The Art of the Shot

Jed Magstadt, a former-DIII player from Minnesota, has created a tool to help young shooters perfect their jumpshots.
by December 09, 2015

“It’s Steph. Steph’s got it. There’s no one better,” Jed Magstadt says about who has the best form in the game. “I think he’s revolutionizing what you can do.”

Magstadt is the creator of the ShotSquare, a tool to help shooters perfect their form.

Magstadt is a former-DIII player (University of St. Thomas, in Saint Paul, MN) and current youth coach based out of Minnesota. As a lifelong shooter, Magstadt has been trying to find a way to help young players develop their shots for seven years.

“I’ve been thinking about this idea ever since I was in high school and had shooting complications with my own shot,” Magstadt says. “What I’ve seen is that nothing is out there to teach kids how to shoot properly. The shot is with your elbow and that’s where everything is built from. And everything else can easily be fixed. The elbow is the hardest thing to train.

“The first thing that happens when I use ShotSquare [with kids], is they’re short by, like, three feet. Because they’re so used to pushing,” he continues. “They’re not used to using their legs or having to use their legs. Once your elbow’s in at 90-degrees, now you can start teaching yourself how to really build the rhythm of a shot and to actually shoot the ball up, instead of just pushing.”

To lock in that elbow, Magstadt worked with countless manufacturers to create a block of foam with a strap that runs through it. The block gets strapped onto the shooter’s bicep, forcing them to line their elbow up to the rim.

Magstadt chose to make his shooting tool a square so that it forced shooters to repeat the same motion over and over. By placing the ShotSquare on a shooter’s bicep, there’s no room for a deviation from the shooter’s form.

Magstadt eventually decided on a high-grade medical foam that’s light-weight and sweat resistant. From the original block of foam that he and his father (who helps with logistics and running the website) picked up at a craft store to the time a ShotSquare was shipped out, Magstadt had spent nearly four years on making his vision a reality. The journey has been worth it for him, though.

“Basketball’s always been hugely my passion,” Magstadt says. “Shooting, specifically. I love everything about it. It’s kind of an art form.”

And Magstadt is an artist. In his explanation of the ShotSquare, Magstadt mentions the dip, shot release point, arm length, BEEF and the HOP vs 1-2 debate. He knows his stuff so well that he was able to secure WNBA player Candice Wiggins as an endorser.

“We knew her business manager and I just asked her if Candice would be interested. I know she was in the community and she said, ‘Absolutely.’”

The ShotSquare itself is best used for form shooting and low-intensity reps. It’s most secure when its user isn’t moving around a lot. Magstadt says he’s experienced the drop in efficiency as the user gets closer to game-speed shooting with the ShotSquare on. But he says even though the ShotSquare is limited to form shooting, it does its job just fine.

“After you shoot with it and take it off, your arm kinda feels a little different, a little weirder, than normal,” Magstadt says. “That feeling slowly goes away. I could feel myself improving with my arc, my shot speed. I really reduced the distance I had to bring it. That’s when you can feel yourself get better.”

The ShotSquare is available now for $24.95. Magstadt says that next summer he and his team will get out and do free camps and give back as much money as they can to youth basketball organizations.

As for the ridiculous Stephen Curry, Magstadt has a little bit more praise. “Everyone has this misconception where you gotta hold and hang and shoot on the top of your shot and I think he’s really just proven those people wrong.”