CLUB COACHES – 2009.
** These tips and notes have been taken from clinics and coaching courses that I
have attended that are available to any coach from this club. Dennis regularly posts
clinics for coaches to attend that are very informative and best of all very cheap to
attend. The club may also reimburse you the fee. **


First of all every player when they receive the ball from a pass or rebound etc should
always be in a position to shoot and that should be foremost on their mind. Basically
when the ball is received the player has 3 options – triple threat position to either
shoot, pass or dribble. So these tips will always emphasise that the player ‘squares
up’ to the basket and be in a triple threat position i.e. – they are in a position to shoot,
or pass or dribble.

Points of emphasis:-

       Square up to the basket
       Triple threat position

Today we are only going to concentrate on shooting and here are some tips that I have
learnt – very simple – that you can pass onto your players no matter what your skill
level is.



       Shoulder width apart
       Knees slightly bent
       Right foot in line with basket (if right handed)
       Left foot slightly back from right


       Eyes are over the ball looking at the target.
       Start with eyes looking over the ball and finish with eyes looking under the
       Eyes always on the target NOT on the flight of the ball.


       Elbows in.
      When looking at the ball should only see your left thumb and index finger (2)
       and your right your thumb, index and middle finger. (3) Remember – Michael
       Jordan grip “23”
      Ball should be in the “shooting pocket” (between waist and chin) and to the
       side, above the knee.


      Use legs to gain power through the shot
      “Hands in the cookie jar” – Right arm locked with bend at wrist.
      Left hand to side of face.
      “Stay in the shot” until the ball hits the ring.

Corrective Points:-

      If shot is long, think about follow through.
      If shot is short, think about more use of legs
      If shot going left or right, revisit grip on ball.

(Take some shots and see if participants can identify the problems with the shot)

Common problem with young children is that they use their balance hand and elbows
out – chicken arms. Use a coin and put between thumb and index finger of balance
hand. If they drop it they are spreading their fingers and using this hand to push.
Good tool to stop them.

You should be able to teach this easily to kids of any age and they can remember it.
As a coach you should be able to identify what they are doing wrong and correct it at
the earliest opportunity. The older they get the harder it is to correct the mistakes.

Exercise 1)
Simple jump shot shooting from different areas around the key.

Start from foul line then shots from the block, the short corner, the high posts
(elbows) and continually assess their shooting using the above acronym.

*** Important – Where is the best place to watch and assess a players shooting
ability? Back, front, right or left, - well it is from all these places. You should be
coaching your kids from all areas of the court not just the same side so you can see
from all angles.

Exercise 2)
One handed shooting.

A simple method to assist children to strengthen their arm, wrist for shooting is with
the 1 hand.
Simple exercises as having one hand under the ball and shooting with 1 hand whilst
sitting on a chair or lying on their back. Then can expand to against a wall, against
the back board and then shooting at the ring.

Another variation is letting the ball drop and then picking it up 1 handed under the
ball lifting it and shooting the ball without the use of the left hand.


A simple method to assist in performing correct layups is the following.

Use 2 hula hoops and place 1 in front of the block towards the ring
The second goes in front of the first in the shooting lane to the basket.

Here is a diagram.

Exercise 3)
Children line up at the block and then push off with their lead foot (right side – right
foot) and step into first hoop and left foot steps into next hoop.

The lead knee then is thrust upwards to assist them to jump as high up as they can.
Emphasise that they must try and touch their chin with their knee. (They wont be
able to of course but it will make them jump up for the layup)

You can incorporate a 3 step approach to this. “Ready” is the lead foot (right), “Set”
is the left foot and “Go” is the thrusting upwards to shoot. Or 1,2, 3 or something
similar that works for you and your players can remember easily.

In relation to the shot 2 hands on the ball to the height of the jump, then left arm
protects the shot.

Players to aim for the top right of the back board square.

(For left handed lay ups everything is the opposite).

At this stage there is no dribbling, it is off the dribble. You can then expand it by
removing the hoops and then incorporating dribbling to the block then ‘ready’, ‘set’,
‘go’ or whatever you use.


The top level players – WNBL, NBL etc will practise shot checks for hours at a time
at practise. This will set up the taking of the ball in the hands and being set up to

Exercise 4)
Ball is flicked out in front. Player will step onto left foot at the bounce and then onto
right foot as ball is received into hands. Square up to basket and then jump shot
(B.E.E.F). Jump should be straight up and land in same place (not jumping forward).
Shot checks are practised at various distances to the basket, in close then further out.
Perhaps start at just inside the high posts and vary the spots where they shoot from.


Pass in from base line position as per diagram.

Exercise 5)
Receiver in position with “power” foot at rear, knees bent with hands out to receive
Catch ball and be in the stance as the ball is caught (square up – BEEF)
Stay in the stance, you only move when you start your shooting action
Jump should be straight up and down on the same spot. Watch for BEEF.

I then conduct variations on this-

      Off the dribble
          o As above but then dribble once to a position of space before jump shot
          o 1st step and dribble must be long (but balanced)
          o Preference is to shoot off the inside foot (foot closest to the basket)

Add in:-

      Hand shake
      Ball swing
      Shot fake
      Small jab

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