Review of Swish video
By Alan Lambert of the former "Basketball Highway" website, 1997
Alan Lambert was President of the Basketball Highway Web Site, probably
the largest Web Site in the world devoted to basketball (~400 pages and
4,000 links), now defunct. The Site address was:
Tom Nordland's "Swish - A Guide to Great Basketball Shooting"
Breakthrough Sports Productions, 1997 (Color, VHS, 51 minutes)
Cost $39.95 – includes 35 page companion Swish Workbook and 2 page Swish Shooting Guide
Dead center "On Target!"
are times as a coach or player that you just absolutely love what you
are doing. The sounds of the fans, the excitement of competition,
seeing a player master a skill, and gaining new insight into the game
of basketball by interacting with other colleagues. Reviewing Tom
Nordland's new video what one of those experiences for me.
Nordland is a shooting coach is currently working with one NBA player,
has worked with Stanford and Santa Clara Universities, and is currently
working with Skyline and DeAnza Junior Colleges. He also worked with
high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a coach's coach you
might say. I will state flat out that this is one of the best if not
the best shooting video I have had the pleasure to see. You are going
to say that there are a lot of shooting videos and many of them very
good. So, what makes this one so different?
has taken the art and science of shooting to another level. Having
coached more than two decades and spent hours teaching players shooting
skills, this is the first video that I have encountered where I can
honestly say it teaches shooting the way I have. Swish-A Guide to Great
Basketball Shooting simplifies all the steps to developing a accurate,
consistent and reliable (taken from the video) shot and helps you to
"discover the great shooter within each of us".
most successful coaches in basketball have an enormous library of
knowledge to draw upon when teaching and coaching the game, but at the
same time can take these complex ideas and express them in the simplest
and most easily understood terms. Tom Nordland is dead center in his
approach, and explanation of what it takes to be a great shooter.
video approaches one hour in length and moves rapidly with a
substantial amount of detail and suggestions for teaching each point.
Tom's presentation style is excellent and you can quickly understand
why he is a teacher of the pro's.
opens with an simple explanation of what it takes to become a great
shooter; accuracy, consistency, and reliability. Mr. Nordland then
breaks the shot down into four critical components which is a
consistent theme throughout the remainders of the video. I don't want
to give away the specific details of his methods because you should see
them for yourself. Needless to say, Swish is organized in easy to
follow steps and his graphically presented progressions for learning
the Swish method of shooting are thorough and effective. The major
focus of this section is on learning to use force effectively in your
shot and minimizing variables that make your shot unreliable and
when you think you've received your money's worth, you get more. About
one third of the videotape focuses on free throw shooting. Tom includes
many interesting pieces of teaching information and I especially liked
the descriptive equation UpForce™ + Release + Constant Height = 13'9"
(dead center of the basket) on a free throw. There are many other
examples like this in the video. He provides you with a series of free
throw shooting drills as well which will help you develop what he calls
"Distance Discipline", a critical aspect of shooting.
there is more. While Swish doesn't spend a lot of time on the mental
aspects of shooting Tom does address it. He expresses quite eloquently
the idea that the shot is very simple and is a physical, not mental
act. When the mind is focused and concentrated it is primarily a
physical act. The resultant equation Performance = Potential -
Interference (borrowed from Tim Gallwey's idea from the books Inner
Game of Tennis and Inner Game of Golf) is a great way to describe how
to reach optimal performance. When concentration is broken through
focus on too much detail, or external noise (coaches and fans) the
interference is great and performance is poor. I believe Tom is in the
process of creating a follow-up video which will address the mental
aspects of shooting in much greater detail.
you might be thinking as a coach or player that this is too complex for
my players. Think again, the details are comprehensive but Tom makes
them simple and easy to teach. It is at this point in most videos that
the presenter says good bye and thank you.
goes even further by providing you an Appendix A - Exercises for
Teaching Shooting Fundamentals. This includes a basic review of the
grip of the ball, stance, vision, set position, and the release and
follow-through. This section alone is more than adequate for a beginner
to get a clear head start in developing their shot. As a coach, I truly
appreciated Tom's comprehensive approach to teaching shooting but
adding this appendix for those with less experience. This makes this
video one for all levels of players and coaches. Appendix B- Is a
visual demonstration of six exercises and games for fun and growth.
you are looking for a video about shooting, and you don't have this one
in your library, you are missing an outstanding tool and resource
toward helping you and your players discover how to become great
shooters. I liked the video as well because it is non-traditional in
some of it's approach. Many shooting videos give you all the basics,
and some drills to go with them. However they are like a car with a big
engine that never gets out of first gear. This video has all the gears
and each one will expand your knowledge of shooting the rock.
Swish - A Guide to Great Basketball Shooting is available from:
Swish International, Inc.
325 Crows Nest Drive
Boulder Creek, CA 95006
Telephone 1-888-SWISH-22 (or 831-338-4647)
Visit the SWISH web site at "www.swish22.com"