Notes from Dave Love Zoom Presentation

Posted on Sep 15 2021

Highly respected international shooting coach Dave Love recently presented to the Basketball Australia state and territory high performance managers and coaches on effective ways to impact shooting habits in young players.

Coach Love has been a regular visitor to Australia in recent years, helping coaches of all levels with some simple drills and methods that can be used with players to improve their shooting form and consistency.

Thanks to Luke McGuire (Basketball Queensland) and Ash Arnott (BA Centre of Excellence) for the below notes from the Zoom presentation.

Shooting Habits –

  • Positive & negative power (energy) created in each shot and shot related movement
  • More positive the energy equals more consistent our shot can become
  • More negative the energy – the harder it will be for the shooter to find consistency
  • Straight form allows positive energy to the basket

Cause & Effect –

  • “Understand some habits are caused by other poor habits”
  • Determine the direction of the flaw, then work backwards to see if their habits in opposite direction
  • Example: Guide hand flaw can be caused by shooting hand positioning

Isolate Habit –

  • Simplify the situation enough where a player can actively execute the habit differently
  • Think of form shooting but hold the athlete accountable to a specific habit.
  • Give players time to get comfortable with the new position, allows them time to become good at it.
  • Consider “time under tension” with isolating habits

Variability –

  • Block practice is used when needed, however, move from it quickly.
  • Start with small amounts of variability and increase from there.
  • Example: Hop into shot, change locations, vary distance, add a catch.

Layer Drills –

  • Form shooting and game shooting are not black & white, think more shades of grey.
  • We are constantly adding and subtracting from drills

Different layers –

  • Distance
  • Speed
  • Movement
  • Catches
  • Dribble
  • Defenders
  • Decisions

Appropriate level of Challenge –

Play with layers in drills in search for the sweet spot; if a player struggles with something

  • Is it because they were not ready?
  • Or, do they need more time to practice?
  • If a player shows signs they are ready for more  test them
  • Test in small ways (layers)

Deliberate practice in group setting –

  • Find 10 minutes a day to practice consistent/deliberate habits.
  • Our challenge is to make a small amount group practice as individual as possible, as often as possible.
  • Leave players with small daily “homework” tasks to do on their own.

Common Mistakes –

  • Practice isn’t deliberate enough to change a habit
  • Not enough time was spent on new habit to get good at it
  • Jumping right from shooting to game speed
  • Too big of jump to the next layer
  • Not willing to subtract a layer when a player struggles
  • Trying to build it all in one workout
  • Progress as far as you can in one workout, then start over the next work out and try to get a little further
  • Repeat as habit grows

Questions  –

Toes to the basket allows for more positive energy to the basket

  • Shooting is not black & white – It is case by case
  • In an ideal world, players would have 10 toes to the rim, but we need to consider comfort and impact on direction

Dip of the ball prior to the shot

  • Grey area
  • The lower a player goes on their dip, the more power they can generate, we see this a lot in youth players who don’t have the strength
  • No dip allows players to get the ball of quicker

Developing youth players/focus of shooting workout –

  • Find the biggest weakness a try to have that athlete work on that consistently
  • Be patient when trying to improve biggest weakness
  • Have a primary focus in shooting workout, with a few secondary focuses as you build into the practice

Eyes to Target/ball in flight –

  • Not many positives if athlete looks at ball in shot
  • However, if a player was to glance at ball while in air from time to time, it’s okay
  • Teaches athlete to watch target – practice positive habits.

Form shooting

  • Form shooting does not have to be stationary/static
  • “Form shooting and game shooting aren’t black and white, there are mainly shades of grey”
  • Think about isolating habits in form, not necessarily restricting movement or distance all the time

Twitter: @coachdavelove. Website:

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