Website – https://shoticle.com/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @ShoticleBBall
Vinnie Falbo is the inventor of The Shoticle, a training aid that mounts on your backboard to give you the exact location where you must hit the glass for greater success. The Shoticle is based on research conducted by a team of professors that ran millions of computer simulations to identify the highest percentage shots, and the research was tested and confirmed by players at many levels. The researchers concluded that the highest percentage shot is provided by a vertical aim line behind the backboard that intersects with a series of aim lines on the plane of the backboard. The Shoticle is mounted in these given locations to provide the highest percentage shot with a very clear intersection point. Vinnie took these research findings and created The Shoticle to help shooters at all levels of the game shoot a higher percentage and score more.
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If you have never seen the Shoticle, it would help you to jump over to www.shoticle.com and watch the 1-minute video first so you can see the Shoticle in action before you listen to this episode with Vinnie Falbo, inventor of The Shoticle.
What We Discuss with Vinnie Falbo
- What the Shoticle is and why a player or coach would want to use it.
- The Shoticle can be used by players at all levels of the game from beginners to pros
- The advantage of using the backboard, especially at certain angles
- Wanting to help his son’s team shooT the ball better
- Why the white box on the backboard doesn’t help shoooters
- No one could really tell him where to hit the board in order to make more shots, most players described it as a feel for where the ball had to go that they had developed from experience
- The original game invented by James Naismith had no backboard behind the basket
- Why the first backboard was made with chicken wire
- Spending time watching video of NBA players shooting, particularly Tim Duncan
- Trying to use physics on his own to figure out the sweet spots on the background and then abandoning that idea
- The NC State researchers that had collected the data on shooting off the backboard and how they were inspired by former Ohio U and Western Carolina Coach Larry Hunter
- The research showed the corrected spots to hit on the backboard were much higher and at different angles than the white square
- Players also need to shoot with higher arc than the typical low, flat shot off the glass
- Players like Kyrie Irving have mastered the art of going high off the glass which is in fact the proper way to use the backboard
- Using the glass provides a wider margin for error
- Shots “climbing over the rim”
- Spending over a year coming up with different prototypes and testing it out with different people
- His first prototype made with wood and tape
- The challenge of making the installation simple so people would actually put it up on their backboards
- When you’re shooting and you’re making shots, that’s a great feeling. It’s a pretty quick transition from no way to I need one of these
- There’s beauty in simplicity when designing a product like the Shoticle
- If you remain at the same angle when shooting the target doesn’t change even if the distance does
- How being able to use the backboard effectively allows you to have different release points for their shot
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The Shoticle provides the Highest Percentage Shot.Never before has there been a training aid that could improve your game so quickly. Using the backboard gives you a greater chance of making a shot, and the Shoticle gives you the exact location where you must hit the the glass for greater success. Hit the board right where the aim rod is visible between the two yellow aim lines with arc, and you will score more. Visit Shoticle.com to learn more.
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THANKS, VINNIE FALBO
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TRANSCRIPT FOR VINNIE FALBO – INVENTOR OF THE SHOTICLE – EPISODE 394
[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. I am here with my partner, Jason Sunkle, and we are pleased to welcome to the podcast this evening from Shoticle, Vinnie Falbo. Vinnie, welcome. We are excited to learn more about you what you’ve been able to create that is going to impact players who want to become better shooters and use the backboard.
So let’s start out by talking a little bit about what the Shoticle is and why you feel it’s going to be a game changer for shooters out there.
Vinnie Falbo: [00:00:32] Thank you, Mike. I appreciate you having me. I’ve been looking forward to our conversation, the Shoticle, quite simply is a training aid for players to learn how to use the backboard properly.
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about how they use the back board. millions of computer simulations were done to identify the highest percentage shots off the glass. And the Shoticle is just the apparatus that you put on those boards to be able to identify those target areas for your highest percentage shots.
Mike Klinzing: [00:00:56] So when you’re thinking about having somebody [00:01:00] utilize this product, and I’ll talk a little bit about my experiences with it in a little bit, but when you put it up onto the back board and somebody goes out to utilize the product and shoot the ball off the glass, where do you anticipate this being the most.
Use the most, do you think it’s going to be with teams like in a high school setting junior high setting, middle school setting, or do you think this is more a product that would appeal to someone working at home, putting the bug, putting it up on their, on their rim at their door on their driveway?
Vinnie Falbo: [00:01:34] That’s a great question. And I like to say that Shoticle is for everybody from beginners to next level athletes. I’ve done it with my own son, he started when he was 10 years old, out in the driveway. A lot of the people could do it that way. And I’ve also used it with the professional team that we have here in Rochester, New York.
We have a team in the premier basketball league called the Rochester Razor Sharks. And I introduced it to the guys there because their CEO wanted to be a part of what was going on. [00:02:00] And many of them were really turned on to it as well. So I think it could be used for anybody. There’s definitely different advantages for different age levels.
The younger kids getting started really seemed to like it most. it seems to be a little bit more difficult for adults that had a lot of the playing experience to make the transition. and again, it gets back to that idea that there are a lot of misconceptions out there and guys have already developed muscle memories, taking some shots that they’ve mastered pretty well.
so even though they’re not high percentage shots, they’re able to make them pretty regularly because all the practice and effort they’ve put into it.
Mike Klinzing: [00:02:33] All right. So what makes a shot off the back board? More unconventional. In other words, you have this perception of the white square is up there. That’s what I should use to try to hit the backboard, to get a shot to go in.
But I know from having conversations with you and then using the shadow myself, that that is not always the case. So maybe explain to people what. Types of shots are maybe a little [00:03:00] unorthodox for a little bit different than what people’s perceptions are. Especially guys you’ve talked about with a player who’s spent hundreds or thousands of hours already shooting.
How can they make the adjustment or benefit from the shadow?
