Buying a basketball shooting machine is not a purchase to take lightly. In most cases, you'll spend at least $4k and this equipment will be in your gym for the next 10 - 15 years!
So how does one go about making sure they choose the right brand and/or model?
Here are some things to consider:
1. Are you getting the lowest cost machine with the most features?
This is important because in most cases you're using the community's money. Whether your team fundraised it or the booster club cut the check, the people funding the purchase of the basketball shooting machine will want to know they are getting the best machine possible. As the decision maker, you'll want to make sure to choose a product that is at or under your budget and has features that will help the team win more games.
2. Will your athletes be excited to use it?
Some would say this does not matter. Some coaches have told me, "I will tell my players they need to workout on this machine." But what happens if you have a machine that is cutting edge, that your players can relate to? How about a machine that your players can connect to their phones, and share their workouts with their Facebook friends? Ask yourself, "If my machine could do this would my athletes actually want to come in at 5 am and train without me even asking them?" What would this do for the program as a whole?
3. Is the product easy to use?
We've all used this type of equipment in the past. Most of it is heavy and hard to set up, especially for younger players. Make sure your machine can be set by all ages. I know what you're thinking, "I'm buying this for my varsity squad." But someday you'll want to upgrade and most likely this machine will be given to JV or middle school. Make sure it's easy to use!
4. How robust is the product and what is the warranty?
These machines will take a beating. Can the product handle it? Make sure you get at least a 5-year warranty. Also, ensure that the product is powder coated as opposed to just regual paint. Make sure that your product carries the necessary safety standards as well. This can provide great piece of mind over the years for the AD, superintendent and most importantly the parents of the players.
5. Can I get more than just shooting reps from this product?
In years past, shooting reps were all we expected out of a basketball shooting machine. With every coach looking to gain even a small edge over the competition, why not purchase a machine that can give you analytics from practice? You can then use this data to make game day decisions! Did you know that 94% of shots come during practice? Are you tracking your practice stats?
Next time you or your program are in need of a basketball shooting machine, make sure to bring up these questions with the key decision makers. After all, it's not a decision to make lightly. Have you recently purchased a shooting machine? What questions did you ask yourself prior to the big purchase? We'd love to hear your comments!