TOM NORDLAND'S “SWISH”
Dedicated to Learning and Coaching “Pure”
The Swish Method is a simple, yet very powerful, way to coach shooting. The stress with this Method is to keep it natural and simple. Focus is on how the ball leaves the fingertips, what you can do to maximize power and minimize variables. What matters most is the flight of the ball, height, spin and control of distance and direction. It's less about rules and formulas and more about results and how to repeat them consistently.
Tom coaches now at all levels of the game, from beginners to top professionals. (Probably 5th or 6th grade is the best time to start, unless a girl or boy is exceptionally mature and/or serious about the game at a younger age.) And his coaching is "universal," meaning he gives the same instruction to all levels of player.
Coaching NBA Players
Here are quotes from NBA players who have worked with Tom:
"The proof is in the pudding - look at the stats! I've made a major improvement and expect to improve more by continued working with Tom. His technique is different from most shooting coaches. He does a combination of form (technique) and the art/science of repeatability. It really works!"
-- Dale Davis, NBA power forward, Portland Trailblazers (formerly with the Indiana Pacers)
(Note: Dale improved over 47% from the Free Throw line in two seasons, from 46.5% in '97-98 to 61.8% in '98-99 to 68.5% in '99-00. His jump shot improved at the same time, and he was named to the NBA All Star Team last season for the first time in his 9 years in the league! He got that recognition for averaging a double-double with 11.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, the highest overall performance of his career (and shooting 72% from the Line at the time).
"I am thrilled with what Tom Nordland has done with me. His coaching method is amazingly simple, easy to apply, and the results are easy to see. Anybody can improve their shooting with his approach."
-- Adam Keefe, Stanford All American and former Golden State Warriors power forward
"Working with Tom Nordland has improved my Jump Shot and Free Throws more than I could ever have imagined. He is a phenomenal shooting coach!"
-- Mark Madsen, Stanford All American, 1st round pick of the L.A. Lakers in the 2000 NBA Draft, now with the Minnesota Timberwolves
Coaching WNBA Players
"When I showed up to play basketball at Stanford in 1993, at age 18, Tara Vanderveer, the head coach there, told me right away that my shot needed to be changed. I'd never been really coached in that area and I'd developed my own form, which had some obvious faults. However, I had spent so much time working on it that I'd been able to achieve a reasonably high percentage and no one had tried to make me change. After a few weeks of practice at Stanford, Tara told me that it was probably too late to change and decided to let me keep my old ways. She told me I would never be a pure shooter, but I had good aim and that was enough."
"I had pretty good results with that shot throughout college. However, the pros were a different story. As my competition got better, quicker, and faster, I found that I had less and less time to "aim." I had trouble getting my shot off at all, and my percentage had gone way down on the ones I did put up."
"After two seasons struggling in the WNBA, I began looking for ways to improve my game. One afternoon in late 2000, I ran into Tom Nordland at Maples pavilion at Stanford while I was waiting for an evening pick-up game. He introduced himself and offered some advice on improving my shot. Recalling Tara's statement 7 years before that it was already too late for me to fix my shot, I was very hesitant to follow Tom's example. After shooting poorly the next afternoon while concentrating on the new techniques, I decided that I would retain my old ways. I went off to play overseas and didn't see Tom again for several months."
"Lucky for me I ran into him again. In late February of this year, with just over 2 months before WNBA training camp, I saw Tom again and decided that I should give his shooting techniques another chance. We worked together about 5 times in two months, focusing on a quick, high release and using the energy from my legs to control my shot. I allowed myself some time for the adjustment, and tried not to worry about missing my shots while I learned the new form."
"After a couple of weeks, I started noticing the results. My shot was much faster than it had ever been before, enabling me to get it off before my defender could get to me. My percentage began to climb steadily. I noticed that the spin on the ball was correct for the first time in my life and that I finally had a nice, highly arced shot."
"I showed up for training camp in May with renewed confidence and a much improved pro game. My coaches quickly noticed that I was shooting more and shooting better. I've seen my minutes, points, and percentages all go up over the first third of the season. Yesterday, I started my first game in 2 years. I've improved a lot of areas of my game over the past off-season, but working with Tom and learning this new shot are the most important factors of my success this year."
"I think Tom's coaching can be extremely helpful to players at all levels. The techniques he teaches can be learned and mastered quickly, with only a few coaching sessions. He also coaches the mental side, how to be more focused and how to trust oneself. And he works with you to develop a practice routine. His "Swish" video can be a great tool for individual players and for coaches who'd like to learn how to teach this method of shooting. Finally, and most importantly, it is never too late (or too early) to learn the right shooting technique."
-- Kate Starbird, WNBA formerly with the Utah Starzz, now with Indiana Fever
(Stanford All-American 1996, 1997; Naismith College Player of the Year, 1997)
Indiana Girls' High School Champions
In July of 2000, Tom had the good fortune to meet and coach some of the girls on this year's Martinsville high school team (near Indianapolis, Indiana). Former Martinsville teams have won two of the last four Indiana state championships. Their coach, Jan Conner, just retired as the second winnest girls' coach in Indiana history with an amazing lifetime high school record of 442-73!!!
Here's a quote from Jan after that season:
"When I asked my team for the most beneficial tool we used to help their basketball skills, they all agreed that it was Coach Nordland's Shooting Style. Every single athlete that he worked with improved by over 15% in their field goal shooting and 25% or more in their Free Throw shooting. Tom only worked with 7 players on my team for about one hour one evening. Think what he could have done with them for an entire clinic session. I give my highest recommendation to all coaches at any level to let this shooting genius work with your team."