“Brian McCormick’s philosophy is an absolute game changer for shooting development. Evolution of 180 Shooter provides easy to implement ideas to evolve skill development for players and coaches at all levels.”
— Kenny Atkinson, NBA Head Coach
In 2009, I published 180 Shooter, which described my teaching methodology and drill progressions as a private shooting coach in the prior decade. A few players set NCAA shooting records and became All-Americans, but others struggled, and I examined the cause. I attributed some of their failings to my coaching and workouts, and I quit private coaching.
Over the last decade, I worked with teams as a head coach and a consultant. I have coached very good shooters — one finished second nationally in 3-point shooting percentage and another set the college’s record for 3FGs — and very good shooting teams: 3rd in 3FG/G (9.7), 6th in 3FG% (37.4%), and 9th in FT% (72.6%).
Evolution of 180 Shooter: A 21st Century Guide chronicles the evolution of my thinking over the last decade and challenges the prevalent shooting dogma. My greatest changes have been to re-define game-like shots and appreciate the environment’s role in developing shooters. This is not a technique or drill book; it focuses on our culture of shooting — from our practice, to the extra shots, to the comfort and confidence — which develops shot makers.
“If you coach basketball at any level, read and study Brian McCormick’s writing: It will re-calibrate your view of the game. You will think differently about basketball and how to teach the game to others.”
— Lindell Singleton, Head Coach: The Game Matters AAU
Several years ago, I presented on jump training for injury prevention in women’s basketball players at the Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group conference. Most of the presentation can be seen below:
I also published a paper on the topic in the Strength and Conditioning Journal.
The basic premise was strength coaches needed to incorporate ideas from motor learning into their training to improve performance and reduce injuries. Specifically, I spoke about specificity and variability.
The typical jump training programs, especially a decade ago, included very static, safe jumps, often over barriers like a cone or onto a box. This changes the specificity of the jump: Injuries tend to occur in lengthened positions with eyed directed upward, such as reaching for a rebound. At the time, the prevailing wisdom was that with more training on the perfect landing, we could avoid injuries. My argument was that the sport demands imperfect landings: When I jump for a rebound with the intention to land and score quickly, I do not land in a perfect, soft, toe to heel landing into a quarter to half squat with my eyes fixated on the ground to provide advanced cues for the landing. Instead, my eyes are directed on the rim, I may or may not land on two feet, and I aim to reduce the time on the ground to beat my opponent and create an advantage for the shot.
Basically, the prevailing wisdom was that if we practiced more stationary form shooting from 3-5 feet from the basket, and created a “perfect” shot from there, we would get perfect performance on three-point attempts against defenders when sprinting off a screen and deciding whether or not to shoot. Just as I see form shooting as having limited transfer to game shooting performance, the training for the perfect landing has limited transfer under game demands.
As I worked individually with a player this spring, and constantly tried to vary his shots, I realized that the variability in the jumps and landings actually created a low-intensity jump training program for injury prevention that likely exceeds the benefits of most traditional jump training programs.
In the movement shooting drills above, which essentially are my “Form Shooting Drills” for non-beginners, players use a variety of movements: Jumps and hops, sagittal, frontal and transverse plane movements, rotation in the air, and more. These are the types of variable jumps for which I advocated in my presentation. Furthermore, because the intention is to shoot, not just to land from a jump, the posture is more similar to the posture one uses in a game, and the eyes are directed at the rim, not at the ground, forcing the body to learn to anticipate the landing without visual information.
The Variable Form Shooting Drill is more complex, as it adds catching to the movement. Now, the movements are less predictable, as the timing is dictated to some degree by the pass, although the player controls/plans the movement. Many of these do not challenge the player’s landing skills, but simple cues to encourage greater jump height or length would create another shooting drill that could serve as a low-intensity jump training program for injury prevention.
In terms of injury prevention/reduction, perfect is not the goal. Perfect landings are relatively easy in training: Simply reduce the intensity and the complexity. The same is true with shooting; if the goal is a “perfect shot”, reduce the intensity and complexity: Shoot directly in front of the basket with no defense, no movement, no speed, no decision-making, etc. Games demand more, whether in terms of landing from jumps or making shots. Practicing only the perfect version of the techniques under-prepares players for the game demands; this reduces shooting percentages, and sets up athletes for potential injuries.
The answer is not more repetitions, but better repetitions. Repetitions that are more specific to the game action and that have greater variability from repetition to repetition, like game shots and landings. The goal is not to look better in practice, but to perform better during games, while reducing one’s potential for injury.
These shooting drills are not the cure for non-contact knee injuries. However, these drills present some ideas that can be used to improve shooting and reduce injuries.
Two common problems have arisen repeatedly this season as I worked with players and attempted to improve players’ shooting.
First, players mentioned coaches trying to change their techniques.
Second, players rarely have goals for their workouts.
I worked with a player who clearly had lost confidence. He frequently asked “Does it look alright?” after he shot. I finally asked about his questions. He explained that every coach tried to change his shot, and every coach had a different change to make. For a player who played on two teams, one of which had a midseason coaching change, in a club that employed a separate skill development coach, and spent the offseason with the national team, he worked with numerous coaches. When each one has his own ideas on shooting, and wants to teach a player his way, what is the player supposed to do? How can a player function when 3-4 coaches within the span of months have attempted to change a player’s shot?
This was not isolated to a single player. At least three players have related the same story. One player, in a meeting with his club, said, “Every coach wants to change my shot; except Brian.” When the player told me about coaches wanting to change his shot, I stopped him. I asked what he thought. He thought his shot was okay. I agreed. I think his problem is mental, not physical. He clearly had a coach instruct him not to dip the ball, and another who focused on his elbow. On shots, you can see him try to adjust his elbow to the “correct” position. I tried to get him to ignore all these instructions and just shoot. Stop trying to be correct and focus on making shots.
Another player was advised to work with me. I was told to ask him about his plan that he had created with his coach. He started to explain all the technical changes that the coach wanted to make. I stopped the explanation and asked him about his thoughts on his shooting. We agreed, mostly. His problem was not anything truly technical, but a lack of balance that was partially due to recurrent ankle injuries during the season, and an elongated shooting motion (I’d call it a sweep rather than a dip). So, we focused on those two things: Balance, and especially a slightly wider base, and a shorter, quicker dip.
Certainly some players need to change things about their shots. However, constant explicit instructions with the same type of practice rarely leads to improvement.
The other issue is even more frequent: A lack of attention. I touched on this already. Today, I worked with a player on his shooting, while another player used a shooting machine on the other basket. We progressed through a series of drills. Every drill had a purpose centered around the player’s balance and/or shortening his shooting motion.
On the other end, the player attempted a lot of shots (similar to below). When I asked him what he was working on, he said “nothing really; just getting up shots.” This is common; we believe repetitions solve problems without giving thought to the problems that we are trying to solve. How many more repetitions are needed? How many are enough?
When I asked what he thought he needed to improve, he responded, “Maybe catch and shoot 3-pointers because I have not been making them lately.” I followed up by asking why he thought he was missing. I had 3 ideas in my head. He nailed one: balance/narrow base. I suggested that when he’s working out on his own, that’s what he should be focused on improving.
Just getting up shots does not lead to improvement. There needs to be a focus to the practice to make improvements; the drills need to be designed to elicit these improvements. Just moving around the 3-point line taking shots or trying to make a certain number of shots does not insure improvement. For a great shooter who simply wants to maintain rhythm and confidence, this practice works. For a shooter who needs to improve, this practice falls short.
Changing one’s technique requires time and concentration. Consequently, I rarely start from the beginning with a player. Instead, I design practice and provide feedback to force minor adjustments. As an example, when the player jump stopped, as opposed to using a 1-2 step, he used a wider base. We incorporated more shooting off the one-count to practice with the wider base, and as it became more habitual, added back in the 1-2 step in certain situations that were more like game shots, for instance shots off a curl cut or shots off a pick and pop. To reduce the elongated sweeping motion, we used a simple cue: Keep the ball in front of your logo/number (depending on what he wore to work out that day). This does not prevent a dip on the catch or during drills, but does limit the big sweeping movement. As we worked through different drills, I simply had to remind him to keep the ball in front of the logo. Not much else was needed.
Drills designed to elicit specific adaptations and simple cues to remind players of the goal. This is skill development.
This post started as a text thread with a coach that was prompted by a tweet of a video similar to the one above, which suggested turning form shooting drills into competitive games or challenges. This is a popular approach, as seen in our practice above.
However, it begs the question: Why do form shooting drills?
[In the example above, it was the day before a game, and I wanted something new, as we have practiced together 3-4 times per week for 7 straight months. I don’t view these shots as “form shooting”, nor do I see as “skill development”. Instead, the purpose was to get their rhythm and confidence on the day before a game].
I believe form shooting drills should practice something specific with concentration. The intention changes when the coach makes the drill competitive. These players are competing to make shots quickly; they are not focused on changing their rhythm, their hand placement, their footwork, or whatever else they need to change to improve their overall shooting.
Drills like the video above fit within the reps, reps, reps approach to skill development that values quantity over quality. To me, this drill lacks sufficient concentration on a specific aspect of shooting to be Specific Shooting Practice, nor is there a decision and defense to make the drill Game-Like Shooting Practice. Therefore, this is General Shooting Practice (see Evolution of 180 Shooter for more on the drill breakdowns)
I believe most drills fall into this category…everything is in the middle, not enough actual game shots and not enough specific intent in non-game shots. Just drills for reps…That does not mean these drills are wrong or not to use them. Very few things are inherently wrong. It becomes wrong, or a fake fundamental, when the activity does not align with the coach’s purpose.
We spend too much time on general drills — mindless reps — at the expense of focused change/improvement and actual game shooting.
It’s like speed development. A criticism of speed programs is the intense days are not intense enough and the recovery days are too intense. We spend too much time in the 70-80% zone, and not enough time in the >90% (actual speed work) or <30% (recovery) zones. But the argument is we need to build a base, just as basketball coaches argue we need more reps.
There are many reasons to use a drill like the one above: Fun, competition, confidence, and more. I would not call this skill development. I do not believe these shots directly improve one’s shooting. It’s possible players see the ball go through the net and feel more confident, which improves one’s shooting in the next game, but that is performance; performance is temporary.
To improve, there needs to be some change that persists over time and transfers to different environments and situations. Making a technical change to one’s shooting is one path to improvement: Fixing one’s hand placement or coordination or follow-through. This is typically what we associate with “skill development” as it relates to shooting, and the purpose of form shooting.
Another path to improvement is extending one’s range or getting more comfortable shooting against defenders or making the decision to shoot more quickly and accurately. This requires more game-like and competitive shooting practice.
Most shooting practice, then, should fall within these types of practice. Instead, we focus on reps and general shooting drills like the one above. But, what’s the purpose? What’s the mechanism to improve their shooting?
As I wrote in Evolution of 180 Shooter, when I work with players individually, they tell me what they want to practice, and their answer needs to be specific, not a general skill category (Shooting).
Today, I worked individually with a player for the first time. Last night, when we arranged the time, I told him that he needed to arrive prepared with an idea of what he wanted to practice. Naturally, he replied via text “Shooting”, to which I replied “be specific” and “I only work with players who have a purpose for their practice and know what they want to get out of it.” He hearted the text.
When I arrived, I asked what he wanted to work on. He said technique and getting my reps in. I nearly left; we have a shooting machine that he can use to “get his reps in”. We started some movement drills to warm up:
As we warmed up, I asked more questions.
“Why do you think you miss open shots during games?” After all, he wanted to work on “technique”, so I wanted a sense of why.
Ah, so not a technique issue; a decision-making issue. I pressed further.
“Why do you feel you rush?”
After a short conversation, he said that he feels that he has a quick release, so that is not the issue. Instead, he said he rushes because he feels he has less time than he really has.
