Updated: Mar 15, 2022
I'm a firm believer that shooting is the grand equalizer in the game of basketball. As a player, the better shooter you are the longer you'll stay on the floor and have the opportunity to help your team win games. As a coach, the more shooters you have on your team, the more you'll be able to overcome other disadvantages and win games people don't expect you to win.
Simply put, shooting will help you and your team win more games next season than any other single offensive skill.
The great part is that anyone can become a great shooter and every team can be full of shooters! All it takes is for players and coaches to commit to their part in the process .... and unfortunately, most people aren't willing to do that. And just why is it that most players/teams aren't that great at shooting? I think it's because they don't understand (or aren't willing to commit to) the three non-negotiables to becoming a great shooter.
Note: Make sure you read all the way to the end of this thought.
I've included links to some great resources and shooting drills.
During my time as a head coach, our teams were always known as great shooting teams. We were routinely in the Top 5-7 for all high school teams in the state of Texas (and then Oklahoma) for most 3s made, year in and year out. I was always asked what "our secret" was to the success we had. And in reality, it was no secret. It was that our players and coaches understood those three things and we were all committed to our individual part in the equation.
It wasn't some sort of magic formula. It was hard work and dedication to our craft.
Players, you can't maximize as a shooter if you're not spending time working on your shot every single day. It doesn't have to be hours every time, but you must make it a habit to spend time shooting daily.
Coaches, the same is true for us. You can't get frustrated about your team's lack of ability to make shots if you're not committing time in every single practice to improve that area of your team's game.
For our players, they committed to spending time year-round to improve their shot. For us as coaches, we committed to dedicating time each practice to becoming better shooters.
Author Mitch Albom had this to say about sacrifice: “Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to.”
That applies to becoming a great shooter and a great shooting team as well. If you want to become a great shooter, there are other things you'll need to sacrifice on a weekly basis. It could be time with friends, fewer video games, or less time on social media. It's about sacrificing your lesser desires for your greater desires. The important question to ask yourself is this: how bad do I want to be a great shooter?
The same is true for us as coaches. To have a great shooting team, there will be other things within practices that we'll need to choose to spend less time on throughout the year. It's impossible to win games if our team can't make shots. What should you do less of next year in practice to show you value shot-making at a premium?
To become a great shooter, shooting must be a part of your/your team's daily routine. Even if it's a little as 5-10 shots a day. If you don't start building the habit now, in three months time you won't be the consistent shooter that you want to be as an individual or you want your team to be.
Becoming the best shooter on your team or becoming the best shooting team in your league can "feel" like an overwhelming goal to you. The same could be said about running a marathon. Studies show that the best thing you can do to run a marathon is to put your shoes on daily. Most people quit when they fail after putting together this elaborate, overwhelming plan, but people who just put their running shoes on are more likely to run a marathon. It's about starting small and growing from there.
If you're committed to becoming a better shooter or improving your team's shooting, here are some resources that can help get you moving in the right direction: