Basketball Shooting Drills
Everyone knows the team with the most points at the final buzzer wins the game. How can you help your team win? It’s simple. Become a reliable scorer by learning how to shoot a basketball. What everyone doesn't know is how much time and energy goes into become a good shooter.
Start by learning how to shoot with the right form then get creative with your shooting drills. Put your shot through every type of workout you can think of so you'll be ready and confident for any type of situation a game can and WILL throw at you. After that it's all about repetition after repetition.
We’re going to share with you shooting drills, tips, and aids to help you become the best shooter you can be.
Now lets get to work!
Basketball Shooting Warm-Up
Before you get started on any shooting drills, find yourself a great passer, or invest in the iC3 Rebounder (see Basketball Shooting Training Tools). Most of these drills will require you to have a passer. Don’t ask someone to pass for you unless they’re willing to be a good passer - meaning passing consistently, passing strong, and passing to your shooting pocket. Good shooters require good passers.
To get warmed up for any shooting workout, you should focus on your form. Grab a ball, start close to the goal (within the low block area), and put up shots with all your focus on your shooting form.
Need a quick reminder? Here are the keys to the correct shooting form:
- Starting Stance. The first habit you need to create is catching the ball in your shooting stance. This means your knees are bent, your feet are shoulder width apart for good balance, and a little staggered as well. Your feet should be staggered so that it’s comfortable for you which usually means your shooting foot is the lead foot. Once you have this stance down, be sure to line up the exact same way every time. Your knees are bent so that you can use them to jump on your shot. If your knees aren’t bent then you’re playing straight up which is what you don’t want.
- Line Up Your Shot. When the ball is in your hands, move it quickly into the shot pocket to get your shot ready. Your shooting form should be a straight line. You simply want to be all lined up - eyes on target, your elbow tucked in, and your wrist straight - everything should be lined up with the rim. If your elbow starts poking out, pull it back to keep in a straight line every time.
- Grip on the Ball. With the ball all lined up, it’s time to get your hands positions right to grip the ball. Your fingertip pads should be parallel to the long seems on the ball which should give your ball backspin when you shoot. Be sure to leave space between the ball and your palm - just enough space that you could poke a finger in it.
- Guide Hand. Or in other words, your non-shooting hand. Your guide hand should be on the side of the ball doing nothing but guiding the ball from your shot pocket to your release. It will the the hand that comes off the ball first.
- Shooting the Ball. Your in your shooting stance, the ball is lined up in your shot pocket with the right grip, and now you’re using your guide hand as you’re jumping up to shoot the ball. As your jumping, the ball should be moving in a straight line motion upwards, release the ball on the way up (just before you’re at the top of your jump), and it should come off your fingertips with backspin. Your guide hand should be to the side.
- Hold Your Follow Through. Once you release the ball, hold your follow through. This is the best part of shooting. Why? Because the follow through is so pretty. Make sure you extend your follow through and everything is still lined up. Your follow through should look like you’re trying to get a cookie out of the cookie jar on top of the fridge. After you’ve released the ball, you should land in the same spot you jumped from and hold your follow through until the ball hits the rim.
Every time you step in the gym, remember these basic fundamentals and stick to them while you're warming up and every time you shoot the basketball.
Beginner Shooting Drills
6 Spot Shooting
For this drill you need a passer and cones to mark the 6 spots for shooting. With a cone mark both low blocks, take 2 steps away from the block to place another cone in the mid area, and put a cone right inside of each elbow.
The shooter will follow this progression and shoot from both sides of the court:
- Lay-up from both low blocks
- Bank shot from both low blocks with an assist from the passer
- Bank shot from mid area on both sides with an assist from the passer
- Jump shot from inside elbow area with an assist from the passer
Shot Fake Circle
Show your defender the ball as if you're going to shoot it then as they rise up for the shot circle the ball back around to use your dribble to get by your defender for a shot.
Curl Shooting Drill
You will need a passer for this drill. Start with a line at the baseline and your passer elbow line extended. From the baseline pass up to your passer then cut up to the elbow but start curling to catch a pass in the middle of the lane for a jump shot.
Intermediate Shooting Drills
The object of these ball screen drills is to attack a hedging defense.
- Fake Ball Screen: sell the ball screen then cross over and attack rim for a shot
- Split Ball Screen: step high when you come off the ball screen then split through the defenders for a shot
Click here for a full demo of coming off ball screens from elite basketball trainer Jason Otter.
Start at the top of the key with a passer/rebounder. Your passer will pass the ball and you will do a step back going to the right for a jump shot. Then you will reset at the top of the key and do a step back going to the left for a jump shot. You'll continue resetting after each step back and going back and forth from right and left for a shot.
Start with a jab step then attack the rim with your dribble with your finishing move a two foot reverse lay-up on the other side of the lane. For some of the reverse lay-ups finish with your right hand but make sure to switch it up and finish with a reverse with the left hand.
Advanced Shooting Drills
Challenge yourself to see how many shots you can make in a row from different spots on the court. You can set an amount of time and see how many you can get in a row or set a goal number and keep shooting until you hit it.
2 Ball Drives
For this drill you need 2 basketballs, a passer, and a chair in the middle of the free throw line.
- Start at half court dribbling both basketballs then as you're hitting the 3-point line pass one ball to your partner. Then go past the chair dribbling one ball for a shot.