In an individual workout, this is not something that we can address, but I discussed some drills that we do frequently in practice, and how he (and others) need to use those drills to practice making these decisions rather than seeing if they can make increasingly more difficult shots (shooting against a closeout and shooting regardless of the contest to shoot tougher shots rather than making the open/contested decision).
After the movement drills, we worked on some drills with the dribble to combine ball handling and shooting. As an example:
The instructions and cues differ from his normal dribbling habits. He struggled. It was good.
Then, we finished with some shooting out of some of the actions where he should gets shots for us. As we worked through some of these sets, I discovered something that will inform subsequent workouts: his breathing seems to affect his shooting.
Generally, when players miss after running, we assume fatigue or they have no legs. In watching him, I felt it was the action of breathing heavily (returned recently from covid, so maybe that he an effect), not fatigue, that impacted his shot. In Evolution, I discussed another player who recognized that as her weakness when shooting, which informed our individual sessions. If I work individually with this player again, breath control and shooting when breathing heavily will be two primary weaknesses to address.
The above is not a novel drill; the player makes a triple move, attacks forward, and stops behind his back to shoot.
On social media, many complain about Insta trainers and their dribble combos. Others complain about trainers not practicing the actions that players will use in their games.
I am in a unique situation; I am one of his coaches, and, I suppose, his trainer. He is a 14-year-old post player. This is not a move that we would expect him to use in a game.
I was asked to work with him on his shooting. In our second session, I asked his goals; he wanted to work on shooting and 1v1 moves/finishing.
Our sessions usually start with some warmup shooting drills like these:
The goal for these initial drills is to improve his rhythm and move him away from some of his bad habits. In addition to various movements, we also start with a medicine ball against a wall.
Again, none of these drills is unique. Also, none is game-like. This is general skill/shooting development for a youth player.
To some, these drills may be gimmicky. However, I have specific purposes for these drills.
Drills solve a problem.
One problem that he has is the pick up of the dribble. One may see that as a shooting problem, but I see it as a lack of ball control. It is easy to see how the entire rhythm and coordination of his shot is thrown off by the pick up of the ball.
The triple move is to attack this weakness; the specific instructions are to make any three moves as quickly and tightly as possible, without hesitations, and explode out of the last move. I disallow hesitations in these drills because hesitation dribbles allow players to get away with a poor reception of the dribble; that is not the only reason for a hesitation move, but without defenders and when practicing specifically for better ball control, what purpose does a hesitation serve?
The behind the back dribble on the stop is again to challenge the ball control on the pick up of the dribble, and to provide the immediate feedback if the pick up is suboptimal. He feels the mistake more easily than if he dribbled straight into a shot.
Again, this does not mean that I expect him to make these moves in our games this weekend. Instead, these are tools to solve a specific problem. These are not drills that we will do every session from now to eternity. These are used to solve a problem; when he adapts to these drills, I will add something new to continue to overload the skill until the problem ceases to be a problem.
This, to me, is skill development. It has nothing to do with the specific drill. Instead, it is identifying the problem and creating a series of challenges to address and correct the problem.
How many repetitions? Who knows? I don’t count. We end each set on two makes in a row, shortly after he “gets it”. Again, the goal is not to master the drill and continue to perform the drill to get better at the drill. The goal, in this case, is to improve his ball control. Once his ball control improves in this drill, I change the drill to see if the improved ball control transfers to the new problem or if he simply adapted to the drill. It’s not about perfect repetitions; we’re striving for learning, which ultimately must be demonstrated in games.
In between sets, we make 2 free throws. After all, shooting is the main focus. We use this drill as the free-throw shooting drill.
He rarely makes his first two in a row. However, over the weekend, he was fouled with under 15 seconds to go and hit the two free throws to ice the game. He was shooting 30-40% early in the season. We’ll see how he progresses, but the variable free-throw shooting practice certainly did not have an adverse effect.
