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By: Joe Wootten

Shot selection is a common term in basketball that coaches use. It refers to the top of shots that a player takes. A hot topic in the NBA is taking open shots or being able to find the spots on the floor where your shooting percentage is the highest. In other words, get a good shot for the team and for your skill set!

I believe this translates all the way down to the youth level. You see players that shoot almost every time they touch the ball. They may score more because of the volume of shots that they take, but they are not helping their team because many times they are taking low percentage shots. On the other hand, you may have players that are afraid to shoot. At each level of basketball, both a player and a team have to strike a balance of shooting and moving the ball for a better shot. Players must understand that not taking a good shot hurts the team. If you do take the open shot you could: make it, rebound it, pick up a foul and go to the line, pick up a foul on the rebound. If you do not take it you could: turn it over, get called for 3 seconds, never get another open shot on that possession.

Consequently, taking any and all shots isn’t good either. A bad shot can lead to bad team chemistry, a fast break for the other team, or not getting the open shot that would have naturally occurred if you had played team ball. We talk with our team a lot about shot selection because we believe it will allow us to:

  1. Shoot a higher percentage.
  2. Get players excited about their best shot location.
  3. Have teammates look for each other and encourage helping their teammates get shots, improving team chemistry.
  4. Increase overall individual player confidence that comes from knowing that you have put the work in and that the coach and the team believe you can make the shot.
  5. Give a young, emerging player the confidence to have the courage to take that shot!

Shot selection leads to great team chemistry and wins!