Coach Tre of GrassHoops Youth Basketball has coached youth basketball for 15 years and has seen the game of basketball evolve from the tallest or most athletic teams winning games to now where 6th grade teams with no players over 5' 3" dominate with pure shooting. With a wealth of coaching experience, Coach Tre explains 7 ways a Dr. Dish basketball shooting machine will transform your youth basketball team into a powerhouse.
Did you ever play one of those teams that don’t have many athletes, but run a perfect motion offense and seem to hit every shot?
It’s beyond frustrating. The game of basketball has changed. And it has trickled down to the youth level. The 3 point shot is the ultimate equalizer. With the rise of analytics in the NBA, it was discovered that the “3 ball” is one of the more efficient shots compared to others. GrassHoops discussed the impact players such as Steph Curry has had on this phenomenon.
Here are the 7 advantages I’ve noticed from using a shooting machine for practices:
This is a no brainer. Coaches must include shooting in their development regimen. I mean, a lot of shooting. It’s widely agreed that taking 300-500 shots per day will yield significant results. Speaking of the great Stephen Curry, he also takes 500 shots per day to maintain his shooting stroke.
So what does it take for one’s shot to become automatic? Research indicates that it takes 20,000 correct repetitions for your jump shot to be “automatic”. That seems like a lot! From personal experience, taking 500 shots at the park without a rebounder takes about 2 to 2.5 hours.
So to reach 20,000 shots it would take 40 days of shooting 500 shots per day. It would take at least 2 hours per day of dedication to your craft. No big deal for NBA players, but youth basketball players? This isn’t likely.
I secured a practice in my local high school gym for my 7th-grade AAU team. This is when I had my first experience with a shooting machine. What a game-changer. How is it possible to get the shooting reps you need in a youth basketball practice? I mean we do have to go over:
Out of Bounds plays
And a million other things!
We work on form shooting in practice regularly. But to make significant progress many reps of proper form are needed. With the settings on the shooting machine, we were able to equal the number of reps from approximately 8 practices into one! Since we were able to do this for 13 practices, we effectively completed the equivalent of 104 shooting practices over this time. There simply is no better or faster way to complete this amount of reps during practice. It also has allowed the coaching staff to dedicate a good amount of practice on other fundamental areas.
2. Improved Shot Form
As a result of the increased repetition, our players improved their shot form considerably. Anthony, our center, is the tallest player on the team and mostly focused on scoring around the basket. Because we make sure that each player receives the same amount of reps, he began to get comfortable with taking outside shots. Currently, approximately 40% of his shots now come from outside the paint.
If you do not have the correct form, your reps are not purposeful. Hundreds of reps with improper form can actually hinder progress. However, if you are form shooting and working with players on how to shoot the ball, then the shooting machine turbocharges results.
Since Anthony (and a few other bigs) were able to become outside threats, we were able to effectively change our offense to a dribble drive motion. This enabled us to improve our drive and kick game and add more elements to our offense. Having a full team that can shoot has great advantages on the youth basketball level.
3. Practice Time Saver
Our team was able to complete a full shooting workout in 40 minutes. As mentioned earlier, to get the same amount of reps manually would take about 2.5 hours. We also were able to do drills with only one coach (me!). Rebounders were not needed nor did we need a coach to keep track of progress. That is all done for you with the machine.
Youth basketball presents a challenge because it is important to keep each player engaged. The attention spans of young players are all over the place, so engagement is important. Having a rapid shooting session makes it fun and keeps the attention of the players. Coaches enjoy the efficiency and structure. Youth basketball coaches only get a few practices per week, so they must be efficient. A Dr. Dish basketball shooting machine makes efficient and effective practice possible.
4. Record Keeping
I’m gonna be honest. I’ve never kept records of the progress of my players. The closest form of record-keeping for me was simply trying to remember what the player did in the past and comparing it with current progress. Not the most scientific. I know.
The truth is, I didn’t even think about tracking progress. I thought that was only needed for high school and college coaches. For 13-year-olds, I didn’t think I needed anything detailed. But I do like to see shots attempted and the percentage of shots made. It becomes difficult after a while trying to do that in your head!
Shooting machines will calculate success rates for you and allow you, and your players to track progress and success. Specifically, the Dr. Dish app and Training Management System is a complete game changer when it comes to tracking and accountability.
5. Great for practicing plays
I talked a lot about shooting, but we have also used the shooting machine to practice our offense. We would have the first pass come from the shooting machine, then we would run an offensive play. We then allowed the player that had the ball last to take the shot.
The Dr. Dish shooting machine enabled us to run offensive sets and practice shooting simultaneously. As a result, we were able to get additional reps of shooting during practice. We then would add defensive players in, and that would allow for all of our players to be engaged.
Practice makes perfect! But efficient practices make champions! My 7th-grade team would be considered fairly average by most standards. We didn’t have any division 1 prospects or 6' 5", 6' 6" 13-year-olds. However, the majority of tournaments that we participated in resulted in us either advancing to the final four or winning the championship.
We implemented a new offense (the aforementioned dribble-drive) and were able to dramatically improve our free throw percentage. Ask any coach of a youth basketball team about free throws! The majority of youth basketball teams will not make more than 50% of them. Teams that succeed in free throws are very successful. Results come from reps and the additional reps we got on the Dr. Dish improved our free throw percentage. Our team was able to shoot about 60% in the games we’ve tracked. Very successful for that age group.
7. Unfair Advantage
This just isn’t fair. To be able to shoot thousands of shots in practice is a tremendous advantage. I admit it. If you practice inside a facility and you are able to get a shooting machine, it is totally worth its weight in gold!
Usually reserved for high school, college, and professional programs, shooting machines are cheat codes for youth programs. They simply allow players to get in hundreds of shots each practice. This speeds the development and progression of their outside shot. A youth basketball team that can shoot is simply deadly. This negates other advantages that teams may have, i.e. size or athleticism.
I never used a shooting machine before we started practicing at the high school. I didn’t see the need for that type of equipment for younger players. I was wrong. Not only has my team improved considerably, but athletes from other teams are asking to play with us. Parents perceive our practices as more structured and proven. We are considered “trainers” instead of coaches. The proof is in the pudding. Shooting machines provide the repetition, data analysis, and efficiency to improve any basketball team; regardless of age.
We want to give a huge thanks to Coach Tre for providing his insight how shooting machines and Dr. Dish can be a complete game changer for youth basketball players, teams, and programs.
Make sure to check out GrassHoops Basketball for more practice tips and drills and continue to level up your game.