When Steph Curry made 3s for 5 minutes without a miss, many suggested this was his practice, or the reason that he is a great shooter. Instead, he makes this many shots because he is a great shooter, and these are relatively easy shots: No decisions, no movement, catch and shoot, half-speed shots. This is not practice or skill development.
Pregame routines (whether game day or day before a game) are not for improvement or skill development, but for confidence and rhythm. Players want to get the feel for their shot and feel good going into the game because performance is paramount. Improved confidence and rhythm improve performance. Everything is related.
Often, a parent or coach will comment on a player and attribute the player’s improvement to a single thing: “Johnny worked out with Super Trainer this summer, and now he’s better than Jimmy”. There are multiple issues with these statements.
First, skill development is multifactorial. Players do not improve because of a single drill, exercise, practice, or coach. The environment, coach’s system, nutrition, growth and maturation, physical development (i.e. strength training), mental development, and more affect improvement. Johnny may have been lifting weights too or finished his growth spurt or avoided stresses that affected Jimmy (parent’s divorce, sick grandmother, bad grades, etc).
Second, we cannot see learning; we infer learning through performance. Performance is temporary. It is a single snapshot in time. Learning is a relatively permanent change in performance. If Johnny is an early maturer and Jimmy is a late maturer, the “improvement” may simply be maturation, and may change in six months when Jimmy catches up.
Third, we do not practice for practice performance; we practice to perform in games. Therefore, we cannot measure improvement now; we have to wait until the season to measure improvement. Of course, season to season improvement has many confounding variables; is a sophomore better than he was as a freshman because he improved in the offseason, or because he is has acclimated to the new level of competition, he is older and more mature, etc.?
Fourth, when we compare Johnny working with a trainer to Jimmy, what did Jimmy do? If Johnny worked out for 2 hours per week with Super Trainer, how did Jimmy spend that time? If the rest of their time was the same, did Johnny improve because of the training or just because he spent 2 hours more per week on basketball? Is it the training or just the volume of time on task?
To demonstrate that the improvement was due to the training, Jimmy would have had to spend equal time on basketball-related activities: Jimmy could have shot by himself or played pickup games or worked with a different trainer. If we can control the other variables (strength training, growth, playing time, etc), and each spent equal time in basketball-related activities, then we have demonstrated the training effect.
Now, practically, none of this matters; if Johnny improved, that is the goal. If he played video games all summer and came back as a better player, he achieved the goal! The question, of course, is whether he maximized his time. If he had played more pickup games, would he have improved more? If he spent more time lifting weights and less on basketball, would he have improved more? Because we do not have unlimited time and energy to train, we want to maximize those hours. This, of course, is one reason that we choose to work with trainers rather than shooting on our own: There is a perception that we improve more when with a trainer.
Is that a reality? I know the biggest effect that I had on my first client when I started as a shooting coach when I was 21 was that she practiced more. I lived in Los Angeles, and parents were busy and drove their children all over town. When the day got out of hand, the easiest thing to skip was taking your daughter to the park to shoot by herself for an hour. However, with a training appointment, parents blocked that time in their calendars and scheduled around it. Therefore, the player practiced more. The extra 1-2 hours on the court per week helped her improve more than anything we actually did during those sessions. It was not the drills or the instructions; it was the time, because the alternative was 1-2 less hours on the court.
This is not to suggest that training is bad or all coaches and trainers are the same. Instead, hopefully parents and players feel less pressure to pay for an individual coach or to find the “right” private coach. Hopefully, they realize that other activities (pickup games, shooting on one’s own) also have value and develop skills. Hopefully, we realize that players mature, develop, and improve at different rates, and we do not have to compare them constantly. Hopefully, we see that skill development is many things, not just isolated, individual training, and improvement can come in varied ways; maybe the best way to improve a skill like shooting is to get stronger and more powerful, not to spend more time fixing one’s technique or getting up more reps. Hopefully, parents and players feel empowered to do what they believe is best for them, not what Twitter and Instagram tell them they have to do to succeed.