Vinnie Falbo: [00:03:11] Exactly. Yeah, there are a lot of the people that have mastered various shots. The glass for some reason has fallen from favor, which surprises me a little bit with a guy like Tim Duncan, being a hall of Famer who was living off the glass so well.
but it could be used down in low post areas. you know, we saw Tim Duncan have a lot of success with glass in the inside, but it also is good for shots a little bit further away. The sweet spot tends to be about 60 degrees, toward the corner. So for the sake of conversation, if we say zero degrees is right in front of the hoop, like on the foul line and you start swinging toward the corner where that would be 90, if you get over, like 35 45, 55 60 degrees is where you have the highest percentage shot off the glass.
you would get almost a 20% [00:04:00] advantage off the glass in those areas as opposed to taking a direct shot.
Mike Klinzing: [00:04:05] Why do you think, and I’m curious, and I have my own theories, but I’m curious why you think that players don’t use the back board as much as the statistics say that they should. I think for me, when I think about, It just seems like there there’s such an allure of the swish that going off the back board somehow seems like it cheapens the maid shot.
For some reason, I think in kids’ minds, especially the swish is such a powerful sound and something that we all know and love that I think maybe that is what gives the back board a bad rap. When I think of the backboard, I think of the guy you mentioned Tim Duncan. And then going back in time, I think of George Gervin, the Iceman as being a guy who always would use the backboard.
And it seemed like there was more players that shot the ball off the back board in the past than there are today. And of course, a lot of players, especially on players that we watch on TV from the NBA or even college players, because they’re shooting so many [00:05:00] threes. A lot of times it’s difficult to use the backboard from that far out.
So you have these mid-range shots that if players would use the glass man, they would really benefit from.
Vinnie Falbo: [00:05:10] Absolutely. I agree. And I think part of it too, just goes back to the simple fact that guys don’t know how to use it. So it’s not only the allure of how great that swish is and how it sounds so cool as it goes through.
But. Guys just don’t know how to use the glass. And I think what makes it even more difficult is a lot of the players at young ages are taught how to use the board incorrectly and so they’re trying to hang on to something that they were taught incorrectly and they’re not having success with it. And therefore they abandoned it.
And when they start making shots, taking those direct shots and having success with it, why would they go back to using the board? I think if guys were introduced to using the board properly, they would have higher shooting percentages off the board, then taking the direct shot and they probably would stick with it.
Mike Klinzing: [00:05:55] All right. So when you talk about utilizing the shot of [00:06:00] coal and let’s focus for a little bit here on a player, who’s just starting out. So we’re talking about an eight, nine, 10 year old basketball player who. Is going to purchase the shot, put it up on their basket and is going to try to utilize that, to be able to help them to be a better shooter.
What recommendations would you have for somebody who is of that age level? Let’s say a beginning player to a player who maybe has a little bit of experience. What, how would you recommend they use the shackle in terms of practicing and getting used to
Vinnie Falbo: [00:06:31] it? The best way to get started is first to shoot directly in front of the hoop, probably about six feet away, six to eight feet away just to get used to using the board and then to move off to the side 45 degrees, 60 degrees, and take shots from there, reason being that’s the sweet spot and the other areas where you’re going to see 20% more makes shooting off the glass, then you wouldn’t take them direct shots.
And that’s where I think. younger players would be [00:07:00] encouraged to continue using the glass because they’re going to experience that success. And actually that’s the age group that I was working with. when I started doing the research on the Charlotte go before it was called the Shoticle before I knew what it was going to be, that’s the age group I was working with that was struggling with their shooting and I really wanted to help out.
Mike Klinzing: [00:07:18] All right. Let’s dive into some of that research. And then after we do that, I want you to give people a visual, a description of what exactly the Shoticle is and what it looks like for someone who’s going out to take shots, but let’s focus on the research first. Give us an idea of where you got your research, what your research found and then how you use that to create the Shoticle.
Vinnie Falbo: [00:07:41] Sure, absolutely. Should I tell you a little bit about, some of the research I was doing that led me to dead ends that might be of interest to the audience as well. Let me start there because the reason why I got into this is because just like most guys that we’re getting back into basketball.
I was doing it because I was coaching my son’s youth basketball team, [00:08:00] and I just wanted to help him out and help out some of his teammates. And I wanted to make sure I was giving them good, strong foundation, getting going. you know, I, I played basketball up to the varsity level in high school and I wasn’t a great shooter, but I wasn’t a terrible shooter.
I was just your average kid. And so I knew when I started coaching that I was going to ask other guys for help get some insight from them. And I had. I abandoned basketball to play baseball. I played division one baseball in college, so I really appreciated what it took to be a good athlete and the work that was involved.
And I had some really good experiences with good coaches that made me realize the value of having good instruction. So I was helping the kids and they were just shooting terribly. And I was struggling as to whether I was going to be able to teach them properly. And the first thing I did was I brought the hoop and that we could hold just about four feet off the grounds to show the kids how softly they have touched them all off the glass in order to make the shot.
And they had success. And I realized if I could teach them [00:09:00] properly, that they were going to have success. And I was standing there watching them in their shooting drills. And I thought, well, I just have to teach them where they hit the glass. Now, that they know how softly they have to shoot, I had this awareness that I didn’t have any idea how to properly use the glass.
And I was thinking about what I had been told and what I had heard about using the white box and getting it in the white box and hitting the corner of the box or using the line of the box and all these different things. and they just didn’t seem to work very well. And it was obvious if I was driving down the center and tried to hit the corner of the box at that shot, wasn’t going in.
So. I started asking guys, knowing I got into this, I was going to ask guys with more experienced. I started asking guys that played college ball. A lot of the guys had really good careers in high school guys that were coaching varsity teams. I started saying, how do you use the glass? Came down to two questions.
Where do you hit the back board? And when do you use the glass over a direct shot? And I couldn’t get an answer. So my research just started out anecdotal asking my buddies, friends, colleagues, people that I knew were in the game [00:10:00] and I was getting different answers and started to get to a point where some people started getting frustrated saying, where are you talking about?
