Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Amazing Interview With Doc Scheppler Part One

We are honored and privileged to be able to interview Doc Scheppler, Jeremy's shooting coach. Doc is a coaching genius, who has led the Pinewood High School Girls team to five Div V California State titles. His team last year won the state title, with 5 players off of that team now playing at the Division 1 level. Here is part one of our interview in which Doc shares some amazing insights and incredible detail on Jeremy and his game. How did you hook up with Jeremy Lin? 

Doc: Peter Diepenbrock was Jeremy's High School coach.  I coached Peter at Burlingame High School between 1978-1980..I had watched several of his games in  high school.  When Jeremy was playing at Harvard he came back over the summer and sought Peter's help with his moves and shooting. I watched and partcipated in one of these workouts.  After being drafted by the Warriors last year we had planned to work on his shooting together, but that never materialized because he got an offer from Yao Ming to tour China.... Nice choice..  He knew he had to make fundamental changes in his shooting form to maximize his potential as an NBA player.  In his first year with the Warriors he made dramatic progress in becoming that shooter.. During warm-ups of one of his games I noticed this process starting...So when we finally met late last spring the changes were already starting. How much time did you spend with him over the summer? 

Doc: In late May we met at Pinewood to start the process.  He had just gone through a procedure for his partial patellar tendon tear so his mobility was limited but we started to put in the important aspects of Operation $$$$$$$ Jumper. After seeing his PT the next day they told him no running or jumping until further notice... We decided to work on his release only without jumping and that proved to be a valuable tool in mastering one aspect of being a great shooter... He brought his brother Joseph for some shooting work as well....and that was valuable tool in the learning process.....Seeing first-hand what we were going to do with his shot.. He loved the new concepts of my philosophy of developing a shooting mentality.... and he saw Joseph improve immediately.. We met off and on for 3x a week to make sure his shot was on the right path until his clearance to run and jump.  We started going 3-4x a week in August and continued right up to the end of the lockout.. What did you think of his shooting form before working with him? 

Doc: He had several shooting changes to make with regard to the 3 basic aspects of shooting1)Balance 2)Release 3) Rhythm...

Balance-  His feet were too close and would affect a movement shooting situation .. We want his feet directly under his shoulders to give him a solid base and more comfort in a 3 joint athletic position. Ankles, Knees and Hips flexed.  We also made his catch and shoot to be a mini one sound stop which automatically puts him in balance without thought and allows a slightly quicker shot release. 

Release.. He had already started to bring his shooting pocket or slot down durig the Warriors season.. His high school and college shot involved taking the ball too far behind his head and "throwing" the ball.  He started shooting this way when most younger guys start making the progression from shooting below their head to above their head.. After being a great shooter in junior high he didn't make the proper progression to above his head..

Rhythm-  He had too much leg explosion and his shot release occurred too late in relation to his jump which made it an "angry" ball coming out of his hands.. This throwing action occurs when players have to produce more upper body force to get the ball to the rim.  The overhead action helps getting the ball there....but there's no gauge of distance control to really become great. Can you talk about a few technical aspects that you worked on with Jeremy?

Doc: To understand what goes into a made shot 2 things have to occur...direction and force.  During his rehab we stressed form shooting to hit a particular spot on the board for 3 reasons...Direction, arc angle, perfect symmetry of his wrist,elbow, and shoulder to hit that spot.  Even though he was hurt,, this was critical in improving his release and when he could jump and was already established as a learned, mastered aspect of his shot.We wanted to eliminate all directional misses(left/right) Balance-  As stated earlier, he spread his feet underneath his shoulders and made his stop a single sound stop in catch and shoot situations.  This was the easiest of the changes to implement.

Release-  We focused on having a relaxed grip on the ball to create an effective wrist snap.  Initially it was too tight...then a bit floppy which caused a couple of left/ right misses..The crucial joint for a shooter is their wrist.  It must be flexing throughout motion of the shot.  The word "snap" was a crucial cue phrase for him to feel.  As a teacher it's imperative you get your student to "feel" your corrective cues.. They can have a self-aware, self-directive control when they work by themselves.  They feel when it's right and when it's wrong. We had to do some lead up drills in all shooting situations to get the ball in his pocket EVERY time... Once it was was a matter of releasing in beautiful form..

Rhythm-  As stated earlier we had to recalibrate the release of the ball in relation to his jump...  We had to dial down his jump...making it efficient yet explosive... controlled, yet quick.  We wanted him to start his release on the way up so he'd release the ball at the peak of his jump..The crucial aspect was to get him to use his arms to help his quick lift, and dually.... bring the ball to his pocket.  I refer to this as "WAH" Lifting the ball quickly while exploding efficiently...This puts you in great rhythm to a fluid, polished shot.... WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!  We did lots of lead up drills to establish this principle..and to this day we still talk about how his WAH is..The result is a beautiful text book shot...After establishing these core changes we attacked shooting in all situations 

They have 3 main categories....1) Catch and Shoot 2)Triple Threat 3) Off dribble 

We worked very hard on developing his shot making ability in all of these shooting situations.  similar to a golfer having every shot in his bag... a shooter has to have the same mentality in shooting development.  We also worked on developing the ability to finish in a variety of ways within a 10 foot area of the rim... just now he's really working on his runners, floaters, and craftier finishes around the rim that will make him a more effective player.. I'd like to see him use a 2 footed stop more to supplement his left foot take off finishes.

Continued in Part two...


  1. Incredible insight, greatly appreciated. Looking forward to part II !!

  2. Lin's release looks verrrrryyyy slow. And why is he jumping so high for his 3-pointers ?

    He shoots a 23 footer, and it keeps going 25 ft. and goes clank off the back rim. The shot is dead on in terms of direction, but he's shooting it too hard.

    Needs to develop the soft jumper, with a soft touch.

  3. That was a great in-depth interview. Nice work!

    Doc said, "I'd like to see him use a 2 footed stop more." I've been saying since last year that Lin needs to develop/use the 2 foot jump stop. I think that should be #1 on his skill development. I thought he would develop it over the past summer, but still haven't seen it yet.

    That would cut down on his turnovers, which often occur during a drive and pass. When he's taking his usual 2 steps, he has no choice but to get rid of the ball before he lands. Often, he'll be forced into a bad shot or pass. But if he takes 1 step, then jump stops, he can shoot or pass during the 1st step, but if he doesn't have a good look, he can hold the ball and land on 2 feet. And then he still has the option to shoot or pass.

    The jump stop is such an effective weapon that it seems absurd that any penetrating player wouldn't use it.

  4. Jim Barnett the Warriors games analyst always harps about players who do 2 foot plant. He thinks jumping off of one foot in fact allows the player more choices and more mobility. So it's all a matter of opinion. I don't think this is an issue. The fact of the matter is Lin can get to the basket... he's just not finishing around the rim lately.

  5. You have to have a variety of finishes that vary with every situation....Right move right time....right finish right time...

  6. I'd like to ask Doc Scheppler what he thinks of "rule breaking non picture" shooters like Jamaal Wilks, Reggie Miller, Bernard King, and Larry Bird (appears to be the inspiration for Lin's old but effective "soccer throw" shot).

    The NBA is filled with "picture shooters" who cannot score in an empty gym.