I texted a former player after she struggled in a game. She said that her coach yelled at her about her missed shots. Do coaches think players miss shots on purpose? Now, if players take bad shots or are selfish or something else, I understand (well, not really the yelling, but at least a conversation), but how does yelling at a player because she missed shots help her to make the next one? And, if the goal of yelling is not to help the player make the next shot, what is the purpose of the yelling? To make the coach feel better? To make sure that players know the goal is to make shots?
I sent a link to an article from the summer — “Shooting Percentages: A Lesson in Small Numbers“, and jokingly asked if I should send the article to her coach. She read the article, as I hoped she would. One bad game is a bad game; follow up the bad game with a good game, and one’s percentages start to return to the expected. In light of her experience, this part seems apropos:
My former player responded to a different section:
It makes so much sense. This was a major aspect of Evolution of 180 Shooter: A 21st Century Guide. More and more, what we see as development or improvement at the college or even NBA levels often is a greater role and enhanced confidence: More opportunity, more shots, more freedom to play through mistakes. The improvement is a result of the coach trusting the player, or, at least, players feeling as though their coach trusts them.
In shooting, we focus on the foundation of one’s shot; the feet or balance that enable the rest of the shot to unfold properly. In reality, we may need to think of this trust as the foundation of players’ shooting, as when players feel as though their coach does not trust them, they will never maximize their shooting.
A former player started the season shooting poorly on a high volume of attempts. She played a lot of minutes and attempted a lot of shots, so I ruled out the coach impacting her shooting (another player said she was struggling because the coach subs every 2 minutes, so she never gets into a rhythm).
As we texted back and forth, the player said she just needed to get in the gym and practice more. I asked about an injury, and she said that she was rehabbing every day. I offered to look at her shots and see if I saw anything.
As I expected, she appears to favor her injury slightly. However, she rushed most of her shots despite being relatively open.
I asked about their shooting practice. She said they don’t really practice shooting, but when they do, they never have defenders.
I attribute her struggles to two changes since she played for me; first, her injury, which certainly has an effect; and second, the change in shooting practice.
I advised her to spend more time on her rehab and offered a few ideas to supplement the normal off court rehab.
Next, I suggested that she needed to find a way to practice with defenders closing out. She said that her coach took her out of the game because she passed up a open shot, but she did not feel that she was open. These feelings, this sense of openness must be practiced. Simply shooting in a gym by oneself will not enhance the decision-making aspect of shooting or the acclimation to defense.
Good shooters will never be left alone completely; there is always a defender present. The question is the defender’s distance and speed, and the space that the shooter needs to feel open or un-rushed. When shooters practice with defenders, they improve their ability to calibrate the time and space and make better decisions. They identify open shots more quickly and accurately, and consequently defensive pressure has less of an effect.
These skills cannot be trained in isolation. The solution is not more reps, but different reps.
Imagine coaching a player who shot 33% from the 3-point line last season and you are offered a choice: Shoot 80% in practice and improve to 35% in games or shoot 50% in practice and improve to 39% in games. Which do you choose?
The choice appears obvious. Everything else being equal, you prefer the player who shoots the higher percentage during games. However, what if you are a private coach and not associated with the player’s team? Does that change your methods?
Melo has the offseason record of 88/100 shooting in the Black Ops Basketball 100 drill 🔥
Continually, on social media, private shooting coaches post videos such as the one above and brag about the player’s practice shooting percentages. Carmelo Anthony is a career 35% 3-pt shooter whose percentages peaked during the 2013-14 season at 40% (via Basketball Reference). Carmelo worked out in our gym in the summer of 2017, and his workout was very much like the video above: No defense, relatively slow, blocks of shooting.
If players continually shoot >80% in workouts, and 35% in games, why engage in the same practice? Why not try other practice? (First, I imagine that Carmelo engages in some real practice that does not make it onto Instagram and Twitter. Second, part of training NBA players, and retaining clients, is often about doing what the player wants to do, so this may be more theoretical, or only applicable to amateur players where the coach/trainer has a little more control/authority).
Head coaches are evaluated by won-loss records. Ultimately, the coach does not care what the practice looks like as long as the player shoots well during games, as higher shooting percentages lead to more wins.
