Shooting Strap Basketball Shooting Aid [Review]

Shooting Strap
Recommendation
The Shooting Strap Basketball Shooting Aid is not worth purchasing. From my experience, I found my left “ball placement” hand constantly fighting to help push the ball. Restraining that hand back for extensive periods of time did not train my left hand to stop doing it.

Several years later with hindsight, I found that the best method for improving my shot, and reducing the tendency for my left, non-shooting hand to affect my shot was by practicing the Pro Shot Shooting System featured on FocusedShooter.com. (The tips are free through a downloadable PDF)

Background
The Shooting Strap’s promise is to prevent you from shooting with two hands, which can be a bad habit formed in youth because it’s easier to add strength when the off-hand helps push the ball. The Strap is made (and aggressively shown to be made) in the USA, which after you look at it, you’ll be saying “It better be, because there is no way this costs more than a $1 to make.” It’s a simple polyester (I think) strap that ties your thumb so it can’t move. It works as long as you tighten it properly. I had to tighten the Strap so tight that it held my thumb (I am also double jointed) almost in reverse because I found that the thumb, even if given a little bit of room, would try to come out and push. After weeks of working with the Shooting Strap, however, I found no real decline in my left hand not making a push.

(Note: I initially reviewed Jay Wolf’s Basketball Shooting Strap nearly 4 years ago. I am revisiting the review and condensing it for easier consumption in this new article as well as reviewing what I wrote, removing biases with hindsight. For more of my basketball training product reviews, click here)

Shotloc Basketball Shooting Aid [Review]

Recommendation
The Shotloc, whether direct from Shotloc or SKLZ, is not worth purchasing. From my experience, I am not convinced that its spreading of fingers and putting space on the palm really had any positive long term “muscle memory” effect on my shooting. The product is not expensive at under $20, however, and if you feel you have very strong difficulty spreading your fingers or are helping a young child learn to shoot for the first time, I could see Shotloc helping.

Background
The Shotloc does a great job of making sure you follow-through on your shot. You basically have to because you can’t shoot unevenly with it on, it forces all of your fingers to fold together. If anything, using the Shotloc forces finger strength because to get a shot off, you have to push off with your fingertips. This makes the ball feel a little bit loose to me, and when you shoot from longer distance you really have to accelerate the spin on the ball coming off your fingertips to generate power.

So, while shooting with the Shotloc seems to create good habits, I could not see any real changes to my form and results after extensive training with it, and then playing without it. For more evidence and research into Shotloc’s effectiveness, see this research paper from the Sport Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Manitoba, “The effectiveness of the ShotLoc training tool on basketball free throw performance and technique.

(Note: I initially reviewed the Shotloc nearly 4 years ago. I am revisiting the review and condensing it for easier consumption in this new article as well as reviewing what I wrote, removing biases with hindsight. For more of my basketball training product reviews, click here)

Unique Sports Dribble Specs [Basketball Training Review]

Unique Sports Dribble SpecsRecommendation
The Unique Sports Dribble Specs is worth purchasing. For less than $10, you get an easy to use device that, while unfashionable to wear, makes sure you cannot look at the ball while dribbling. From my experience, this is great for removing your dependency on looking at the ball, and is especially helpful for simulating game time situations.

Background
The Unique Dribble Specs is not specs at all. The black plastic pieces simply block your lower vertical vision so you can’t see the ball. Nonetheless, the Unique Dribble Specs work as intended – they are easy to use and do not cause injuries. I think they’re great to help with a dribble workout. They do, however, hold your sweat from your eyes, so when you take them off, all your collected sweat will drip down on your face when you remove it. Sweat burn in the eyes…

(Note: I initially reviewed the Dribble Specs nearly 4 years ago. I am revisiting the review and condensing it for easier consumption in this new article as well as reviewing what I wrote, removing biases with hindsight. For more of my basketball training product reviews, click here)

The Best of City Slam Chicago [Photos]

Ha and I went to City Slam Chicago a couple of weekends ago. It was held at Seward Park, which was also the setting for this Uncle Drew / Kyrie Irving / Pepsi commercial below:

I won’t spoil the winner for you (it will be aired on TV in late July), but here are some of the best photos Ha took of the event, with judges like Doug McDermott of the Chicago Bulls judging.

One last photo of the park with downtown Chicago in the background:

The Real (Secret) Reason why the Warriors Won Game 4 [NBA Finals]

For all the talk about LeBron being tired in Game 4 or Andre Iguodala having a stellar game back in the starting lineup, there’s actually a secret reason why the Cavs weren’t able to conquer the mighty Golden State Warriors. After driving to Cleveland from Chicago, Ha and I had a plan to vex the mighty LeBron: we would visit all his favorite places and curse them. (We thought about driving by his house, but we ran out of time)

For example, here’s the famous LeBron Nike sign in front of Quicken Loans Arena. Ha poops on LeBron!

Nike LeBron Witness Sign

We also went to LeBron’s hometown of Akron to see how he grew up. This is where LeBron went to high school, St. Vincent-St.Mary. Incidentally, I used to really love LeBron and have owned his high school jersey for the last ten years. Nonetheless, Ha poops on LeBron (with her Stephen Curry shirt)!

St.Vincent St.Mary

Both LeBron James and Warriors’ hero Stephen Curry were born at The City Hospital of Akron. Because of that and as this is a hospital, no pooping here. We left the pooping to the newborn babies.

City Hospital of Akron

This is the original Swensons in Akron, LeBron’s favorite place for burgers. It’s a drive-in service spot, and this was the original location.We ate like LeBron (try the Galley Boy), taking away his power for the game!

Swensons

Swensons

Were our tactics successful? You tell me. Game 4, Warriors.

On the way to victory.