7 Keys to Good Shot Selection


With preseason in full effect, your players are probably playing organized pickup basketball during open gym several times a week...our players at Montrose Christian sure are.

And while you can't really add too much structure, now is the best time to start reiterating and reinforcing what a "good" shot is versus a "bad" shot. No sense in having players consistently shooting bad shots between now and when practice starts.

If you aren't allowed to be there because of preseason coaching restrictions, I suggest you review this with your captains and have them enforce.

Here is a list of what constitutes a good shot. We give this list to our players in their team handbook as well as discuss it as often as necessary. The most important concept for players to understand is the definition of a good shot varies from player to player. Good basketball shooting for your point guard might not be a the same for your power forward:

  1. A good shot is one that is expected by your teammates.
  2. A good shot is one that you are ready to shoot (on balance, square to the basket, etc.).
  3. A good shot is one that you shoot a high percentage on in drills and practice (in your range)
  4. A good shot is one that can be rebounded by at least two of your teammates.
  5. A good shot is one that you can recover and play defense from if it is missed.
  6. A good shot is one that is appropriate given the time and the score.
  7. A good shot is one that is taken when you are not closely guarded (except for shots around the basket).

Along the lines of pick-up games and open gym, here are three things we do at Montrose to make our games as productive as possible:

  1. All 10 players must be in the front court when a basket is scored (to encourage running the floor, getting back on defense, and eliminate "cherry picking."). If an offensive player is not over the half court line when a basket is scored; the basket doesn't count and it is a turnover. If a defensive player isn’t back over half court when the basket is scored, the point counts and the offensive teams keeps possession.
  2. With the exception of an intentional foul (which we don't allow and highly discourage), our players do not call any fouls during pick-up. They must play through it and learn to play hard and maintain composure during brutal contact. This keeps the game moving and eliminates arguing about fouls. This is not done to promote fouling or cause implement appropriately. It takes mature and responsible players to do this.
  3. We keep record of wins and losses of every pick-up game. We change the teams every day but each player gets one point when they win. You will start to see which players are winners regardless of what team they are on. These are the players you will want playing this season.

Alan Stein is the owner of Stronger Team and the Head Strength and Conditioning coach for the nationally renowned, Nike Elite DeMatha Catholic High School boys basketball program. He spent 7 years serving a similar position with the Montrose Christian basketball program. Alan brings a wealth of valuable experience to his training arsenal after years of extensive work with elite high school, college, and NBA players.

His passion, enthusiasm, and innovative training techniques make him one of the nation's leading experts on productive training for basketball players. Alan is a performance consultant for Nike Basketball as well as the head conditioning coach for the annual McDonald's All American game, the Jordan Brand All American Classic, and the Nike Summer Skills Academies. Alan is a camp coach at the prestigious NBA Players Association's Top 100 Camp as well as the Chris Paul CP3 Elite Backcourt Camp. Alan has filmed over a dozen DVDs on improving performance and is a sought after lecturer at basketball camps and clinics across the world. He has been featured in Winning Hoops, Time Out, Dime,,, American Basketball Quarterly, Stack, Men's Health, HOOP, and FIBA Assist Magazine.

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