Shooting Drills For Basketball

shooting-drillsDo you ever feel that the basketball players you coach suffer from one or more of the following problems?

  1. They shoot well in your drills and scrimmages in practice, but can’t buy a basket during games.
  2. Miss a lot of crucial shots at the end of games.
  3. Spend time in the gym during the off-season, but it isn’t productive time.

Go through the motions during your shooting drills both during season practices and summer workouts.

Even if your players don’t have any of these issues, my guess is that your players don’t make all of their shots, so there’s always room for improvement in what you are doing now, right?

I would like to recommend some changes in how you run all of your shooting drills for basketball.  I made this change in our philosophy several years ago and it had a significant impact on the motivation of our players.  That improved motivation led to improved results in all four of the areas that I already mentioned.

Warning:  This method of improving your shooting drills for your basketball team takes some work and creativity on your part and it forces you to step outside of your comfort zone.  If you are willing to make those leaps with me, read on.

Step #1

Assemble a wide variety of shooting drills in a basketball shooting drill book.  The regular Basketball season is long and can be a grind at times.  Having many different drills helps keep the daily shooting segment of your practices fresh and interesting.

Each of your shooting drills should have a specific purpose and should fit into one of three categories

  • Form shooting drills
  • Game pace shooting drills
  • Gut buster or toughness shooting drills

Your form shooting drills should have no pressure, not much (if) any movement, and should be drills where players can get a lot of shots off in a short amount of time.  No emphasis is placed on speed, the entire emphasis  for form shooting drills is on correct technique.

The game pace shooting drills are exactly that.  Players will shoot game shots from game spots and at game speed.   To make sure that players are working at game pace, all of these drills should be times and a record should be made of how many shots are attempted and how many are made.

Toughness shooting drills should overload the player to work at a game pace or faster than a game pace for longer amounts of time than a game.  It is meant to push the players past the point of fatigue and out of their comfort zone. An example would be counting how many 3 point shots a player can shoot and make in five minutes.

As you look for shooting drills to add to your drills book, make sure that any drills you pick up from other coaches fit your offensive system.  For example, if you aren’t a flex team, you don’t want flex shooting drills to the shooting drills for your basketball program.  The best drills for you will be to take the shots that players get within your offensive system and create drills that include repetitions of those shots.

Step #2

Establish a competitive system to motivate players .  They enjoy drills that measure wins and losses and as a result will work harder and concentrate better.  The system should include opportunities for players to compete against teammates, against their own personal bests, or against a team standard.

Establishing those standards of performance for players to compete against is a tough and tedious job for a coach.  For a lot of the drills you are going to have to make educated guesses as to what the standards are.  You will probably set some standards too low and others unreasonably high.  You just have to admit to players when you need to adjust the standards to make them more realistic.

You can even make your form shooting drills competitive by requiring a certain number of makes in a row or a certain number of perfect deliveries or perfect follow through.

Step #3

Once you have the shooting drills mapped out that you will use and the competitive standards you will use for each one, develop a year round calendar for when you will use the drills.  Determining which ones you will use during the season, which ones you will use in summer workouts, and which ones players should use when they are working out on their own without any coaches.

You must stress the importance of execution as your players go through the drills.  If you have them properly structured, your drills will help your players to develop habits.  Make sure that they are developing good habits to carry over to your games.

If you want to have a team of great shooters, you have to put emphasis on shooting the basketball by providing the best shooting drills for your basketball players that you can.  If you place an emphasis on your year round shooting program, it will become important to your players as well.

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