Dr. Dish Skill Builder: How to Define a Quality Shot

This article is the next of series from Jordan Petersen of our partners at Positionless Basketball. Read the others here. We are very fortunate to work with Coach Petersen as he has tremendous experience as a basketball coach, trainer, and player at different levels.

You can also check out different basketball drills from Jordan in the Dish Lab here!

Often times coaches, players, fans, and scouts will complain about players or teams taking bad shots.  As coaches we should ask if players know a certain shot was a good or bad shot and help define what a good or bad shot is.  Taking a shot is a decision and we are able to train and put players in scenarios where they make a decision to shoot, drive or pass. Below I will discuss how to help players define what a good shot is.


ROBR: Range, Open, Balance, Rhythm



Range can mean much different things for every player.  Some players range will be outside of the three point line and other players it might be within five feet.  Coaches must help each player understand their role and what types of shots are within their range.


Open may seem like an obvious thing, but defining what is open will help players decision making.  My rule of thumb is if a defender is an arms length or more away then a player is open. Depending on your coaching style or personell you could have a different definition of open for each player.


Balance is a critical component to every players shot and it is even more important for youth and high school players. Being unbalanced can greatly decrease a players shooting percentage which is why it is so important for players to take shots on balance.  Take off of two feet and land on two feet!


Rhythm is another important piece to players shots and offense.  A shot that is not in the rhythm of the offense can take a team out of there offense and deter momentum.  Rhythm in a shot gives a player power and fluidity. Oftentimes a bad pass takes a shooter out of rhythm whether it is too high, too low, or too far to a side.  Whenever in shooting drills or games, passing should be emphasized to help increase rhythm and shooting percentages.

Other Variations

There are other variations of defining good shots and it all depends on the terminology you prefer and what you would like to emphasize.  Below are two other ways to define quality shots to your players.

RRRR (4 R’s): Room, Range, Rhythm, Right Player

Room to shoot, in players range, in rhythm of the offense/shot has rhythm, right player with the greatest opportunity/advantage


SPAR: Space, Prepared, Ability, Rhythm

Player has space to shoot, player is prepared to shoot, player has the ability to shoot the shot being taken, shot has rhythm and is in the rhythm of offense


Final Thoughts


If you are a player wanting to increase your shooting percentage, look at the quality of shots you are taking. And if you are a coach trying to increase your teams shooting percentage, help them better understand what a good shot is.  Define what a quality shot is for your players to give them a clearer picture on the shots they should be practicing and taking in games.

Here are a few drills to work on shooting along with helping players understand if they are open/taking a quality shot.

Once again, we’d like to thank Jordan for his commitment to growing the game the right way. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him and share his work. Make sure to check out more of his work on his website and on Twitter @positionlessbb.

For more basketball drills and videos featuring Dr. Dish shooting machines, click here.