- As you shoot the ball, your partner will put the ball you passed in the chair and go rebound the shot you just took.
- After you shoot the first ball, go to the chair and pick up the second ball. Make a move for another shot and rebound your own ball.
- After your second shot, rebound your ball. Your passer will pass the other ball back to you for you to go back to half court and repeat the drill.
The goal is to make 7 out of 10 shots.
Learn two different types of floaters:
- 1 Foot Over the Top: Start on the wing dribbling towards the middle and when the defense comes to help jump off one foot and float it over the top of their hands for a score.
- 2 Foot Tear Drop: Start on the wing dribbling towards the baseline and when the defense comes to help jump stop on 2 feet and float it over the top of their hands for a score.
NBA Players Shooting
Dwayne Wade Fadeaway Jump Shot
James Harden Step Back Shot
Kobe Bryant Pump Fake Pivot Jump Shot
Michael Jordan Pull Back Jump Shot
The object of 3-2-1 "21" is to see how fast you can make shots and score 21 points.
- Start at half court then run to shoot a lay-up for 1 point
- Back to half court then run to shoot a 3-pointer for 3 points
- Back to half court then run to shoot a jump shot at the free throw line/elbow area for 2 points
You'll repeat this pattern until you score 21 points.
Click here to check out a full demonstration of 3-2-1 "21" Shooting Game.
3-2-1 Free Throw Shooting Drill
With this drill you'll be calculating makes and misses for adding or subtracting points with the end goal of 25 points. You can set up your points system a different number of ways. Our example point system is below:
- Make with a swish is +3 points
- Make with a non-swish is +2 points
- Barely a make is +1 point
- Miss the free throw is -2 points
Click here for a complete demonstration of 3-2-1 Free Throw Shooting Game.
Basketball Shooting Tips
As a shooter, you won’t make every shot you take. In fact, you may find yourself in a shooting slump at times. But the secret is to keep shooting. A shooter’s mentality is knowing that you have to keep shooting the basketball whether you’re making or missing your shots.
Shooting slumps happen to even the best shooters, but you have to find ways to get out of them.
Here are some DOs and DON’Ts for overcoming a shooting slump:
- DO Keep Shooting. Even if you’re missing shots you have to keep shooting the ball. You can’t make shots and get your rhythm back if you’re hesitating to shoot or passing open looks. Stay alert, ready, and fearless to shoot the ball.
- DON’T Overthink. Sometimes when you miss two or three shots in a row it’s easy to start overthinking what you’re doing wrong. When you’re overthinking your shot then you start focusing too much on the negatives and those negative thoughts can pile up. Stay positive and don’t overthink your shot - you’ve put in the work and your shot will start falling but you have to stay positive with your thoughts.
- DO Visualize. Visualizing your shot going into the hoop. You see your form, your release, and your follow through - and you hear the swoosh of the net. Just seeing this happening in your head can keep your focus and help you stay locked in to the task at hand.
- DON’T Lose Confidence. It’s easy to give up and lose confidence after a couple of misses, but you have to remain confident in your ability to put the ball through the hoop. Instead of focusing on the shot you missed, quickly forget about it and be ready and focused for the next shot you’re going to take and make.
- DO Have Patience. As a shooter you don’t want to force your shot, but stay relaxed and let the shots come to you. If you’re forcing shots you wouldn’t normally take then you aren’t putting yourself in a position to get out of your slump. Stick with your game and take your shots.
If you can apply these DOs and DONTs to your game then you’ll be better prepared for whatever the game throws your way. It’s hard to shake a player with a shooter’s mentality because shooters are going to shoot.
Basketball Shooting Training Tools
Sometimes you need a little extra help when it comes to improving your game. You might be having trouble with your elbow popping out when you’re working on your form or you’re wasting energy by chasing your basketball after every missed shot. We have a THREE products to share with you that can quickly help make a difference in your game.
iC3 Basketball Shooting Machine Rebounder
The #1 training tool for any basketball player! Instead of chasing your ball after every shot save your energy by purchasing an iC3 Rebounder. You’ll be able to get up twice as many shots in the same amount of time which should result in an increase in your shooting percentage.
Here's exactly what you're getting with the iC3:
- Captures Makes & Misses - no more time chasing your basketball
- Shoot 180 Degrees - shoot from any spot on the court.
- Improves Shooting Arc - no more flat, line drive shots
- Budget Friendly - has the major functionality (capturing Makes & Misses) as the industrial machines that cost $5000+.
For more information about the iC3 and your puchasing options, click here.
Wrap Strap (Off Hand)
To shoot the basketball perfectly, you need a true one-handed shot and the Wrap Strap makes that possible. This shooting aid will force you to shoot with a proper one-arm shot with perfect rotation. As a shooter, you can’t ask for anything better.
See more about the Wrap Strap here.
If you need to stop incorrect arm movement with your shot then the Bulls Eye is what you need. It helps you use less shoulder and more wrist for your shooting form. After using it a couple of times, you won’t push the ball as much and that will help you shoot the basketball perfectly.
You can find the Bulls Eye for purchase here.
All three of these products will quickly have an impact on your shot - and for the better! You can’t go wrong with investing in any of these recommendations and your improved game will thank you by scoring more buckets.
For more Shooting Training Tools to help you become a great shooter check out HoopsKing.com.