Dec 30, 2023

Do you really know what you're aiming for? If you narrow your focus, you'll expand your vision. 

Last week, we talked about the importance of having a Quiet Eye on the rim each time we take a shot. (If you're new and you missed last week, you can read that one here.)

Today, we're going to take that focus even further, and I'm going to tell you what the basketball science nerds 🤓 have to say about exactly where we should aim when we are shooting in order to have the greatest chance of getting a bucket.

Let me introduce you to your new best friend,


Otherwise known as a:

Back-Rim-And-Down, Perfect-In-The-Hoop.... shot. :)

We want all the BRADs.

If you're doing it right, a BRAD always comes right back to you. 😉 

Most people think a swish is the best make in basketball. Not to take away from that beautiful sound we all know and love... but it's not technically the make that we should train for to consistently get us the best possible outcome.

You'll know it immediately when you've had a pleasant encounter with a BRAD:

It's when you make the shot, and the ball hits the back of the rim perfectly straight. These are the times when the ball goes through and then takes a couple of bounces right back into your hands where you stand.

Who needs a rebounder when you've got a BRAD? 😉

This is a BRAD from the right corner.

The first person who told me about BRAD was someone named Kristi Toliver (you may have heard of her). Here's a clip of Kristi and BRAD together.

During her time as a coach for the Washington Wizards, Kristi actually helped calibrate the NOAH Analytic system--which is a high-level data collecting and shot-tracking system that provides information like entry and projection angles, shot speed, spot-favors, etc. NOAH provided the foundational science behind a lot of what we'll talk about today. 

True story: During the offseason, I once watched Kristi shoot for six straight minutes, taking ~1 shot per every three seconds or so. She was training with an NBA basketball, shooting from NBA range, with constant movement around the NBA 3pt line. 


She didn't miss.


Her trainer just caught buckets and passed them back to her. If my math is right, that's about 120 makes in a row. IN A ROW!!!!

I wish that I would've filmed it, but that would have been weird. But I do think it would have put even this famous video of Steph to shame.

I also got to sit for 45 minutes and watch her make 200 free throws in a row. And she didn't even miss at 201, she just got bored and stopped, lol.

Put some respect on her name (!!!) and watch more WNBA. 

Moving on. :)

The second person who taught me about BRAD, not kidding, is named CHAD. (Capitalization for humor only.)

And CHAD was taught about BRAD by a man named THAD.

Lol, jk. Chad was actually taught about BRAD by a player development guru that I hope to meet one day, named Sefu Bernard. :)

The following graphics are from Sefu's website and blog. If you're a fan of the science and the art of player development, you need to check out Sefu's website and articles that he has so kindly (and freely) bestowed upon the world.

So, let's get to the science!

If we were shooting shots from directly above the rim, then we'd want our angle of entry to be 90 degrees, like the image below.

But we don't shoot from directly above the rim, we're shooting from below it. This means, we're not shooting at or into a perfect circle, we're actually shooting into more of an oval. Hot take (but technically correct, scientifically speaking): There IS such thing as too much arc. Since we are human, and therefore not perfect, we want to provide ourselves with the most room to mess up a little bit, while still finding a way to make the shot. Which is what a BRAD helps us do.

Once we take this into account, we find that the optimal entry angle is actually between 43 and 47 degrees--that makes the hoop the BIGGEST, and that is why we want to find a BRAD with every shot that we take. (This is not to be confused with the projection angle, or the angle that the ball comes off of our hands and up towards the basket. That one is actually between 49 and 55 degrees.)

The most important attribute in shooting is the ability to shoot straight. 

If we can find the direct center of the back of the rim with every shot, we are significantly increasing our likelihood of making shots.

So the next time you shoot without a rebounder, or even when you're shooting with one, make sure you let the ball bounce a couple of times to see if you're training the habit of BRAD. Strive for a bounce that comes straight back to you. If it doesn't, you know you didn't get a BRAD PITH.

And we really like BRAD PITHs.

Keep getting buckets. :)

I'll see you next Friday. 🔥

Shooters Shoot.