Evaluating shooting systems for skill development

By Brian McCormick, PhD
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League
Author, The 21st Century Basketball Practice and Fake Fundamentals

A handful of shooting drills for individual workouts

Working out individually does not allow one to take true game shots because the shooter does not have a passing option or a defender. However, many players invest time practicing their shot on their own or with an individual trainer, and here are a few drills that players can use.  Read more

Should we use professional players as model when teaching players to shoot?

This morning, I saw a picture of Carmelo Anthony getting ready to shoot, and the ball touched the palm of his hand. The headline read, “Shooting myth; keep the ball out of your palm.” I immediately had two questions: (1) Should we teach young players to model their shots after professional players? and (2) Is Anthony the model that we should follow? Read more

Systems approach to shooting

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What’s a game shot, really?

I saw this statement by an NBA scout in an article about the upcoming draft:

I’ll never forget Ray Allen telling a story. You have no idea how hard it is to attempt 20 shots in a game. Try to get 20 quality shots? It’s impossible, no way. When you are the featured player, you are defended differently. Your goal in a game should be getting something he called “free looks” on wide-open shots, and make six of them, knowing that the other 12 are going to be contested, and they are so fucking hard to make. You might go fucking 3-for-12 or 4-for-12, but if you go 6-for-8? OK, now you are 9-for-20 or 10-for-20, and you’re whole again. So, on the night, you are 3-8 on your free looks and then 3-for-12 on your contested ones, then you have those fucking horrible shooting nights.

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Stephen Curry and Shooting Drills

When I coached in Denmark, we had an 18-year-old player from Bulgaria who never shot the same shot twice. During shooting drills, he practiced trying to draw a foul on three-pointers or he shot the ball as high as possible or as straight as possible. He appeared never to take his shooting practice seriously.  Of course, Stephen Curry does the same thing: Read more

Klay Thompson’s 37-point quarter & the variability of shooting

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Stephen Curry and Shot Preparation

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Developing an elite basketball jump shooter

Shooting is a motor skill despite many experts believing that shooting skill is an innate talent. The concentration when coaching or teaching young shooters is the sport-specific instruction: the elbow, the eyes, the knee bend, etc. When one watches an expert shooter, his technique looks effortless: Even a shooter with an unorthodox technique like Reggie Miller looks effortless when shooting the basketball. Moshe Feldenkrais wrote, “Light and easy movements are good ones, as a rule” (p. 86). Look at Kevin Durant’s effortless release: Read more

Ray Allen Shooting Instruction

Boston’s Ray Allen is regarded as one of the top shooters in the history of the NBA. In this clip, he explains a couple basics of his shot and also a couple basic drills, especially the “+1/-2 Drill” which is also called the “+10/-10 Drill.”

  • What Is A Playmaker?

    Who decided that a point guard has to be small? More importantly, what is a point guard? We expect a point guard to be a leader and have a high basketball I.Q. Why don’t we expect or challenge all players to develop this game awareness? Why rely on only one player? Read more →
  • The PBDL Concept

    English soccer academies wait until players are 11 to play full 11v11 soccer; in Italy, youth basketball players participate in skill-oriented clinics at 6-years-old, but start competitive games at 12. In the United States, kids play 5v5 full court games and compete for national championships when they are 8-years-old.

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  • Starting A PBDL

    The PBDL emphasizes learning and development. Presently, players and parents have numerous recreation options - leagues based on fun and equal participation, typically for beginners - and numerous competitive opportunities - teams focused on strategy, game preparation and winning. There are few true development leagues - until now.

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