Why Shooting Fundamentals are so Important for Youth Coaches?

  1. It's 20 times harder and takes 2000 more repetitions to "fix" shooting mechanics!

    Did you know that it only takes between 100 and 300 repetitions to teach a new movement?

    Guess how many repetitions it takes to re-teach a movement that was taught incorrectly..

    2000 to 3000 repetitions!!!

    When you're teaching a youth player shooting fundamentals, don't you think it would be EXTREMELY important to teach them the correct shooting mechanics? I would sure hope so, because 3 or 4 years down the road, it's going to take them a lot of time to fix the bad shooting mechanics they developed at an early age.

    That's why it's super-important for you to learn the shooting fundamentals and constantly correct your player's shots until they have good shooting form. Not to mention, when a player gets to higher levels and the coach doesn't have to worry about fixing their shooting form, that saves the player and the coach SOOO much time, and they can spend it on other things to improve their overall game.

    In other words, you help the coaches at higher levels become a more successful team!

  2. Give your players a chance to succeed!

    I can't tell you how many players I see at the high school level with NO chance...

    Their shooting form has serious flaws that are VERY difficult to correct. 9 players out of 10 don't have the time, confidence, or will-power to break their bad habits.

    I often wonder WHO coached these kids when they were young?


    Teach your kids the right basketball shooting fundamentals from the get-go. It's the right thing to do.

  3. More players have poor shooting strokes and detrimental flaws today than they ever have in the past.

    This is primarily because kids start playing at such an early age and they try to mimic NBA players before they are ready. The sad truth is that these bad shooting habits stick with them.

    How many kids want to be like Kobe (or their favorite NBA player) and try to mimic them? They all do. You can't blame them. But the truth is that these kids aren't ready and shouldn't be trying to shoot like Kobe. Now, more than ever, they need a good youth coach to teach them correct shooting form.

  4. A team that shoots with great shooting fundamentals is going to win more games.

    Team A shoots 33% from the field. Excluding free throws and 3-pointers, it would take them 60 shots to score 40 points (20 made baskets).

    Team B shoots 40% from the field. Excluding free throws and 3-pointers, it would take them 50 shots to score 40 points (20 made baskets).

    So, that means that your team could get out-rebounded and have more turnovers, yet still win in the game!

Recommended Training Materials:

Baden 28.5" Shooting Basketball

Baden Heavy Training Basketball - 29.5'

Baden 35" Oversized Training Basketball

Rapid Fire - II - Basketball Rebounding/Return Device

To learn more about teaching players how to shoot the ball, check out:



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JAG says:
1/25/2015 at 11:23:11 AM

I've found with elementary kids 3rd grade to 6th grade, my best drill for fundamental shooting is have them shoot from both blocks, square up, good foundation, good form, pivot into shot & use Backboard. I'm getting more out of this drill than i figured. Then i have them make as many in 2 mins as they can as a team. They love it! They cheer each other on whole way thru. Plus it's where they shoot 80% of their shots anyways.

  1 reply  

Joe Haefner says:
1/25/2015 at 12:41:42 PM

Thanks for sharing, JAG!

Nothing like a little competition to make a "simple" drill fun.


Joe Haefner says:
7/28/2014 at 4:16:17 PM

I agree, Jukka. We also have recommendations at this link:


Pete, for 5th grade and down, we actually prefer to use play 3 on 3. So the court size could be smaller than a normal high school court.

I have not studied exact dimensions, though.


Jukka Mantere says:
7/28/2014 at 8:43:28 AM

from 6 to 12 years one should use #3 or #5 balls, we call them mini basketballs. The goeal is 250 cm hight, sometimes even lower. We have seperate baskets. After that regular basket, but ball is the ladies ball. at the age when the boys turn into 14 they move to the men's ball.

This is how you learn to keep the basketball in a right way in your hand plus shoot it in a correct way.


Pete says:
1/16/2014 at 7:56:36 PM

Youve answered many questions on hoop height recommendations. Suggestions on court size for grades 5 and down ??


James says:
10/16/2013 at 11:23:36 PM

A team like houston rockets that shoots with great shooting fundamentals is going to win more games.

Young kids under 8 can practise shooting on a mini basketball hoop. I have one for my son. http://www.besttoyreview.com/best-mini-basketball-hooplifetime-youth-portable-basketball-system/

It can be easily adjusted from 5.5 feet to 7.5 feet and is reasonably sturdy and well-made. You can have a try.


Ken says:
11/21/2012 at 5:03:17 PM

Frank -

Joe wrote this earlier -

1. Stance - if they start in a squared stance, players have the natural tendency to twist because that's not a good one-handed shooting position. It becomes exaggerated when the players are weaker. Use a staggered or open stance instead.

2. Guide Hand - If the player brings down the guide hand too quickly, it can cause a natural twisting motion of the body.

3. Position of Set Point - If the player bring the ball to the side and slings the ball up toward the basket, this will also cause a twist motion. You want the players to shoot the ball in front of them.

You can look up more on the shooting mechanics at this link as well: http://www.breakthroughbasketball.com/fundamentals/shooting-technique.html

Hope that helps.

Then its practice, practice and more practice.... but make sure you have the right form... good luck.

  1 person liked this.  

Frank says:
11/20/2012 at 11:24:44 PM

I'm in middle school and I'd love to know some tips and I'm horrible at it


Chuck says:
6/23/2012 at 8:30:49 PM

For younger kids under 8, teach form shooting on a very small hoop. I have one for my little kids that goes from 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 feet. http://www.buylifetime.com/products/blt/pid-90022.aspx

Put it down on the lower settings and let them get used to proper form each time, and then gradually raise the basket. A shorter rim for practicing will also help them with their footwork on layups.


OmazingBaller says:
6/23/2012 at 6:56:35 PM

Good shooting fundamentals is why the Miami Heat won this year. Compared to OKC they had more guys that could flat out shoot. Shooters tend to have longevity when it comes to playing. Players that can jump seem short lived as their knees give out, but shooters are always effective.


Ken says:
5/27/2012 at 8:57:17 PM

Ryan -

Your form has all to do with MUSCLE MEMORY.... (since we cant see your shot, we can only surmise)

Like you said, there are days that you revert back to your old ways... you have to break that habit and the only way you can do that is to shoot a lot of shots... starting with FORM SHOOTING. I would shoot against a wall, maybe 100 times a day... then start in close concentrating on your form... then you can work your way back a little and shoot some more. This is going to take 100s / 1000s of shots... so be patient with yourself and keep working on your shot.

Let us know how it goes. Good luck


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