Finding a good basketball shooting machine is kind of hard today. The information is pretty sparse or generally generic and not helpful. I’ve put together this review to provide legit information for those looking to buy a shooting machine for their home. It’s pretty hard to compared the different models, so I’ll try and provide you with pricing and all the options they provide (and which ones I think are worthwhile).
Also, if you decide to buy one of these and my review helped, if you mention my name as a referral I’ll send you a free basketball (typically a Wilson Evolution) of your choice. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get it setup. Thanks in advance, I really appreciate and I hope this information below will help you make an informed decision.
Unboxing the Shoot-A-Way 10k “The Gun”
The machine comes on a pallet and wrapped around with cardboard. It is actually really heavy, I think around 250 pounds. I was able to get it off the pallet by myself but it was somewhat difficult, most people will probably require a second person to help.
Setting it up
Finally getting it setup, it will require an extension cord for sure, the cord that comes with it is only about 6 inches long. The nice thing is that there’s an on/off switch right there at the base to control the power. That’s what I’ve used most of the time to turn it on and off. You can see the picture below:
Getting it setup into position is really easy, but was slightly confusing the first couple times. There are 4 poles which need extending the first time but then never really need to be touched again. For the most part setting the 10k up consists of:
- pushing the machine into position under the basket
- putting the orange shot counter bar on the back of the rim
- raising the lift lever to raise the net into position
- plugging it in
That’s it! Really easy. About the only thing that might require height is the shot counter bar, otherwise everything else can be done by about anyone. The shot counter bar is also a little top heavy, so if you use it (it’s optional) you have to be careful taking it down as you need both hands to keep it from falling. I think most people over the age of 12 should be able to set it up after a couple tries. I made a video of it below:
The remote is pretty handy. It allows you to start and stop the machine when you’re too far away to get to it. It doesn’t allow you to change settings or anything, it’s kind of like a car remote in functionality than a TV remote…4 buttons to do things and that’s it. I generally just stick it in my pocket and pull it out when I need to start and stop it. You can increase or decrease the delay between shots but that doesn’t really come into play much. The throw button will throw out a ball, but if you’ve got a remote in your hand, it doesn’t really help much.
The control panel is pretty easy to use. You just select the places you want to shoot, the number of shots (or makes), and the time between throws and away you go. I made a video to show how all the options work below:
That video should give you a good rundown of all the options available. Typically we use it to make 15 shots in 5 different spots or set it up with multiple people with 1 second between throws to constantly throw balls to everyone on the court.
The machine is most helpful from ranges outside 12′. Any closer and the net is either too high to shoot over, or too low to actually catch the ball. You can adjust the machine to throw the ball short or really far. This is done by adjusting a crank in the back. See the picture below:
It can throw it a long ways for those really far out 3 pointers. It can sometimes catch you by surprise if you forget what you were shooting last on different days. I’ve had times where my son was shooting 3 pointers and then the next day sets it up to work on free throws and the first pass is coming out at a speed to get it to the 3 point line. 🙂
No strength is needed to adjust the range. It’s really easy to move the crank clockwise or counter-clockwise.
The Shoot-A-Way app is basically a wrapper around the Shottracker app, if any of you are familiar with that. On the surface it seems like it’s only counting your makes and misses and not much else during the actual shooting. However, after the session is finished, it actually breaks it down where you shot from and how well you did from each section. It’s a little better than it leads on. I’m not sure why it’s so rudimentary while you’re shooting, but maybe that’s something for a future update. You can see what I’m talking about below, the first picture is what it shows when you’re shooting, and the second is what it shows afterwards.
So far we’ve shot about 10,000 shots on it, and I think it’s only misfired like once or twice. It’s very reliable. The touchscreen can be a tad unresponsive at times but nothing too bad. I think it’s partially because phones seem so responsive and since this is slightly older technology it doesn’t feel the same anymore.
I’ve never had the software or anything else have any issues. The add on speaker system can be slightly finicky with the bluetooth connection on some phones.
Shoot-A-Way For Home Use
Is it worth investing in this machine for home use? I would say it would depend on a few factors:
- Age of your kids/how many years of use it will get
- how big of a space you have to use it
- your personal budget
My kids are younger and love basketball, so I decided to make the investment. Plus these machines have a high resell value, so it’s not like it’s going to depreciate to zero. So 10 years down the road when we’re no longer using it, should be able to recoup some of the cost (or donate it to a school if I so choose).
I made a demo of two players using the machine at the same time below. You can either have the machine go back and forth delivering balls to spots in order, or you can select different spots and order them #1, #2, #3, etc and shoot a specific sequence. Shooting a sequence requires turning on the option in the “advanced” menu.
So how much does it cost? Mine (the 10000) cost $6200 for the base model + $300 for the sound option + shipping costs. All together it was under $7k. I also got quotes for the 6000 and 8000. I believe the 8000 was just a few hundred cheaper and honestly didn’t make much sense to get since the prices were so close together. The 6000 was a lot cheaper (especially some of the used models) but with less features (I think only 9 vs 17 spots), less configurability with shooting options, etc.
Shoot-A-Way also has a trade in program for those who want to upgrade down the line, although personally I think you could probably sell it for more locally than Shoot-A-Way is giving you. It’s probably a good option for those people who live in a remote area with few buyers though.
So am I happy I bought it? Absolutely. Actually I probably should have bought it a lot sooner, kind of regret not buying it 2 or 3 years ago. But I have it now and that’s all that matters.
The other question is, how much improvement can I expect? Well even though we’ve had it a pretty short time, I can say that my kids shot percentage has gone up 5% to 10% in a pretty short period. The biggest thing though, which I wasn’t expecting, is the increase in range that it’s given my older son (while not even shooting 3 pointers). Doing a sequence of ~125 shots from 15 feet out over a month caused his accuracy on 3 pointers to go up pretty dramatically, from ~20% to around 35%+. He wasn’t even practicing 3 pointers on it and it helped extend his range that much. He used to try and make 5 three pointers at the end and it would take him 20 to 25 shots usually. After a month he was making 5 of 9 sometimes, which he never was before.