In getting players to shoot for the middle of the basket as suggested in the Player Tip of the Week, coaches need to understand and explain the margin of error in shooting a basketball.
PLayers need to know that the basket which is staionary is 18 inches in diameter at any two straight lines of the basket. The basketball is 9 inches in diameter.
Thus the target is twice as big as the object which a player is trying to put thru the target. This means that the margin of error (off center of the rim)is more than 8 inches and the ball will not hit the rim.
It is important to demonstrate this to players by using a basket and basketball and show them how much room the ball has to clear the rim and how that 2 mens basketball’s will sit on the rim together and 2 girls balls which are a half inch smaller in diameter 8 1/1 inches will go right through the basket at the same time side by side.
Not knowwing this information about shooting is like having a surgeon not know the difference between forceps or a scapal.
You would be surprised how many players do not know the diameter of the rim or the diameter of the basketball.
When shooting foul shots the player has plenty of time to aim at the middle of the rim. Also, the basket and the player are stationary.
Players need to practice picking up the target in the middle of the basket. especially when shooting shots that are not foul shots. Foyul shots are easy as the player has 10 seconds in which to shot the ball and the player is staionary. Once the player receives the ball from the official they should pick up the tarhget and not take their eyes of the target,
That is why I never allowed my players to dribble at the foul line because many times they take their eyes of the center of the rim whiule dribbling and they never look back up to find the center of the basket before they release the ball on the foul shot.
Have [players practice picking up the target as soon as they receive the ball from the official or when they receive a pass from a teammate when they are going to shoot a field goal attempt.
Also shooting for the middle of the basket allows for a higher arc which will result in a softer shot.
Aiming for the center or middle of the rim will imporoive shooting percentages because it gives you a miuch larger room of error.