Private coaches are evaluated differently. These videos are marketing for their brands, not instructional videos. The private coach has no control over the game shooting percentages. The private coach can illustrate the player’s successful shooting in private sessions, and demonstrate that the private coach has done his job: See, he shoots very well and almost never misses.
The head coach is ultimately responsible for all aspects of performance. If a player’s shooting percentage falls, is it due to confidence? fatigue? shot selection? poor play design/lack of open shots? poor passes from teammates? technique? practice design? Regardless of the cause, the head coach is ultimately responsible. The head coach cannot blame practice design for the player’s shooting percentages because he designs the practice; the head coach cannot blame a stagnant offense or lack of open shots because he calls the plays; the head coach cannot blame fatigue because he distributes the minutes. Any explanation falls under the purview of the head coach, unless the head coach decides to throw the player under the bus and blame poor shot selection, selfishness, poor practice habits, etc.
Now, the private coach is really only responsible, as much as anyone is responsible for another person, for two things: offseason practice design and possibly technique. When the private coach posts these videos of 80-90% shooting, he demonstrates that there are no technique issues. Also, because he shoots so well, practice must be effective. After all, the goal is to make shots, and he makes shots. The problem, therefore, is not with the private coach or the offseason practice.
Instead, a private coach (and not implying this about this coach, but I see others on social media and have known others in real life) can blame the head coach for how the player is used or the shots that are created for the player or playing time or whatever. The private coach avoids blame, and in the process, markets himself to other clients.
The point, of course, is that practice is not a marketing opportunity, and practice improvement and performance does not matter unless it transfers to game performance. We measure practice’s success with game results.
Too many coaches, private and team coaches, organize practice for an audience, not for game results. They focus on made shots, not transferable practice. They strive for efficiency, not effectiveness.
At minimum, a game-like shot requires a passing option and a defender. Defense affects shooting; the decision to shoot affects shooting percentages. Drills missing these components have limited transfer to game performance, as evidenced by the precipitous drop in percentages from practice to games.
At the beginning, I imagine most coaches answered that they would accept lower shooting percentages in practice if it led to better shooting percentages in games. However, if that is true, why do so many shooting coaches and head coaches organize shooting drills to maximize practice shooting percentages, not to improve game shooting percentages?
I went from averaging 8 points per game as a senior in high school to averaging 22 points per game my sophomore year of college. Coach McCormick's workouts and drills played a key role in my vast improvement.
2004 NCAA DIII All-American
Coach McCormick has put together the most complete book about shooting that I have ever seen. His breakdown of shooting methods and techniques are essential for athletes who want to improve their form and accuracy.
Assistant Coach, Duke University Women's Basketball
Coach McCormick's attention to detail and specific teaching techniques provide a perfect framework for players at every level to build technically sound shooting form. There are pieces of his program that can be utilized by every player, at any level to bring rapid improvement to the bottom line: MAKING MORE SHOTS!
Assistant Men's Basketball Coach, The University of Portland
I always look forward to reviewing new work done by Brian McCormick, because I know it will be well-researched, insightful, and cutting edge. His 180 Shooter did not disappoint. Brian has a critical eye and great ability to break down complex basketball movements into their most fundamental elements, and then incorporate an effective training protocol to progressively teach their mastery. 180 Shooter will be a valued addition to my training resource library.
Shooting Coach, Lone Star Basketball Academy
Brian McCormick is an outstanding coach, instructor and writer. His newest book, 180 Shooter, covers in great detail how to become a better shooter from the ground up. Brian worked for my program (Hoop Masters) as a coach and his attention to detail and ability to teach young eager players is a special gift. I would recommend the 180 Shooter to any player, coach, or parent that really wants to understand all aspects of improving your shooting percentages and overall shooting skills. In this day and age of quick fixes and short cuts it's refreshing to have someone take the time to really explain how to become a better shooter. If you follow the drills, practice the habits outlined in this book and really believe that you can become a better shooter. You will. There are no short cuts to improvement.