What do you mean? Where do you hit the glass? You just take shots and you develop a sense of where to hit it. And I said, no if you had a laser pointer, if we stood right here on the court could you say hit that spot and it’s going in or, I mean, if your arms are long enough, just touch the glass and say, shoot right here.
Where’s it going in? And I couldn’t find anybody that could tell me. So the first place I went, where I thought it was going to get the answer after speaking to people was to look at the research that James Naismith did. Most of your listeners are probably familiar with James Naismith who invented basketball at the YMCA.
He hung a peach basket up for kids to play basketball and he was looking for an alternative to football. And I thought for sure, if I read about what he did, that I was finding the answer and funny enough, when he did that, he hung that peach basket up on the balcony and there was no Blackboard. So the back board was never intended to [00:11:00] be a part of the game.
There wasn’t one, so I realized there was no way I was going to find out how the backboard was supposed to be used given the fact that one wasn’t there. And the funny part about that is when the back board went up, it was not intended for player use, the back board went up because there were other people at the YMCA that were interfering with the game that were up on the balcony, trying to swat the ball away when people were playing.
So the first back board was actually made with chicken wire. And it was put up there to prevent spectators from interfering with the game. So it’s no surprise that a lot of people didn’t know how to use the board properly because it wasn’t for the players. you know, it continued to evolve from there because players at the YMCA were kicking off the wall and getting an extra advantage, kicking off the wall because the hoop was right next to the wall. So when they extended it out of the way from the baseline, that’s when players started using it even more, but nobody ever had the [00:12:00] target up there as to how to use it properly.
In all my research, I haven’t found the origins of that white box, which I think is the main problem that we have and why people have not conducted this research sooner or learned how to use the board because people think they have the answer. And once they think they have the answer, they stop looking for it.
I had no luck with the history of the game, helping me out with the development, but I just found that fascinating that the board was never intended for player use.
Mike Klinzing: [00:12:29] I never heard the chicken wire story. I knew there was not a back board in the original game. The other thing that comes out of that story too, is the only reason why the basket’s 10 feet is because that’s how high the balcony was that Naismith hung the basket up on.
But I had never heard that the first backboard was created from chicken wire. So you stumped me for sure on that one. And yeah, I think it’s interesting that obviously all games evolve and change in certain ways. But when you think about the back board and how fundamental it is to [00:13:00] the game today, the fact that it wasn’t part of the original game is really very interesting.
So where does your research take you next?
Vinnie Falbo: [00:13:07] So the next thing I thought there was no way I was going to be able to speak to James Naismith, obviously. exactly so you couldn’t get back to the source. so I thought who would be the best guys to talk to? And obviously Tim Duncan would be one of them, right? Steph Curry, Kevin Duran, some of the greatest players ever, some of the greatest players in the game today. And since I couldn’t just pick up the phone and talk to them or go see them on their home courts, I started to watch video of them.
So there I was, late at night after my wife and kids were in bed, sitting there going through a video footage of games and watching where they would hit the glass. And it really struck me how often Tim Duncan in particular was using the glass and not putting the ball in that box that was on the back board.
And he was knocking down shots and there seemed to be patterns, but I just couldn’t understand them. The more NBA footage I watched, the more I realized that that white box was [00:14:00] not the answer, but I couldn’t come up with schema to explain exactly where they were hitting the board.
And there were different types of shots that guys were making, but I couldn’t outline what I was looking for like that formula, that diagram. And they just couldn’t put that together. So without that and knowing I wasn’t going to be able to get access to these guys and say, Hey this is Vinnie from Rochester, New York.
I just want you to tell me how to use the back board. I figured the only way I was going to be able to do it was to try and figure it out on my own. Which might seem a little bit ridiculous, but instead of trying to take shots to figure it out, I sat down with pencil and paper to try and determine where the ideal locations would be.
My formal study as an undergraduate was in math and my master’s degree was in information technology. So computer science related stuff, I did a lot of the programming. So I sat down and said, this is something that is now the trivial problem, [00:15:00] but clearly there’s a pattern here to be discovered.
And the way I’ve explained it to people when I’m in person is if I take the ball and I hold it up, let’s say I’m holding a ball at six feet and I let it go. How high is that going to bounce up? You know, just take a guess is going into my waist to my knees. I’m gonna drop it from six feet. How high is it going to go up?
You’re not gonna say it’s at my ankles and you’re not going to say it’s bouncing over my head, you know? You know about how high it’s going to bounce up. And it’s about halfway. when there’s a name for that, they call that the coefficient, the restitution, the way a ball bounces, when there’s a collision, a baseball would drop up 32% of its drop.
Height of soccer ball would come up for the, basketball comes up 56% but it’s basic physics, right? Like there are patterns here. These are the inviolable laws of science, right? Like there is a way that ball’s going to behave every single time. It’s not going to bounce up halfway one time and then go over your head the next.
And in addition to that, And the material, the ball doesn’t change during the [00:16:00] game. So there’s going to be a frictional coefficient with the way that that hits the glass. So I sat there and I tried to figure out like, where are all these issues I need to resolve? you know, and what I realized after spending a little bit of time was it was just crazy to try and do that all on my own.
You know, in that dimension, it’s not nearly as much fun as going in the driveway and shooting hoops. Right? Like you’re sitting there with a blank piece of paper and the pencil. I mean, your listeners are going to say, get this guy off the show and never bring him back if he’s going to start talking about math and stuff.
Right. So, so that was definitely not the way to do it, but what I realized is, someone must have done this, right? Like this game has been in existence for over a hundred years. So it was just incredulous that I was the first guy that asked those questions. Where did he hit the back board for the highest percentage shot.
And when is it an advantage to use the glass over a direct shot? Like how could it be that the game has in existence for over a hundred years and these answers aren’t there? I realized it was a physics problem. That’s what it was. So. I was going about it the [00:17:00] wrong way.
I wasn’t gonna find it in the history of the game when the Backboard was not designed for player use. And I wasn’t gonna be able to discover it, just watching other guys because they had success that wasn’t going to be away from me to be able to identify the answer, even though I could appreciate what they did.
So I started doing searches on physics. Really this stuff in basketball. And I found a gentleman who actually had conducted the research. There was millions of computer simulations to try and identify the best locations to use on the back board. and his work was inspired by a college coach by the name of Larry Hunter that was at Western Carolina University.
And the professors that did this were at North Carolina State. they were mechanical engineers and aeronautical engineers. There were a team of them, headed up by a gentleman by the name of Larry Silverberg. And I thought to myself this is where I’m going to find my answer. I finally have the help I need.
These are the guys that are gonna have the answer. [00:18:00] if they could figure out how to keep planes in the air and the shape of the wings and all that other stuff, they could figure out how to make a ball hit the board and go in the hoop. So that’s, that’s where I was able to get some pretty clear cut information about the exact locations on the board that you needed to use.
And they outlined that very well.
Mike Klinzing: [00:18:21] All right. So what do those shots look like in comparison to what the traditional teaching would say of hit the corner of the square and the ball’s going to go in? What did the research say that contradicted, what would be the traditional way of teaching players to shoot off the back board?
Vinnie Falbo: [00:18:41] Exactly. So surprisingly, the areas that you need to hit. Are much higher than that white box and they’re off at angles. So for your listeners today that wanted to get the picture, they can head over to the website Shoticle.com [00:19:00] there’s actually a research link and I put in some documentation.
Some of the pictures that they had in the original research, that explains how it’s done. And you could see a picture where there are two main parts. One is there is what they called in the research and the aim line. Every time you shoot off the glass, you should be directly in the line. That is exactly 3.3 to six inches behind the glass.
So if you could imagine a target behind the glass, you’re always going to shoot at the same line. And then in addition to that, they had a series of aim points that would form like a V on the glass. There’s a horizontal line at the bottom of the V, but just imagine the V from what would be the top of the white box going up toward the corners of the back board and the locations that you would hit would be on that V where they crossed that rod behind the backboard, that same line behind the board.
So it’s kind of tough [00:20:00] to picture, but in short, Mike, the locations people need to be using are much higher than they’re currently using. They need to get the ball up with arc, and they need to hit higher on the glass. And that’s where they’re going to have the greatest success. And once you start using it, you realize guys are using the glass incorrectly because they’re taking flat shots to try and hit that box because it’s so low. So it’s much higher up
Mike Klinzing: [00:20:23] All right. I think there’s two truths to be told right there. One is when you think of a player shooting the ball off the back board, typically, especially if you’re talking about somebody taking a jump shot, almost always that player is shooting as you described a flat shot. And there are some guys like Duncan maybe who have mastered.
Those flatter shots, because again, they’ve simply just put in so many reps that they’re able to overcome. The fact that they’re not hitting the board in an optimal location, but then I think about guys that the person that keeps popping into [00:21:00] my head is a guy like Kyrie Irving, who gets to the basket and finishes in all these different ways and is typically finishing layups in such a way that.
It’s not the right-handed layup line, go in and hit the corner of the square and drop the ball into the basket. It’s he’s taking the shots from all these different, weird angles, but yet, so often you’ll hear an announcer say and he put it in high off the glass. And I think that what the research shows and what you’ve been able to demonstrate with the shot is that even though.
People think of those shots and be like, wow, how does he do that? What he’s actually doing is what everybody should be doing, which is taking shots that are hitting the backward higher. And then I know one of the things that you mentioned to me when we first started having conversations about this is that you have to hit the back board.
You have to hit these spots with. Good arc on your shot. It’s not a line drive shot that you’re firing off the ideal spot to hit. It also has [00:22:00] to be accompanied by the proper arc. So just talk a little bit about how that, how important that is to not only hit the spot, but to have proper arc on your shot when you’re hitting the back board.
Vinnie Falbo: [00:22:09] I will. And just to step back to something, you mentioned that it was very important about Kyrie and people say he’s high off the glass and they’re acting like that’s a big deal. It’s only a big deal because other people are not doing it. He’s doing it correctly and I mentioned that.
No, it’s for everybody from beginners to next level athletes and our local premier basketball team used it when I was introducing the guys to it. a lot of them listened very intently. A lot of them wanted to get up and try it out and they liked it. And there were a couple of them that just kind of stood there, nodding.
And I looked at them and said, I see you already know this, don’t you. And one of them, who was first team all started the Von Gavin. They called him hood. He was a great player. He kind of nodded, and I said, how’d and he said, Kyrie and Kobe,
and he just stood there, nodding his head, like, [00:23:00] well, of course that’s what Kyrie and Kobe do. And so that’s what I’m going to do. And I started paying attention to him more in his games. And he took a lot of the shots that were high off the glass. I’m not a big man, Mike I wasn’t able to play basketball because I was tall.
I was usually fast, but you know, hood was like, that hood was five-10, and he was playing professional basketball with a lot of the big men and he was going high up off the glass. That’s the correct location. you know, so you’re right. Kyrie’s doing it right. But back to your question about the importance of the arc, I mean, it just makes sense, right?
If you could shoot the ball, however you would like the perfect shot would be able to levitate up above the hoop and float there so you could shoot it straight down. Right. And who would argue with that? You want to be directly above it so you could just drop it straight down and that’s the perfect place to be.
So the higher you could get that ball up to get it coming directly down is going to be your best angle. And the only way to do that is with [00:24:00] arc. So a lot of the guys in the game right now, They’ve mastered some shots that’s are not high percentage shots, but you’ll see guys go into the basket and do a reverse layup and they put some English on the ball and like they’re hitting almost level with the rim and the ball is going off the glass and the up and into the hoop.
I call it climbing over the rim. When I started paying attention to guys shooting, I used to look at it and say, Oh, the ball is climbing over the rim. Like it’s so low on the glass and it has to get up there and guys do it well. But if you think about it, There’s not a lot of margin for error there at all.
So that’s what it’s about. When you start hitting up on the glass, you have a much larger margin for error. You could miss your spot and you’re still going to make the shot because you’re so much higher above when you’re doing that shot, where it’s climbing over the rim You have to hit that perfectly.
If you’re a little bit low that ball’s not going up there, it’s getting caught under the rim.
Mike Klinzing: [00:24:54] I think there’s also been a lot of research out there. Not only with shots off the back board, [00:25:00] but I know that it’s been determined that the optimal arc for a shot that is not going to hit the backboard, but that’s a swish is around 45 degrees.
And if you get too much above or too much below that, that your shooting percentage is going to drop. And as you said, it makes complete sense. When you think about taking a flat shot, you’re just shrinking the opening. That the ball has to be able to go in. And your margin for error is much less. So as you started thinking about all this research and trying to decide, okay, so now I have some, I’m armed with some knowledge.
There’s some things that I now know. How can I pass that along to in your case, you were trying to work with kids who are eight, nine, 10 years old. How are you going to be able to get that information to them in such a way that they can actually utilize it? It’s one thing for you to sit there and explain the math to an eight year old, but they’re clearly not going to really be able to do much with that.
So you needed something that was visual [00:26:00] that they could use to be able to actually teach this. So talk a little bit about how. The idea for the shackle came to you as you started to get this research into your mind and wrap your head around it. Did you have some false starts and things that you tried or ideas?
Just give us the, I guess the brainstorming that went into coming up with the product in the first place.
Vinnie Falbo: [00:26:23] Yeah, there were absolutely some false starts taking on something like this. There are obviously going to be some roadblocks along the way. So I definitely did to persevere with multiple prototypes and testing, and I spent over a year coming up with some different prototypes and testing it out with different people.
But the first one, was just a matter of getting something that I could hang on the back board that was going to show the kids, those locations that they needed to make shots. So it started out just me in my shop with some wood [00:27:00] and making a rod that I could hang behind the back board to get it at that precise distance that was necessary.
So they had a target behind the back board and how I was going to be able to hang that up. And then the matter of getting some lines on the face of the back board for that intersection point with that rod behind it, And it started off simple, it was just a wooden rod with some blocks and some Velcro and some tape to put on the front.
And I went back to practice early one night and my friend, Danny, who was coaching with me was there. And he said, what what’s going on? And I explained to him how I thought things were going to work. And he said, I love it. And he was up on the ladder and I was holding the leather, watching him saying here.
And when someone is going to get up here and get hurt, trying to implement this crazy idea I have. So, I mean, it was definitely slow going and I was scratching my head as to whether or not this was really a viable option, but we were talking through exactly where it needed to be, [00:28:00] and I measured it off to make sure I had the dimensions correct.
And we brought a few kids over and said look at where that tape crosses that wooden rod behind the back board. And you see that spot, that’s where you need to aim, hit that spot. you know, and at first with little kids, some of them it’s like they’re shooting the chest, pass off the back board, you know what I mean?
So, I couldn’t really take all the data that they were going to provide from their shots. But when the kids start putting the ball up correctly with arc, they were hitting those spots and it was going in so it was a really good feeling to see that I had encapsulated the way for the kids to be able to very simply look at the targets that they needed to learn how to use the Backboard properly.
There were some other people in the gym because we were sharing gym time and some of the other coaches were asking what was going on. And then those guys were coming in for the next practice they were asking. And everybody sort of had that same sort of incredulous look, and then that can’t be right, because it’s not where the white [00:29:00] box is, you know?
and then as more people try it out, the more they liked it. And that’s really the issue, right? You need to try it for yourself. Even though I had seen these videos of these guys, these NBA players, where I was watching, I was like, yeah, that’s what they’re hitting. They’re hitting all those spots in the research.
I still wanted to try it out myself and that was the first prototype. It was just wood and tape. And so then I had to try and figure out the way to share it with other people, because I wasn’t going to be able to have other people get up on ladders and measure things and do it all that way.
So I started coming up with some different designs that they would be able to hang on the back board both for the lines on the front, as well as the way they were going to mount in the back. And I invested a lot of time into how to mount them. And the rims, and that was actually taken hardware off the back of various rims and mounting steel plates and aluminum rods behind the back board.
So everybody would have those correct aim lines behind their boards. And I [00:30:00] realized in that too much time, that that was not going to be a good answer because when I started installing them for people, they were watching me and just to make people say, yeah, I wouldn’t do that. I was like, wait a minute, you wouldn’t use this.
He was like, no, I wouldn’t get up there on the ladder. I wouldn’t take the hardware off my hoop. So it was a matter of trying to find a way to distribute this so people could do it easily and that’s when they realized it really needed to be a product. you know, this wasn’t going to be something that I was going to do a YouTube video on and say, Hey I did this.
I helped a bunch of kids shoot. And it’s now working for our varsity team in town and this professional team has tried it out and this is what you should do. I really needed a way to distribute it so people could do it easily and that’s how it evolved to a point where it had to fit in the box that I could ship inexpensively.
And now you’ve worked with it, Mike it comes in a nice retail box sold in stores. There’s a mailer for people that order it online. That’s a little simpler box, but the box is the same. It has that orange telescoping rod. It’s a nice anodized aluminum [00:31:00] that rod mounts to the back of the board with a piece of aluminum and a dual lock which for listeners aren’t familiar with dual lock, it’s like that plastic Velcro, a lot of people call it.
It’s really strong. So it’s easy to put up. I tell people, you could put it up faster than you’re going to clean your back board, you know? So when you get up there to spray down the glass and clean it off, that’s going to take you longer than it will to put it up there. It has worked out well.
I’ve been able to ship them to many different people and they’ve had success mounting them without too much trouble.
