Noah Player Features
Bloomingdale High Cardinals Excel with Noah
|Before Noah||After Noah|
It was like Kevin Farmer rubbed on a ruby bottle and out popped a genie in a cloud of smoke.
"I will grant you one wish."
Except it was a booster who stood in front of Coach Farmer asking him, "If you could have anything you want this season, what would it be?"
Farmer told the booster to wait right there. He had to retrieve something from his office. Farmer reappeared seconds later with a DVD.
"That's what I want," the Bloomingdale High School (Mich.) girls basketball coach said.
The booster examined the DVD. "NOAH Shooting System?"
A few days later, the booster returned and said, "Other parents and I watched the DVD. We have your money to buy one."
Farmer became girls varsity coach in the fall of 2006. That's when he first came across NOAH at a clinic for Michigan coaches. The next year, he picked up the demo DVD. In his first two seasons, the Cardinals posted records of 1-19 and 4-17.
"We like to play pressure defense, push the tempo and be tough and physical," Farmer said. "But we weren't good shooters.
"I teach calculus and physics, so when I saw NOAH, that aspect of it really drew me. It's so innovative. I'm also a firm believer of muscle memory. We do a lot of repetitive drills, basic motions that I think sometimes get skipped over."
Bloomingdale High, which has an enrollment of 350, ordered NOAH on Dec. 22 and the system arrived on Jan. 10. At that point, the girls team was shooting a dreadful 49 percent (98 for 200) from the free-throw line. Farmer estimates that during the first 12 games, poor free-throw shooting was a key factor in at least 10 outcomes.
Farmer instantly noticed NOAH's impact. The team closed the regular season by shooting 67 percent (87 for 130) from the line. The result was winning one game in the district tournament for the first time in years. Bloomingdale finished the season 11-11.
"For some kids, the improvement started in three days," Farmer said. "Our girls, the response was, ‘I feel like I know what I'm doing.' By the end of the season, they wanted to go to the foul line. You could see the confidence on their faces."
Improved free-throw shooting allowed the Cardinals to be more aggressive on offense. Instead of relying on three-pointers, Bloomingdale drove to the basket because going to the line meant free points.
"I think it was our 12th game, but we shot 3 for 18 from the line against a district team," Farmer said. "We played them again a month later, and beat them by five because we made 22 of 33 free throws. I distinctly remember telling the girls that free throws were the difference."
When the season ended, one district coach called and asked Farmer, "how come you guys can shoot now?"
Farmer revealed the secret and added he might conduct a shooting camp with NOAH. The opposing coach replied, "If you do that, you need to call me. My team will be there."
Which is fine with Farmer, even if NOAH helps improve other teams in the district.
"I think part of my responsibility as a coach is to raise the level of play," Farmer said. "If our district gets better, then we're going to get better."
Then he paused to think and laughed.
"I'm not saying I'm going to give them the keys to the gym. They will have to get their own NOAH."