5 Basketball Shooting Drills for Players
Want to become a better shooter? Shooting the basketball is the most important skill for you to master.
Below are some effective basketball shooting drills for players.
Drill #1- Chair Drill - 2 Up,2 Back
This basketball shooting drill improves shooting off of the dribble. It also improves dribbling and ball handling skills. It can be done alone or with multiple players.
Set a chair or cone abour 21 feet from the basket.
Take 2 hard dribbles towards the chair.
When reaching the chair, take 2 back-up dribbles.
Use a change-of-direction dribble (cross over, inside out, etc
Push ahead into 1 dribble pull-up jump shot
Perform the drill in front of each chair.
- The 2 up dribbles should be hard, attacking dribbles. Understand that anytime you can get the defense going backwards, you have a big advantage.
- Be sure the back-up dribbles are protected. Do not expose the ball to the defense.
- The push dribble should be an explosion in a straight line to the basket. Whatever the outcome of the move, it should be accomplished in 1 dribble.
- Keep your head up.
- Stay low and keep your knees bent when making your change-of-direction move. This improves quickness because standing upright will only slow you down when you're ready to explode past the defender.
- Use your finger pads when dribbling, not your palms.
- Work on lengthening the dribble. Work to get your opportunities with 1 dribble. You don't beat defenses with your dribble. You beat people with your feet; you SEPARATE from your defense with the dribble.
- Practice outside your comfort zone. Experiment; go faster than you are used to. Use your imagination. When working on new skills, don't be concerned with losing the ball. Just pick it up and do it again.
Drill #2 - Chair Drill - Wing Shooting off of the Dribble
This drill is great for shooting off of the dribble. It can be done alone or in a group. The chair helps to simulate a defender. We also show you 3 effective variations that can be used.
With 1 chair & 1 change-of-direction dribble:
Start slightly in front of half-court and take a couple of dribbles at the chair.
At the chair, change direction with the dribble (crossover, between-the-legs, and so on) and pull up for the jump shot. If there is a miss, rebound it and make a lay up.
After the shot, get the rebound and return to the starting position.
When returning to the starting position, you can use another change-of-direction dribble to work on ball handling.
With 2 chairs & 2 change-of-direction dribbles:
Start slightly in front of half-court and dribble at the chair.
At the chair, change direction with the dribble and dribble toward the 2nd chair.
Do a second change-of-direction dribble at the chair and pull up for a jump shot.
Get your rebound, return to the starting position and do the drill again. If you miss, finish with a make before returning to the starting position
With 2 chairs, 1 change-of-direction dribble and 1 explosion dribble:
This drill is performed similarly to the previous one, except the player takes 1 hard explosion dribble past the 2nd chair and towards the goal for a jump shot.
- Stay low (keep hips low) when dribbling.
- Get as far as possible with each dribble.
- Cut sharply off of the chairs.
- Perform the drill at a fast pace and treat it as a conditioning exercise.
Drill #3 -Spin - Outs
This is an individual drill that provides an easy way for you to practice shooting as if from a pass.
Spin the ball to yourself using a two-handed, underhand motion with a lot of backspin so that it bounces straight up when it hits the ground.
Run to the bounce and catch the ball as if it were a pass and step right into your shot.
Rebound your own shot. Spin the ball at various angles away from the hoop.
Get your rebound, dribble to the perimeter and spin it from an outside position.
Vary the direction and angles of the spins.
Move at game speeds as much as possible.
Practice shots that you are likely to take during games.
Drill #4 - Partners on the Move
This is a very simple drill that keeps you constantly moving. It builds stamina and provides practice in moving to various spots for jumpers, effectively passing to shooters, as well as shooting.
If possible, do not have more than two partner pairs at a basket. Blue Players 1 and 2 run to a spot and their partners are to hit them with a pass for a shot.
The Blue Players rebound their own shots and then pass to their partners, who have moved to the perimeter and then to various spots for jumpers off of the pass.
This one-shot, trade-roles pattern continues for a set period of time, depending on the stamina and age of the players.
Mix up the directions and distances of your cuts and shots.
Present a good hand target to your partner.
Hit the shooter in the shot pocket target.
You can also work on developing a quick shot by having the passer sprint up to defend the shot. This will force the shooter to get their feet set on the pass and be ready to shoot quickly, which will create a game-like feel to the drill.
Drill #5 - Partner Shooting - Spot to Spot
This is a simple, yet very effective basketball shooting drill when you push yourself and focus throughout. It helps to perfect your footwork while improving your shot.
You need a shooter and a rebounder.
Pick two spots on the floor. Some examples are:
- Elbow to Elbow
- Wing to Wing
- Baseline to Wing
- Top of Key to Wing
For this example we’ll go elbow to elbow.
The rebounder starts with the ball near the basket.
The shooter starts on the right elbow. He runs to the left elbow at game-speed.
The rebounder passes the ball to the shooter. The pass should be timed so it leads the shooter to the spot which will force the shooter to hop or pivot into the shot, based on your preference.
As soon as the rebounder secures the ball, the shooter sprints back to the other elbow and shoots the basketball.
Continue running the drill from spot to spot.
Work hard. You play like you practice.
Keep your hips low and be ready to shoot when running from spot to spot. This quickens your shot, which will help for game situations. If you stand up before the shot, you have to dip back down to take the shot, which will slow it down. If you don’t lower your hips before the shot, the shot will often come up short or flat.
Make this drill work for you. If you take a lot of shots within your offense where you start from the wing and sprint to the opposite elbow, continually do that as one of the patterns.
Variations for the drill would be to change your distance from the hoop, use a dribble, or a combination of both.
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