Mike Klinzing: [00:31:30] All right. So before I get into my experience, I want to ask you, when you first put that prototype up on the back board, what was the reaction of. The kids of the adults who tried it in terms of the adjustment, to just looking at something different and aiming at something that they had never aimed at before.
What kind of response and feedback that you get. And then after you answer that, then I’ll kind of jump into my experience.
Vinnie Falbo: [00:31:58] Yeah. You know, it’s [00:32:00] pretty similar. yeah. You know, and again, I say you have to try it for yourself that’s really, what’s going to change people’s opinion. You have to try it and have success.
The reason why it seems similar is because most people look at it and think no way. you know, that was my reaction. I didn’t first see it hanging, obviously, because I had to create the prototype. But when I looked at the research when you’re all done reading angle of inclination and all this other stuff in the end, I’m looking at a picture where this guy says, I need to hit the Blackboard.
And I’m saying no way that’s just not right. So I wasn’t surprised when people in the gym were looking at it, thinking and saying to me that there’s just no way. No, that’s it. Yeah. That’s where you have to hit. Are you sure? Yeah. Try it. That’s where you have to hit, but it quickly moves from no way to, wow, this is really good.
You know, this works, I mean, when you’re shooting and you’re making shots, that’s a great feeling. That’s why we play the game. So if somebody hands you an apparatus where you’re going to score more. you know, what’s your reaction to [00:33:00] that going to be that’s going to be pretty similar as well.
That’s cool. This is something that I need. This is something that I want to have for myself. So it’s a pretty quick transition from no way to I need one of these,
Mike Klinzing: [00:33:11] so, all right. I’ll share my experience with the Shoticle Vinnie was nice enough to ship one out to me so that I could try it out.
And I was fascinated. I’ve always been a guy that when I think back to my time, maybe not even as much in my organized basketball career, but I know on the playground that I like to go off the glass a lot, especially because growing up as a kid, I played a lot outdoors. And I guess I was of this, of the mindset of that old school, traditional way of learning, how to use the back board that I felt like that line drive flat shot was one that could cut through the wind and using the backboard was a way to, for me to be able to make shots.
And yet at the same time, I’m also a big proponent in, I think a pretty good understanding of the fact that guys who were able to finish with different [00:34:00] angles of layups. Like we talked about Kyrie earlier frequently, go off the glass and use the glass at non-traditional angles of what we would think using that square.
So. I went into it, obviously with an open mind, because I had already had conversations with you and looked at what you’ve been able to do. And so I was curious to see one, what it was going to be when it got here. Cause you have a vision in your mind and I was on the website and looked at it, but I wanted to see, okay.
First of all, how easy is it to put it up? That’s number one. And so the answer to that question was it was pretty easy to put up. I had it up within probably five minutes, read the directions, which were clear and got the thing up on my back board here at home without much difficulty at all. And then for me, when I first started shooting, it was a little bit strange in terms of I’m looking at the back board and there’s this target up there that.
Of all the thousands and thousands and thousands of shots that I’ve taken over the course [00:35:00] of my basketball life. That V that makes up the shot ankle and that rod behind it, I have never been part of my aiming process for lack of a better way of saying it. So it took me a little while and I’d say it took me 15 or 20 minutes of shooting too.
Sort of acclimate myself to the fact of, okay, what is that thing that’s up there and why, again, am I aiming at it? And how do I get my eyes just to focus there instead of where they traditional pho traditionally focused. And then I think the other thing too, is that for someone who’s taken so many shots.
And this, maybe wouldn’t be an issue with a kid who was learning how to do it. For me, it was kind of like, again, the muscle memory of where my eyes look, I’m not even necessarily thinking anymore. When I shoot about where my eyes are looking, it’s just, I just kind of do it naturally at this point. So I kind of had to recalibrate and rethink about, okay, now I have to really consciously [00:36:00] be aware of where I’m aiming.
And once I did that after 15 or 20 minutes, It was actually pretty amazing that this simple, simple solution of having this V up on the board, along with the pole behind it, that I could utilize that as a target. And that if I hit that target, the ball was going to go in. Obviously I still have to hit the target.
I still have to be able to shoot the ball straight and have good shooting mechanics and all those things, but knowing where to aim and having that as a tool. I found it just to be fascinating. And again, I think if it’s something that you talk about for a young player, who’s just learning how to shoot and just learning where to aim and just learning how to master the muscle memory required, required in a basketball Jumpshot or layup or whatever it is to be able to have that visual reminder of this is where I should be aiming to me.
If I’m going to be out practicing and working on my shot. [00:37:00] In my driveway in a gym and I can have the shackle up on that back board. I just think it’s one more tool that a player or a coach can have in their toolbox to help improve their players shooting. And I was, again, pleasantly surprised by the experience that I had with it.
Again, it’s one of those, Can you teach an old dog new tricks? And it didn’t come instantaneously for me Vinnie, but after I shot for 15 or 20 minutes, I started to get a feel for, okay. I’ve got to aim here and get my eyes used to finding a new target one that I hadn’t found before. So I think that for anybody out there who’s thinking about trying it. I’d say again, it’s fascinating. And if you’re really bent on improving yourself as a shooter, I think the Shoticle is a tool that you definitely should consider. And I think it’s pretty ingenious the way you came up with it, the statistics that you built behind it, and then to figure [00:38:00] out exactly what that product was going to look like and how you were going to design it so that it would work.
No matter where you were on the floor, no matter what angle you were looking at the backward from that you would get that intersection where you should aim to me, that was a stroke of genius to be able to come up with that.
Vinnie Falbo: [00:38:17] Well, thank you very much. I appreciate that. You know, and you’re right about the simplicity of it and it’s patent pending right now.
And that was one of the first things that my patent attorney said to me. He said, what’s, what’s wonderful about this. He says, it’s just so simple. This is just such a simple apparatus. And I think that there’s beauty in simplicity. And I think because it’s simple, that’s the reason why people will be able to adapt it and I’m happy to hear that only took you five minutes to put it up.
