Glenn Hudson, the inventor of the original Rapid Fire, identified a problem for basketball players practicing at home. He noticed they were spending more time chasing balls than working on their shot.
"I am an avid basketball fan and realized that shooting baskets by yourself was not a fun or effective way to practice. I designed my invention to allow basketball players to more effectively practice shooting by themselves so they could develop the muscle memory necessary to become better shooters,” said Hudson.
He created a ball return that would not only collect made shots, but also collect the shots that missed the hoop so that practice could be more fun and efficient. The Rapid Fire has been serving basketball players exactly the way he intended for 5 years now.
While maintaining the basic construction and purpose of Hudson's Rapid Fire, the SKLZ team made improvements in order to provide the best possible athlete experience and to get more basketball players using this innovative tool.
We asked Basketball Category Manager Scott Strohman what you can expect from the Rapid Fire II.
Q: What changed from the last edition?
A: We've changed the material of the backboard brackets (fig. 1) and arms (fig. 2) so they are much lighter and they pivot more easily. This makes it easier for the user to adjust the height of their portable hoop as well as the angles of the arms for different shooting locations. Also, with the introduction of sandbags (fig. 3), the bases now have a unique low-profile design to further prevent tipping. Finally, we made the base poles longer (fig. 3) in order to position the net higher for a more accurate return pass.
Q: What are some good drills to set up for solo practice at home?
A: A few of the most popular drills include:
Standard catch and shoot - get your feet set and ready to receive the ball, create a rhythm, and work on a quick release.
Pump fake one dribble, pull up off the pass - sell the pump fake, stay low and under control, and work on an explosive first step.
Jab step to a one dribble pull up - jab in one direction to get the defender off balance then attack in the opposite direction. Work on selling the jab step, staying low and under control, and moving quickly.
Do all of these drills with the Rapid Fire II positioned to return the ball back to the top of the key, the wing, and baseline.
Q: Why is repetition so important?
A: When watching NBA or college players, you've surely seen a player on a hot streak where it seems like they can't miss. Players know to take advantage of the hot hand and keep the momentum going. A streak like this comes from quality repetition--it allows you to create a rhythm, build confidence, and gain muscle memory. For example, every single 3-point shot from the corner is the exact same distance, so a player can master this shot by doing it over and over again at home. Then, using muscle memory they can take that same shot to the court.
Q: What other tools go well with the Rapid Fire II?
A: There are a bunch of tools that pair perfectly with the Rapid Fire II. The D-Man because it makes repetition training more game-like. Most often when shooting the ball, you're going to have a defender challenging you.
The Shooting Target is one tool that contributes to quality practice by giving you a focal point for improved accuracy.
The Shotloc because, once again, it's not just about practice, it's about quality practice. The Rapid Fire II allows you to get more shots in and the Shotloc ensures you're getting up quality shots with proper mechanics.
Double Double - by narrowing the diameter of the rim, you're encouraging a more accurate shot, but you're also going to miss more shots, which is why it pairs so well with the Rapid Fire II. The missed shots are still going to come back to you.
Learn more about the products in this post: