In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, we are joined by shooting coach to 3 NBA teams and dozens of NBA players Dave Love. Coach Love has worked as an NBA shooting consultant with the Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, as well as a number of other teams and national programs. He also has conducted shooting clinics around the world.
For the past 18 years, Dave has coached players of all levels to improve their shooting, through a series of systematic drills & skill progressions.
His skills in developing shooters has brought him to the NBA where he continues to work with some of the greatest players in the league.
Dave has been featured in: NBA.com, Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, ESPN, SBNATION, and The Guardian for his unique and noteworthy ability to improve a player’s shooting ability.
“It takes a village to raise a shooter . . if I’m only going to be here for a day [and] the kids don’t necessarily retain information well, then I’d be nuts not to encourage parents to come out on the floor and, at least, ask a question.”
“One of the first things I say is, ‘You’re not going to become a better shooter today, but that’s not our goal. Our goal is to become a better shooting coach.’ Really, I’m teaching them how I isolate habits, what I’m looking for, and then how I use different layers to build up a new habit.”
“I think we teach form shooting poorly. We make all these adjustments to form shooting to isolate the shooting hand . . but I try to do it from a game-body position.”
“I want everything to . . peak around the set point, get that as correct as possible, and then allow for the variety that happens within . . the shooting motion.”
“Every bad habit usually comes to a head at . . the set point.”
“Most players don’t understand what [balance] means , even elite players. They don’t really understand how their feet affect what happens in the shooting motion and how the feet can simplify that.”
“It’s not their job [the players] to change the way they think to match our coaching, it’s our job to change the way we coach so that it makes sense to them.”
“Everything that I do, I try to get back to a free throw.”
“If, within a game, we can get as close to those [free throw] habits as possible . . we’re going to become more accurate.”
“Keep it as simple as possible . . if it was more accurate to do that [jump backwards], wouldn’t we do that on free throws?”
“Work for an open shot, shoot it the best that you can, live with the results.”
“On the practice floor we’re going to work on three months from now but on the game floor, you’re just going to do what you trust in that moment.”
“We don’t need to perfect our weaknesses, we just need to improve them.”
“I’ve asked this of every great shooter I’ve ever been around . . ‘Who shoots more shots than you? Who do you know that has shot more in your life than you have?’ And the answer across the board is, ‘No one.’”
“I don’t coach the mistake, I coach the habit . . Let’s not worry about the mistake that happens every once in awhile, let’s worry about the habit that’s happening all the time.”
“We’ve been around so many young people, it’s not that they can’t shoot the ball, it’s that they won’t shoot the ball . .The biggest struggle I see . . in youth development is how many players won’t shoot . . and that is such a limiting thing.”
“For youth players [I would advocate] . . ‘If you’re open, shoot.’ . . because in the next 10 years, that mindset of shooting when you’re open will be more valuable than whether she makes or misses the shot now. And I would do that for the whole team. . to be able to build that mindset.”
“I’m not going to predetermine what the learner needs to learn . . too often as coaches, we are great planners . . we plan in advance the session . . and we follow the script . . my main [thing] is to start with the end, and then figure out where you’ve got to go from there.”
“I would say, ‘Can you feel that?’ Ultimately, I think so much of shooting and changing . . any type of motor behavior comes back to the feel of the individual.”
“Even with blocked reps you can move them into serial learning which is now you’re mixing, say, three different things . . each time you mix it and come back to something . . they have to remember and that process leads to retention.”
“People feel silence is not doing your job. But we know it’s actually doing your job better because then a player gets to think . . and this is where you can ask questions to cue.”
“Ultimately, it’s more valuable that they know how to correct [a problem] than we [as coaches] do.”
Dave Love Breakdown:
2:00 – Bringing Parents Out on the Court
3:30 – Becoming a Better Shooter
5:00 – You Need to Struggle to Learn
7:30 – Shooting Form and Setpoint
11:00 – Meaning of Setpoint
13:00 – Fight For your Feet
16:30 – Holding Your Spot on Free Throws
19:30 – Kids Must Follow Up Shots
22:00 – Many Young Players Won’t Shoot
25:00 – The Concept of Trying
27:00 – Possible Error for a Player
29:30 – Characteristics of a Shooter
31:30 – Creating Player Led Environment
34:30 – Block Practice
40:00 – Shooting From the Same Spot
44:00 – Mastering the Drill
46:00 – Giving Too Many Interventions to Players
49:00 – Conclusion
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