Sunday, June 2, 2013


As coaches we say "We need more shooters."  In reality we should be saying "We need more makers."  Any player can be a shooter, but not every player is a maker.  Every player brings a lot of value to their team.  Each player is important.  But when it comes to taking shots not every player should have the same opportunity.  There is a reason some players are open when they have the ball on the perimeter.  Just because you are open doesn't mean that situation should warrant a shot attempt.  Players need to shoot from where they are capable of making shots.  Because of this it is up to the coach to help their players understand what is and what isn't a good shot for them.
Here are a few ideas on how to help define what a good shot is for each player:

1. Chart shooting drills in practice. This data can be invaluable.  If a player is shooting a low percentage in shooting drills from around fifteen feet, then it shouldn't be a surprise that they aren't making any fifteen footers during games. 

2. Before allowing a player to shoot three point shots have them earn their 3-Point License. There are various ways to earn a license. One would be to shoot a series of 50 three point shots and having to make a certain number of those shots.  This must be done three separate times (not necessarily in a row) before a player is allowed to shoot a three point shot.

3. Talk to your players and be specific.  Examples:  Let them know that you don't want them shooting a runner.  Let them know they aren't allowed to shoot a three point shot off the dribble. 

4.  Help your better scorers understand what good shots are for them as well.  Sometimes scorers feel they can take a high number of shots, but many of those are contested.  They must understand that because they can score doesn't mean every shot is a good shot for them.

5. Put players in position for them to have success.  If a player is a true post player and excels at scoring around the basket it wouldn't make sense for them to be playing out on the perimeter for half of each possession.  If you have a small guard who would struggle in the post, why would you have them post up in the block?

Players want to and love to shoot the ball.  It's part of a basketball player's DNA.  The facts are that some are better "makers" than others, and those players need to be getting more of the shots your team takes. Taking shots on offense is not an equal opportunity system.

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