Basketball shooting drills are usually the most popular drills in practice – every player wants to shoot. Give a kid the ball and let him loose in the gym by himself, and that kid will shoot – he could practice dribbling, or passing, or defense, or all the other little things that make a ball player a good player. But kids always want to shoot that basketball, and that’s why basketball shooting drills are so essential when you are coaching basketball.
Shooting is a basketball skill every player needs to be taught and have reinforced through good shooting drills, because they’ll be out there shooting the ball every chance they get, and if they aren’t shooting with good fundamentals, they’ll just make their shot worse. And ingrained.
You need to teach good shooting fundamentals and reinforce them with good drills in every practice.
To be effective, good shooting drills will teach several things:
to shoot with decent basketball shooting form – ball on the fingertips, shooting arm cocked at about ninety degree angle, free hand as a guide, eyes on the rim, good follow through and snap of the wrist for backspin
to shoot quickly – i.e., to shoot the ball with a quick release – before the defense can attack
to shoot under pressure – i.e., always work to simulate a game situation, because that’s what we are preparing these kids for
Players need to be taught proper shooting form (see Tips and Drills for Teaching Shooting or check out the Prolific Shooting Program), and well-run basketball shooting drills will enforce good form and technique. But players also need to be able to shoot under pressure – the chances to take an uncontested, relaxed shot during a game are relatively few. So players need to practice shooting under pressure.
So good shooting drills will try to recreate the pressure of a game situation, so your players are prepared. The Toss-Back Shooting Drill is perhaps the least complicated of these drills, but is excellent practice for players to receive the pass, square to the hoop, and take the shot all in one motion. It is also a good drill for introducing and improving a quick release.
Drills like the Speed Shooting Drill and the 1-minute Shooting Drill will give players practice with pull-up jump shots and a quick release, so they can shoot the ball before the defense can attack them. More pressure is added in these drills simply by enforcing a time constraint.
The Pressure Shooting Drill is a little more complex than the previous drills, in that it adds in defense to create more game-like pressure. This is a great drill for developing all kinds of offensive skills, and a drill that you can use on a regular basis throughout the season to keep shooting skills sharp.
And let’s not forget the foul shot. The humble foul shot has won many games. Use these Free Throw Drills to help your players sharpen their free throw shooting skills and become consistent from the line.
Remember to keep your players focused on the basic skill throughout these drills – i.e., they must always use proper form and movement every time they run the drills. The better their form is in practice, the better it will transfer to the game.
But also remember to apply the pressure – make the defense play honest, tough defense according to the basketball shooting drill’s set up. If everyone involved in the drill focuses and works hard, then everyone improves.