It doesn’t take long. It took, like I said, it took a long time to get to that point. It was over a year of prototypes to find the way people would be able to install it quickly and get it to work. And to me, [00:39:00] 15 or 20 minutes of practice, isn’t that much given the quantity of basketball that you’ve already played.
You were able to make that shift pretty quickly. And in my mind, it’s a question of what’s your cost benefits ratio. So you have to put in 15, 20 minutes to be able to get a little bit acclimated to it. How much longer would it take before you were regularly using that instead of using your own target areas?
Probably a little bit longer, but is it worth it? If you’re scoring another four, the six to eight points, a game, that’s where, that’s where the trade-off is. And in my mind it’s definitely worth it because the other part of it that you mentioned is about the statistics. This is really a device for analytics, right?
Like right now, the game is just crazy with analytics and people are looking at how many threes people take and how many mid range and what to do around the hoop. And the layup is still the most missed shot. I think I could share a little insight as to why that is with the targets people are using there’s all this [00:40:00] stuff going on with the analytics and nobody’s really looking at the board, but this kind of encapsulates a lot of math and science. And research and simulations in the box. It’s just a few parts that you could put up there and have a significant advantage.
Mike Klinzing: [00:40:15] Yeah, it is super simple. And it’s one of those things that when I first discovered you and discovered the product, I really kind of had no idea what it would be.
Like. I got the theory behind it. But to be able to actually see it and experience it was something, it was very unique and it was not necessarily what I would have expected had I just heard the explanation behind it. And as I said, the 15 or 20 minutes that it took me to get acclimated, it was. Like I said uncomfortable trying to shoot at it at first because my eyes just weren’t used to seeing that target up there or trying to sight that target.
[00:41:00] But once I got used to it, it became much easier. And like I said, I think especially for someone who’s just developing as a shooter to me, if you want to be able to become a better shooter and not just a better shooter off the backboard, but a better shooter overall, being able to have something that you can aim at, that’s going to give you.
A solid result time in a timeout and is scientifically based to me. That’s completely invaluable.
Vinnie Falbo: [00:41:27] Mike, start using it more as well. You’ll also start to realize, that identifying those locations comes more quickly because one of the things I noticed after using a few times is that the location doesn’t change.
If you don’t change your angle. and what I mean with that is if you, if you were the shooter, Like from the foul line, you’re going to shoot directly over the hoop. Right? You’re not going to aim at the point of contact with the somehow like two feet to the right. That just doesn’t make sense.
Right. So you’re aiming directly [00:42:00] over the hoop. If you move closer to the hoop or further away, right? Whether you move three feet in front of the hoop, four feet away, five go back to the arc, three feet behind the arc. Your point of contact on the glass stays the same. So. If you remain at the same angle, the point of the context, the same, which may seem obvious when you’re in front of the hoop.
But when you start getting off of angles, when you go over to the elbow, whether you move in or out, it’s going to be the same shot. If you go down to the low post say, you’re say you’re 60 degrees from the center point of the foul line, As you move in and out toward the hoop and away from it, it’s going to be the same point of contact on the back board.
And it took me a few times using it before I started to realize exactly what was happening, but it starts to become even more second nature. And when I started doing this, my sons were young. you know, my one son who was playing basketball, I think he [00:43:00] was 12. I think it was a sixth grader.
My other son was a fourth grader, so they were like 10 and 12 years old. And we were over a family member’s house and they were outside shooting hoops in the driveway. And I said, I know this, you were using the board how are you doing that? And they said, well we really don’t need to use the Shoticle.
Once you use it enough, you know where those points are. So even if they’re young age, they were able to make that adjustment and again, it’s just using it a few times. You start to recognize where those points of contact are regardless of your distance from the hoop. And there are a lot of other things like that, that you start to discover too, when you train with it.
Mike Klinzing: [00:43:36] Yeah. I could see that. It makes total sense that as you step back, as long as you don’t change the angle that your point of contact on the back board is going to change. Is there anything else you just mentioned? A couple of other things that are. intuitive to what you’ve been able to do. Is there anything else that you can share on that front of things that you’ve learned over the course of working with this for a long period of time with a lot of different players at different age groups?
Vinnie Falbo: [00:43:59] Yeah. I [00:44:00] think the other thing that stands out that people comment on is how you really have two options. you know, if you’re standing, I’m trying to think, like, let’s use that 60 degree location again, if you could imagine where it is, If you would take a direct shot from there at the hoop. It’s going to be a much different trajectory than going off the board.
So you have two different target areas that you could use off the board is going to be 20%, fair chance, but you have two different target areas and I’ve had a few people comment and say, Hey, I like having another option, your defender is not expecting you to be shooting off the board either as often as people start doing it, once they’ve trained with the Shoticle.
Mike Klinzing: [00:44:44] Yeah, I think the ability to shoot the ball from different angles, again, going back to Kyrie Irving, who has probably the most unorthodox finishing moves in the NBA at this point is shooting the ball at different angles and from places that [00:45:00] defenders aren’t expecting, and that makes it easier for you to get your shot off as in his case, a smaller player than most of the players that he’s playing against.
But you think about anybody, whether you’re at the youth level or whether you’re a professional player, if you have more angles and a variety of different ways that you can get your shot up and still have it go in. That has to be nothing but a huge advantage for players who have multiple positions that they can release the ball from.
And I just think it’s so interesting, the science behind it, and it’s something that you can observe and watch and say, Oh, this guy’s really good at using the back board. And he shoots it creatively from different angles. But as you said, it’s really not necessarily even a basketball problem. It’s a physics problem.
Now for most players who use the basket and use the glass as creatively as Kyrie Irving does, it’s more a case of he’s just honed that ability and he’s figured that out on his own. And basically what you’re doing is you’re giving players the cheat code to be able to [00:46:00] do the same thing that Kyrie had to learn over the course of his entire lifetime of using the back board and sort of perfecting those angles. You’ve kind of given people a game plan to be able to utilize and get those same types of shots up from different angles. And still, as you said, have multiple options for how to get the ball into the basket, which I think is, again, something that the Shoticle does really, really well.
