Basketball Shooting: Watch the Learning Take Place!

In a conversation with Coach Joe Waters from upstate New York, who wrote a great Review of the Swish Method you'll see at the top of my home page, he mentioned how struck he was with how his two boys, ages 9 and 11, learned the method so quickly, how they were able to coach themselves. In his words,

"I purchased Swish 1 & 2 to test on my two oldest sons. When we received the DVDs we immediately sat down and watched them. Within 5 minutes something TRULY AMAZING happened! My sons, ages 9 & 11, immediately picked up on what was being taught. They instantly understood the mechanics and techniques that were being presented to them. I was absolutely shocked, amazed and impressed with how simple the instruction was.

"But, hold on, it gets even better! When we were finished watching the DVDs we went out in the driveway to shoot and the boys were using the exact techniques and mechanics that they just learned. They were even using the terminology that was used during the program. I honestly believe that at that point, they could have taught someone else the basics of the Swish Basketball Shooting Program."


I told Joe that what was happening was "Learning," with a capital "L." The thought I had was that, when things are presented well and the student is open to change, Learning will inevitably happen, right in front of your eyes. You can witness Learning!!! In this case, the Swish Method was very simply and clearly presented and demonstrated, and these two boys "got" it. Sitting and watching, they understood the basic principles and Joe could tell they were excited. When they went to a court in the driveway, they were able to translate their conceptual understandings into experiences that then taught them how to shoot.

The job of the coach in that situation is merely to GET OUT OF THE WAY! That's what Joe did and that's why he was totally amazed.

Learning is amazing, enjoyable and exciting. If a coach is in there saying too much, being critical or just trying to control the lesson, she or he is interfering with the natural process of learning. As I say in Swish 2 in the Appendix, Section A "A Conversation for Learning and Coaching," if what you are going to say isn't enlightening or empowering, maybe it doesn't have to be said!"

Find ways to increase the awareness of where the player (or yourself) is now, show the player what the desired goal is (the technique, in this case), and then get out of the way.

Tom Nordland is a shooting expert and coach from California via Minnesota. His videos, coaching and writings are inspiring a Renaissance (a rebirth, a revival) in shooting around the world as players and coaches are taught the things that really matter in shooting. A great shooter as a youth, Tom was given a gift of seeing shooting like few have ever seen it. He sees the “essence” of great shooting and how to get there. The good news is that it’s very simple. The few great shooters of today and yesterday mastered simple things, not complicated motions. Improved shooting is now possible for everybody in the game, and mastery is available to those who sincerely dedicate themselves to it. Visit Tom’s website ( to read of his background and his articles and newsletters, and to view the remarkable endorsements and amazing testimonials for this approach to shooting.