How to Make Chart of Your Shots to Improve Shooting?

If you haven’t made a chart of your shots yet, your shooting improvement will be a long time coming. But when you do make it, you will find that your shooting skills will improve sooner than later.


The Reasons for Making a Chart of Your Shots

A shot chart is a crucial aspect of developing an effective basketball offense. From the perspective of a coach, it provides the following benefits:

  • Show the players their individual weak and strong areas;
  • Determine where players are strongest and weakest in making the shots;
  • Adjust the gameplay according so that the players’ strength are maximized;
  • Provide the players on the bench with a visual representation of the game; 
  • Find the opponents’ effective spots on the court.

Obviously, you want to take away from the opponents’ their effective spots. These can be done via several methods like isolation. Indeed, the best coaches use shot charts for these reasons. You should also use shot charts in mapping out the game and identifying the effective spots.


Indeed, the best coaches use shot charts for these reasons. Your coach uses the shot chart for their defensive and offensive plans.

Shot charts provide information on several areas including:u should also use shot charts in mapping out the game and identifying the effective spots.

  • Is your offensive plan getting your players’ shots into their strongest areas?
  • Is your floor balance satisfactory or not?
  • Are your players attacking just one side of the defense or the entire floor?
  • Are you swinging the ball from one side of the court to the other?

Instead of relying on inaccurate observational data, you can use the shot charts. You have more reliable data in picture and chart form. Your coach can also use the shot charts in reverse – for defense. Shot carts can also provide data related to these questions:

  • Who are the strongest players on the opposing team?
  • What are the players’ sweet spots?
  • Where do the players work better?

Think of the shot chart as an effective and efficient tool to establish your dominance on the court. This may look like a simplified representation of the court but it’s a great tool.

From the perspective of the player, a shot chart allows him to identify the two areas where his shooting is ineffective. Keep in mind that every strong shooter has a cold area, the area where the shots are more likely to miss.

When your shots are charted, you can identify your own cold area. You can then work on improving your shots from the cold area. You may also just avoid shooting from the cold area but this isn’t recommended.

Of course, you can identify your cold area without a shot chart. But since pictures speak a thousand words, you can add the chart to your evidence.

For example, when a fellow player insists that your warm areas are in the free throw line, you can prove or disprove his statement. Your coach can also use it as a teaching tool for all players.

The bottom line: A shot cart will improve your shooting! You have information about your effective areas on the court. You can adjust your defensive or offensive play based on these areas. You can work on your shooting skills in the cold areas.

The Practical Matters of the Shot Charts

Now that the importance of shot charts is known, let’s take a look at the practical matters.

Who Keeps it?

The shot chart can be kept by student managers, if any. But coaches also prefer one of their on-the-bench players to keep it. The players will then be involved in the game, a must for continuity purposes.


When a player’s number is called, he already knows what’s happening on court. Another player should then take over the charting responsibilities.

What Are the Methods for Filling It In?

There are two methods. First, you can use paper and pencil, the traditional way. The shot chart is an approximation of the basketball court with the basket and lines.

  • When a player takes a shot, write down his number on the spot where it occurred.
  • Circle the number when the ball sinks through the basket.
  • Leave the number as is in case of a missed shot.

The symbols for lay-ups and posts are different.

  • Write the numbers of the players on the baseline. The numbers should be written on the side of the basket where the lay-up was made.
  • Lay-ups made from the left side should be recorded to the left of the basket. Thus, lay-ups made from the right side should be recorded to the right of the basket.
  • Record the shot where it was taken on the floor in case of posts. Keep in mind that posts and lay-ups shouldn’t be treated the same way.

The pen and pencil method is effective, too, especially when you’re used to it. You can also use it in instances when electronic gadgets are impractical or unavailable. Second, you can use a tablet with a downloaded app. This will automate the process, which has its benefits.

  • Pick a point on the shot chart. Just tap your finger on the screen to select the right player.
  • Use it in a similar manner as in the pen-and-paper method.

The advantage of the app is that you can easily create reports from the saved data. The reports can be based on one or several games, either during the conference or the entire season. These can also contain breakdowns by shot distribution and shooting percentage.

Final Words

A shot chart is a great tool for mapping your offensive and defensive plans. You can also use it to improve your players’ shooting efficiency, as well as point out their weak areas.

You may use either the pen-and-paper method or the tab-and-app way. Both work well depending on your style although the latter method works best.

Even with the shot chart’s data, you can’t do anything with it unless you apply its data. You and your players should work on improving their shooting percentages. You can use the data, such as cold and warm areas, on the shot charts for this purpose.

Related Resources:

  • Best Basketball Shoes in 2019 [A Comprehensive G​uide]
  • Best Basketball Shoes for Ankle Support in 2019 [10 Proven Products]
  • Best Outdoor Basketball in 2019 [Top 10 Comparison]
  • Best Portable Basketball Hoops in 2019 [Top 10 Reviews]
  • Best Tennis Shoes for Women in 2019 [Top 10 Products]