Vinnie Falbo: [00:46:23] You know, Mike, I think you said that perfectly too. You’re the first person that I’ve heard use those words, cheat code. But I, I think that sums it up really well, because it is like a cheat code in that you don’t have to go out there and spend years and years practicing. Like other guys have to be able to know where those locations are.
I’d like to share a little bit more about that with respect to, video. I watch some NBA players, but first, the other thing you mentioned was. Kyrie using different locations on the board. And when you asked me the question about what else I’ve discovered, one of the things I’ve I’ve discovered is for smaller [00:47:00] players like Kyrie who get creative. I’ve noticed that if I’m down low, and I can’t really get a good arc up and off the glass, you could actually see the shadows, go through the glass and shoot directly at it and it’ll go up and then are up into the basket. And I don’t know if I’m explaining that afterwards, but instead of the arc.
Coming down into the board, you could actually hit that location. and it’ll deflect off the board and then arc up into the hoop that way. which is the way I would have never shot without it. but getting back to the point of watching some other NBA players in the cheat code, once I had this research and I had the diagram.
I went back to watching those NBA players in the NBA footage. And there was one video in particular that struck me. And if your listeners go out to Shoticle.com to look at the research page, I actually embedded the video of Steph Curry and Kevin Durant shooting, and it’s only 45 seconds, [00:48:00] but every shot they take is going off the glass.
And it’s just amazing to watch because if you imagine where the shot of that go would be hanging on the back board. Every single shot that they take is going off of those ideal aim points. When they start off probably at about 45 degrees and they start moving toward the short corner the sixties 65, maybe even 70 degrees.
As they move toward the short corner, they’re going up higher off the glass and more toward the side of the glass and they just moved back and forth. And it’s just a beautiful thing to watch, but you’re right. It’s like a cheat code because I was watching that video as well as others before I found the research.
And then afterwards, once I had the research and I looked at that same video, I said, wow that was right under my nose the whole time. And I didn’t really know this the pattern too was all when the shadow puts it up there and it gives you those exact locations that they’re using, it’s a cheat code.
That’s a perfect way to say it.
Mike Klinzing: [00:49:00] All right. So before we wrap things up and give you a, again, another opportunity to share where people can find out more, see the research. Follow you on social media. Is there anything that we didn’t touch on that you think is important or relevant for people out there to understand about the
And then once you share that you can go back and go ahead and share out how people can find out more about it, where people can buy it and learn more about the story behind the Shoticle.
Vinnie Falbo: [00:49:31] Sure. I do appreciate the opportunity to mention a few other things. I think that you covered it all. I think you hit the main aspects that are important with respect to using the Shoticle.
One other thing I’d like to share though, is the importance of appreciating the analytics in the game right now and how it changes things and how beneficial it is. The three was adopted, I think in 1986, 1987, it was around the time of Larry Bird and Magic [00:50:00] Johnson getting started.
And people didn’t really adapt the three until like 25 years later with Morey ball. You know, when Daryl Morey came up with the idea that people should be using more threes. And it’s kind of ironic that took twenty-five years to realize three is greater than two.
Daryl Morey’s background was in computer science and he also has an MBA from MIT, but what he did to change the game was not based on being on the court, it was based on research and analytics and the game is just crazy with analytics right now. And the people that are adopting them are having the advantage and the subtle advantage is a big difference.
There’s a gentlemen by the name of Ben Taylor that wrote thinking basketball and he talks about points per possession from different locations. And he has a stat in there that the average NBA championship team gets 1.1 points per possession, where [00:51:00] a a lottery team gets 1.0 points per possession.
So you’re looking at one 10th of a point difference between 66% win in 33% wins. So people need to take advantage of subtle differences. there are going to give them an edge. And I think the Shoticle is definitely going to give people that edge to be able to get six, eight, 10, even 12 points, a game more.
So for your listeners out there that do want to give it a try, because again, I understand and respect and appreciate the need to try. I did set up a discount code, for all your listeners. So anybody that goes out to Shoticle.com and types in Hoop Heads for the discount code and they’ll get 20% off, so that they could try it out for themselves and see what it’s like.
And I just ask for anybody listening that if you do go out to the website, if you’d sign up for the email list, I could send out a little bit more [00:52:00] information. I’ll be shooting out something else soon regarding some of the additional research and some other facts about it, for folks that are interested in signing up for it.
Mike Klinzing: [00:52:08] Very cool Vinnie. We cannot thank you enough for jumping on and the support that you’ve given us here at the Hoop Heads Podcast. And it’s just been really interesting to be able to hear the story of how you came up with the idea and then working your way through the prototypes. And then eventually coming up with a product that people can utilize to help them become better basketball players.
And we all know that there’s a lot of people out there in the world, kids and otherwise that are trying to improve their shot and trying to get better. And this is a very, very simple tool that as you said, takes advantage of the science takes advantage of the analytics, which we all know that that is the direction that the game is going.
And rightly so. The better understanding we have of what’s happening out on the court and what’s happening with our shots and what’s happening with offenses and defenses. That improved understanding is going to lead to improved [00:53:00] play. And I think the Shoticle plays right into that analytics trend and I would highly encourage anyone who’s out there listening.
Go try it out. Visit Shoticle.com. Take advantage of the discount code that Vinnie set up, use Hoop Heads to get 20% off. Try out the Shoticle. I think you’ll be very, very pleasantly surprised with the results. And I think it will be, again, something that, especially if you have kids and you’re a parent, maybe you’re a coach who has your own kids, give it a shot and try it yourself.
And I think you’ll find that it’s a fascinating thing to work on. And I think the longterm ramifications will be that you’ll improve as a shooter. So again, Vinnie can’t thank you enough for joining us tonight. Really, really appreciate it. To everyone out there. Thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode.