In a quiet gym, the shot goes up from the free throw line. As the ball swishes through the net, a loud voice declares, “44!” The next shot is flatter and comes up short. As the ball bounces off the front rim, the voice says, “38!” The shooter sighs, takes a deep breath, then releases the next ball with a higher trajectory. “45!” is the call as the ball rips the cords for a satisfying swish. With each successive shot, the ritual continues. The voice’s tone never changes, never wavers, as the shooter attempts to duplicate the perfect stroke that will result in a made basket.

Call it a coach’s assistant, a technological wonder, or something entirely different, a new method designed to improve the accuracy of shooting a basketball has made its way into the Union High School gymnasium. The system is called Noah Basketball and it uses a high-speed camera, laptop computer and software to provide instant feedback for individuals shooting a basketball. The system has three primary goals: 1. Understand the Optimal Shooting Arc and Shot Depth; 2. Build Muscle Memory for the Perfect Shot; 3. Develop Players into Consistent and Confident Shooters
Once the system is in place and calibrated, shooters can choose to receive feedback on the arc of their shots, with 45 degrees being ideal, or shooting depth, with 11 inches as the optimal result. As the player shoots, the camera records the trajectory and the system calls out the result. The instant feedback allows the shooter to make immediate adjustments to help build muscle memory and ultimately, become better shooters. One unique feature of the program will allow shooters to access a variety of charts and data about their shooting via their smartphone.

Union Girls Basketball Head Coach, Robert Driscol, noted the system is most effective when players can shoot continously in small groups. Given the number of athletes participating in both the girls’ and boys’ programs, it can be very challenging to find enough time during practice to provide sufficient access time. As the teams work to install their offensive and defensive schemes early in the season, the Noah Basketball system has been something players have worked with outside of team practice time. While the feedback provided by Noah can be like having another coach on the court, the system is not an immediate guarantee for improved shooting. Such a goal is more realistically attained over a longer period of time.