“Coach, I can’t get (part of your shot) to do (thing you want it to do)!!!  Help!”

I get that question all the time on Social Media.

“I can’t get my elbow in.”  “I can’t get my guide hand off the ball.”  “I can’t get my hands or feet into the right position when I shoot.”

The reality is… you CAN.  You just aren’t trying the right way.

I’m going to show you some of the things that I consider when I developed my system of drill progressions so that you can start to develop your own.  But if you decide you would like to save time and get my PROVEN SYSTEM OF DRILLS YOU CAN CLICK HERE TO GET MY SHOT DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM BUNDLE.


As I mentioned, the reality is ANY player probably CAN do any one of those things… they just can’t do it in certain situations (like a game situation).

The reason they aren’t able to change the habit is usually a combination of different reasons.

  • They are trying to change in too difficult of a situation.
  • They aren’t being patient enough in building the right habit.
  • They are trying to skip too many steps as they develop the habit.
  • They get distracted by a new idea before they really built the first idea.

Ultimately, shooting and developing a shot is not COMPLICATED.  In fact, it is actually quite a SIMPLE process.  Not EASY, but SIMPLE.  And most people get lost because they don’t follow any kind of system.

If you follow these simple ideas you will be able to improve your shooting.

Are you trying to build a better shot but find it difficult to decide where to start?  Trying to build a better foundation but need a plan?  CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW I DO IT WITH MY NBA PLAYERS.


This can be the biggest challenge for players and coaches to figure out.

Many times there is a part of a player’s shot that stands out and APPEARS to be the biggest issue.  But in a lot of cases, that part of the shot might be caused by another part of the shot.

A player’s shot is a chain.  Each part of the shot is connected and the end result we see can be caused by something small that occurs earlier in the shooting motion.

I try to focus on determining the direction of energy created by the flaw I see, and then looking for energy in the opposite direction earlier in the shot.

For example… a player may follow through to the right as a right handed shooter.  I don’t stop there and try to fix that habit because it might be caused by something else.  So I go looking for energy to the left.  Do they swing the ball up the left side of the body?  Is their shooting hand on the right side of the ball at the set point?  Do they lean their body to the left on their set up?

If you find any of those habits you’ll then need to address both of them, otherwise all you are going to do it expose more negative energy.

Do you lean or turn through your shot and end up compensating with bad habits elsewhere?  Click here to learn all the drills to start making your shooting motion more SIMPLE and REPEATABLE.


Once you’ve determined the cause of most misses, you need to start to re-learn that habit.

A player can’t just be expected to understand the importance of correcting something, and then just go out and do it at game speed.  Instead, they need to strip away as many layers of the game as needed so they can focus on actually executing the habit differently.

What does that look like?

Many times, even with NBA players, I will go back to stationary form shooting.  I remove the distraction of defenders, dribbles, movement, and speed so that they can focus on actually doing whatever is their focus.

For example, if they are working to get their guide hand off the ball, isolating the habit might look as simple as standing close to the rim with the guide hand beside the ball but not touching, holding that position and then shooting.

Because if we want to improve the habit of getting the guide hand off the ball, the GUIDE HAND NEEDS TO COME OFF THE BALL.  So you do that deliberately and mindfully.  If there are too many distractions or layers still within the situation, a player might not be able to do the very thing they are trying to do.

Remember, every player is ABLE to do just about every habit (with maybe a few exceptions) but they just might not be able to do it in certain situations.  So CHANGE THE SITUATION.

Having trouble fixing a habit?  Want a step by step video guide?  CLICK HERE TO GET ALL THE DRILLS AND PROGRESSIONS I USE WITH MY PRO PLAYERS


Once a player is able to isolate the habit, they need to continue in a simple environment until they get better at that skill.

Mistakes can be at both ends of the spectrum on this.  We don’t want a player to move on to a more difficult situation if they are still missing the habit, or are air-balling most shots from a very short distance.  They should spend more time to learn the new skill and get more comfortable with it before they add additional challenge layers.

But at the same time we don’t want to expect them to MASTER the skill before we move on from it at all.

The second a player is showing signs of being ready for more, I will start to add layers.  But I’m very mindful of slowing down again when needed, and I constantly revisit the simple skill.

I’ll continue to refine the skills we are building within form shooting throughout the workout, but also throughout future workouts for years.

Do you have trouble adding layers to your training?   Or do you not even understand what that means? Want a detailed plan for progressions?  CLICK HERE TO START TRAINING LIKE AN NBA PLAYER


My goal with any drill I use is to make sure we clearly define what we are working on, and then search for the APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF CHALLENGE within the situation we are executing.  Remember that the situation isn’t the only part of the equation… the exact habit we’re working on within the situation is even more important.

And there are several different types of layers we can play with in order to search for the appropriate level of challenge.

  • SPEED – Speed up or slow down in order to make a drill more difficult.
  • DISTANCE – Move in or out to adjust the difficulty.  You don’t need to practice 3’s from the 3 point line or free throws from the FT line.
  • MOVEMENT – Add more movement or subtract movement if necessary.  Struggling with footwork?  Just work on the last step.
  • CATCHES AND DRIBBLES – Make a drill easier by starting with the ball in hand, or harder by adding a catch or a dribble to it.
  • DEFENDERS – You don’t have to play live defense, you can start by just putting a hand in the face of the shooter and adjust from there.
  • DECISIONS – Make the shooter read a cue and adjust the shot as needed.

Constantly play with these layers to search for a level of challenge that a) isn’t too easy, b) doesn’t apply to a game and c) isn’t so hard that you can’t execute the micro-skill you are working on.

Unsure of the best way to build progressions for your drills?  Click here for access to my systems including my COMPLETE drills and progressions database.


All too often we want to make practice as perfect as we can.  I’ve been guilty of this too.  We search for perfection on each rep, or each shot and we measure the success of the workout based on how close the player came to perfection on each shot.

Try to let go of this idea as much as possible.  Instead, embrace the fact that the game is messy, filled with mistakes, and try to make practice messy too.

It is a balancing act.  We have to hold the player accountable to changing the habit, and we have to give them a chance to get good at something, BUT we don’t have to be PERFECT.

Just REPEATABLE in a variable environment.

So let go of the hopes of getting multiple perfect reps in a row where the player shoots 90%.  If 90% are your results in that drill, but only 40% in games, then there likely isn’t going to be much transfer from that drill into a game.

Make it messier.  Make the drill harder.  Make it more realistic.

If the results drop to 50%, that isn’t failure… that is likely you are finding a situation that is more transferable.



Over the 20+ years I’ve been a shooting coach, the last 10 being in the NBA, I’ve developed progressions of drills.

Drills that are great for isolating habits.  Variables that I can add to those drills.  Progressions of drills to add challenge.

And they are proven to work.  They are really valuable to me.

Coaches and players ask all the time for A DRILL to build a habit, and I explain that A DRILL isn’t going to do it.  A DRILL is like having a bridge with only one board in it – it likely isn’t going to be enough.

So I put all the drills that I use for specific habits all together into three different Shot Development Systems, then packaged all those systems together into one bundle.  You can purchase each System individually, but if you are a coach of a team, you probably have a couple players that struggle with EACH habit.  

That is why I bundled all the systems together.  Now you finally have all the drills you need to isolate the most common shooting habits, and progressions of drills to help you learn to apply these things into a game.  All your practice planning for shooting for the season – DONE!

You get over 190 videos, laid out in order, fully explaining all the details in the drills I want you doing.  Plus, all the critical reminders that I would give at certain stages in players’ development.  

Best of all, these progressions are proven.  They are the same progressions I’ve used to help NBA players improve as much as 30% in one season.

If you would like to see how I play with drills to isolate certain habits and then layer them, you can CLICK HERE TO GET MY SHOT DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM BUNDLE.

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