Ball smarter, not harder

Basketball hopes to improve shooting with new tracking system

Although their season has come to an end, the boys and girls basketball teams recently received a new piece of equipment to further progress their shooting skills and prepare them for next year. The machine is called the NOAH, named after Noah’s Ark, and its purpose is to improve a shooter’s precision by communicating the arc of their shot.

“When you talk to kids about shooting, you will talk about, ‘Hey your shot’s flat,’ ‘Too high,’ or ‘Off to the right,’ but it’s hard to quantify what a shot that is too flat is,” head basketball coach Kyle Herrema said.

The ideal arc for a basketball shot is 45 degrees, and by using sensors and cameras, NOAH is able to determine the exact measure of the shot.

“I think the machine has helped the team polish their shot by trying to get that perfect range of height, depth, and positioning,” senior basketball player Kim Lyne said.

Herrema said the team hopes to eliminate general shooting time by focusing on the technique of shots and creating well-rounded players.

“The NOAH has been great for practice because some shooting drills you just shoot, and you shoot and shoot,” Herrema said. “But now it’s like you are concentrating because you are going, ‘Hey, I got to get this number every single time.’”

The system allows each player to insert their name before shooting so that they can track their progress over time. In addition, the players have the ability to download an app that illustrates their individual growth over time.

“After the game, you could just pull [the app] up and see if fatigue was a factor at the end of the game where your arch got a little bit funky because fatigue got into it, and so you could definitely check it after the game,” Herrema said.

Herrema has the opportunity to view the shooters overall progress on his computer and hopes the feedback will make an impact on the future of the basketball program.

“Right now, we’re probably not going to be able to make a huge change this late in the season with people,” Herrema said.  “I think it is good for them to hear it, but I think where we will really see the progress is during the offseason and in the summer when the guys can really spend a ton of time on it.”