s, your basketball coach has a good pulse on his team’s strengths and weaknesses as well as each player’s strength’s and weaknesses.  They will know your capabilities and how you currently fit into their schemes and how they envision you fitting into those schemes in the future.  Therefore they can tell you exactly what to work on this off-season.  Beyond your actual coach, your basketball trainer is another great resource for determining your weaknesses.  There is not one basketball skill development or sports performance workout that goes by that I do not address the players that train with me and provide them with feedback on what they are doing well and what they need to continue to work on.  From there, they can use this information to develop their weaknesses while training on their own until the next time they see me.

Commit To Basketball Development and Change

Now that you know how to identify your weaknesses it is time to begin the process of turning them into strengths. The first step is breaking down the identified skill into its specific parts and work on each individual component separately.  Let’s take the jump shot as an example.  The jump shot has multiple different components that include: the release, the hip hinge, footwork, the off hand, etc.  Each one of these components can and should be worked on separately in order to perfect that specific component.  This is done through understanding the proper mechanics and then completing a multitude of repetitions with the proper mechanics.  For example, at Elite Basketball Training, we teach that basketball players should release the basketball off their index finger and that on the follow through, the index finger should reach up and through the center of the rim.  In order to obtain the muscle memory needed to make this a habit, the player must repeat that perfect release every time.  They cannot reach the index finger up and through the center of the rim one time then point it to the right of the rim the second time, then to the left of the rim on the third attempt, then back to the middle on the fourth and so on.  This inconsistency will only create bad habits and delay the or hinder the development of proper muscle memory for that specific component and it will delay advancing to the next step in the process of turning your weaknesses into strengths.

Once you have identified the issue, broken down its components and worked to develop good habits the next step is to start to perfect the skill in a low stress, non-competitive  environment.  During this phase, drills should be done at 50-70% of your threshold speed with no clock involved.  Doing so will eliminate any sort of competition from the drills and allow you to work on maintaining positive habits while continuing to perfect them at a slightly higher speed.

The speed at which you can go through these drills without breaking form will continue to increase with each workout and eventually you will be ready to move on to the final step of the process.  I refer to this as the transfer phase and it is where the drills become competitive again.  The previous two steps have been about developing muscle memory and now you should not have to think about it but just do it.  Now is the time to add the clock to the drill and compete against time or add a closeout defender and compete against a live body.  This will allow you to transfer your new or refurbished skills into a game-like situation which is essential to you eventually being able to perform that skill on the court.

The basketball off-season is here and now is the time to begin preparing for next winter’s basketball season.  The preparation must include turning your weaknesses into strengths.  This is done through a multi-step process that includes identifying your weaknesses, breaking them down to their smallest components and working on them at a slower less competitive speed in order to build muscle memory and finally transferring the skill to game situations after your have built up the muscle memory necessary to do this correctly. These steps are crucial to your success on the basketball court and if you work on them consistently this spring, summer, and fall you will have turned your weaknesses into strengths that you can use to dominate you opponents next winter.

Interested in finding out your current weaknesses?  Contact me today for a free assessment of your game.

New Jersey Basketball Training Programs


Off Season Basketball Training – Now is the Time

Best Basketball Offseason

CrossFit Open WOD 14.3 is in the books and I was a little under where I thought I would be.  Last week’s WOD was a killer with and ascending ladder of deadlifts and an increased weight at each new rep range.

CrossFit Open WOD: 14.3:
8 minute AMRAP:
10 deadlifts, 135 / 95 lb.
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch
15 deadlifts, 185 / 135 lb.
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch
20 deadlifts, 225 / 155 lb.
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch
25 deadlifts, 275 / 185 lb.
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch
30 deadlifts, 315 / 205 lb.
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch
35 deadlifts, 365 / 225 lb.
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch

As a half decent dead lifter, with a 1 rep max of just over 400, I thought that I could get to the round of 315 and ultimately fell 10 reps short of that.  I was cruising through the first three rounds but when I got to the round of 25 reps at 275, that weight might as well have been around a thousand pounds and I had to break it up into singles after going unbroken in the first three rounds.  This substantially slowed my pace down and my back was so cramped up that I felt like it might snap in half.   Nonetheless, I was moderately pleased with this result and I am looking forward to the release of 14.4 having gotten my confidence back after the 14.2 debacle.

Last week I wrote an interesting post on the lack of an off season for high school and youth basketball players these days. It created a ton of buzz and intrigue and if you have not read it yet, I highly recommend that you do. Where has our Basketball Off Season Gone will definitely get you thinking about how you should be spending your time developing your game now that your basketball season has ended.  With basketball season over for many, now is the time to let your body heal (actively), evaluate your successes and failures from the season, and begin training to attack those weaknesses and elevate your game for next season.

Do NOT fall off the basketball wagon and take too much time off thinking that you will just pick the basketball back up in the summer and be exactly where you were when you ended the season.  Your development as a basketball player takes time and effort and that time is now.  While other players are out trying to develop their basketball skills by playing a butt load of games, you need to be attending as many basketball skill development clinics and workouts as you can with reputable trainers who genuinely care about making you a better basketball player.  Then use the information that you learned at these workouts and continue to train on your own throughout the week until the next workout that you attend.  Beyond that, having already let your body rest for a few weeks now, you should already be back in the weight room rehabbing nagging injuries and targeting weaknesses in order to eliminate them.

Yes, now is the time for you to elevate your game.  Do not sit back and wait. Do not think that you will automatically be good when you pick that basketball back up again.  Do it now.  Set yourself on a course today to make yourself into the best basketball player your can for the 2014-2015 season…its only eight months away.

Interested in elevating your game this spring with NJ’s most complete solution to basketball training?  Contact me, Rich Stoner, today and find out which one of Elite Basketball Training’s programs fits your basketball skill development and sports performance needs.

New Jersey Basketball Training Programs

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