About 35 kids got the chance to hone their basketball shooting skills Friday at Sacred Heart School.
Sacred Heart boys basketball coach Steve Goodwin and Jamie Smith, a high school girls basketball coach in Iowa, ran the three hour camp for kids in grades 3-11.
“They do a nice job at listening and paying attention and it makes it fun,” Goodwin said. “It’s nice to have it in our own town where it’s open for everybody to come and learn how to do it right.”
Smith coaches at I-35 High School in Truro, Iowa and was named the 2015 girls high school basketball coach of the year.
He teaches camps across the Midwest, helping players develop their shooting skills.
“I started really hitting the shooting part because I thought there was a lack of shooters,” Smith said. “Being a high school coach myself and watching a lot of college games and studying the game, I thought the shooting was getting worse instead of better. We thought we’d travel around and try to help high schools and teams get better on their shooting.”
The players were broken up into groups based on age, with coaches helping each group with drills.
“We teach a little bit more old school,” Smith said. “Get everything square to the basket. We talk about turning your body so your shooting shoulder is on the rim, toward the basket. Old school is don’t bring it down, but we teach bringing the ball down a little bit because you get a little momentum, a little rhythm is your shot. We’re real big on pointing your index finger, getting it to the rim.”
Smith said its good to have the younger kids in the camp so they don’t develop bad habits in their shot.
“You want to get them having good habits,” he said. “It’s almost impossible to change it, so we want them to be good shooters.”
With the older group, it’s about getting their shooting form tuned up and improving they results once the season starts.
“The older kids that come to camp, we feel that those are the kids that really know and want to get better,” Smith said. “They’re like, ‘something’s not working for me, I’d like to go from the eighth man on my team to a sixth man or a sixth man to a starter so I’ve got to get better on my shooting.’ Those kids sometimes the habits are harder to break, but if we can switch a couple things then they’ll definitely improve.”
Even though the camp is only one day for a few hours, the players will be able to take what they learn to continue to improve their shot away from the camp.
“I like getting those emails back, ‘hey coach my shooting went up 10 percent, my free throw percentage went up 15 percent, thanks,’” Smith said. “That’s what it’s all about, seeing those kids’ growth.”