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March Coaches’ Corner

March 11th, 2021

Basketball Coaches - Getting Athletes to Shoot Better is Tough

This article is targeted towards our basketball coaches; however, the basic principles can be used for all our coaches.

If your athletes aren't shooting as they should in games, it usually comes down to two things:

  1. Athletes need to improve their shooting mechanics.
  2. Athletes need to practice smarter.

Do your athletes mechanics need improved?

  • Can your athletes make 60% to 70% or more of your perimeter shots (12 ft to 20 ft) unguarded in practice?
  • Can they make at least 50% of their 3-point shots unguarded in practice?
    • If not, there is a good chance they need to improve their mechanics.

How about changing up how they practice?

  • Are your athletes using shooting drills that replicate what happens during games? Do they involve game-like cuts? Are the shots they take in practice the same shots they take during games?
  • Are they varying their shots between repetitions?
  • And most importantly, are they pushing and going at game speed?
    • For a portion of your athletes' workouts, they should mix up their shot on every repetition, because that’s how you play the game. You rarely take the same shot twice in a row.
    • You can simply vary between a shot off the catch, shooting a shot off the dribble, and shooting off a dribble move.
    • You can also pick a different cut and location between each sequence.
  • Are you practicing shooting against defenders?

    • This might sound obvious, but how often do you really practice 1v1 drills? And how often do you practice game-like 2v2 and 3v3 drills with your athletes?
    • If athletes want to shoot better in games, they have to get accustomed to shooting against defenders and making choices based on the defender’s position. If they're not doing this, they’re neglecting an important aspect to high-level shooting.

All of this is easier said than done, just ask Indiana University Men's Basketball team. As a long time Hoosier fan, it pains me to watch knowing that many of their troubles could go away if they hit their open shots. Just about every team that struggles to win has the same issue. If you really work on the notes above, I guarantee your team will improve.

—Kevin, Sports and Recreation Coordinator

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