10 Shooting Tips From The Legendary Dave Hopla

By Joe Haefner

Below is a video of the legendary Dave Hopla talking about shooting.  Below the video you will find 10 tips to improve your shooting that he mentions in the video.

For those of you who don’t know Dave Hopla, he is one of the most highly regarded shooting experts in the world. He has worked for and been consulted by numerous college and NBA teams.

If you ever get the privilege of attending one of his shooting clinics, you will be amazed. He makes 98% to 99% of his shots while giving a lecture at the same time. It is truly amazing.

Dave Hopla also holds the world record for hitting 18 NBA 3-Pointers in 1 minute with 1 ball and 1 passer.

  1. Practice form shooting.
  2. Confidence and Visualization are very important.
  3. You gain confidence through repetition.
  4. You should keep track of shots.  When you record your shots, this leads to you seeing that you’re getting better, and this leads to more confidence and success.
  5. You should always think you’re going to swish the next shot.
  6. Consistency is the mark of greatness.
  7. Target is on the center of the basket.
  8. Adjust the size of the ball and the height of the rim to the age and size of the kid.  Europe has done this for years.
  9. Best way to become a great scorer is to get time to get your shot off.  The best way to get time is to run through screens.
  10. Anyone can become a good shooter.  You need to challenge yourself, track yourself, and put in extra time.  Ray Allen comes to the gym four hours before a game.  Kobe Bryant is the first one in the gym.  Michael Jordan had the breakfast club.


  1. Coach Mac — January 24, 2013 @ 7:58 am

    I think number 1 is the most important. Especially to the younger kids coming up.

    Too often we coaches walk into a gym and see 8 year old kids chucking the ball up from the 3-point line because they think it’s ‘cool’ instead of practicing from a distance that allows them to shoot with the right form.

    Getting that into their heads is one of the hardest jobs as a coach :)

    - Coach Mac

  2. Joe Haefner — January 25, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    I couldn’t agree more, Coach Mac. That 3-point line, 10 foot goals, and full size basketball destroy shooting in youth basketball.

  3. Jon — February 7, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    Sometimes a 10 foot goal is the only option for practicing for kids. Is it better to use the 10 foot goal to practice shooting or not practice shooting at all?

  4. Joe Haefner — February 7, 2013 @ 10:50 am

    Jon, I’ve been through the same scenario. We have camps for 3rd to 5th graders and some of them aren’t nearly strong enough or coordinated enough to shoot with proper form consistently at a 10 foot goal.

    We do a lot of wall shooting and line shooting to engrain the proper mechanics.

    If I’m coaching a team, I probably would only spend 5 minutes on form shooting and work on other areas where they can improve significantly at younger ages such as ball handling, footwork, and even passing somewhat.

    Here is an article that talks about this a little: http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/blog/index.php/youth-coaches-eliminate-shooting-drills-from-practice/

  5. Keith — February 7, 2013 @ 2:40 pm


    I run into this situation quite a bit. I usually have them pass to each othe as if they were shooting, using good form and aiming for height.

  6. AKANYANI PIUS AWINGANGMAM — March 8, 2013 @ 2:22 am

    i love number 1 because i think it will allow me perfect in my shooting ability from a distance, checking on my accuracy and agility while in the field of play.
    i therefore will love to boost the minds of my colleges in basketball to accept to number1 so as to make the number 1 foundation in shooting.

  7. All about Jumpers — April 18, 2016 @ 1:00 pm

    These are really great tips.It is good to know& try out. I share the tips, my friends, all the time. I need to shorten up my shooting stroke, need to release ball much quicker too. I am only 5’11”, so I need a real quick release, or my shots get blocked! Thanks for the shooting tips….

  8. Edwardnow — February 21, 2018 @ 4:59 am

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