If you want to improve your shooting during games, you must use shooting drills where somebody is guarding you and you are under pressure. This happens on almost every catch during the game!
Every action you take during a game is based on a defender's positioning, so it only makes sense to practice this way too.
You should replicate cuts and situations that actually happen during the game.
And this drill does just this with simulating away screens.
A coach, passer, or manager is a passer on the wing.
A player with the ball on the top of the key. This player is the screener and becomes a defender.
A player on the wing receives the screen and becomes the offensive player.
The player initiates the action by passing to the wing. They immediately sprint to set the screen for the player on the opposite wing.
After the screen is set, the offensive player sprints to the top to catch the pass.
After the screen, the screener sprints to become the defensive player. They try to stop the offensive player from scoring.
Tips For Screener's to Get More Scoring Opportunities:
If you want to get open and get easy scoring opportunities, set great screens for good shooters. Defenders often flock to the ball and you will be left alone to take easy shots.
Two Steps Down Towards the Basket. This creates better timing as it gives the offensive player more time to set up the screen. It creates a better angle and position for the screen. When you set the screen at a poor angle, the offensive player is forced to poor positions on the floor and it's easier to guard for the defender. When the screen is positioned properly, it gives the cutter opportunities to be a threat to score. They can straight cut, curl cut, backdoor cut, or flare cut.
Communicate It's vital you communicate the screen verbally or with a signal, so that the offensive player is aware and sets up the defender before the screen gets there.
Sprint to Screen This gives both defenders less time to get in position. Also, if the screener creates separation from the screener's defender, the defender will have a lot of difficulties executing a trap or hedge to stop the ball and recover back the screener.
Quick Stop This is a great way to visually show the referee that you're not moving. By doing a quick stop and landing both feet at the same time, you get less offensive fouls called for moving screens.
Butt & Back Facing the Passer - Once again, this positioning allows for the offensive player to be more of a threat with more options to cut off the screen.
Tips to Be an Effective Cutter To Score More Points:
Take Defender to Level of Screen - By taking the defender down to the level of the screen, this puts you in a better position to run the defender directly into the screen. Also, if you can get the defender to think you're cutting to the basket and turn their head, they won't see the screen coming.
Get Low with Your Shoulder to Screener's Hip - This helps you maintain leverage so the defender can't knock you off your path and squeeze between the screen.
Show Hands / Running to Target - You want to show your hands and give the passer a target. Better passes lead to better shots. You also want to run through the pass to ensure the defender can't slip between and get a steal. Also, if the defender is trailing, this helps maintain separation and creates a better scoring opportunity.
Call for Ball - You want to call for the ball. That way, if a player has poor vision or doesn't see you, they are able to locate you and pass the ball to you.
Ball in Air / Feet in Air - So there is no hesitation after the catch, you should have your feet and body facing the basket as you catch the ball. You are ready to shoot.
Think Shot - As Jim mentioned, you want to think shot immediately. If you're open, shoot it. If the shot is taken away, you immediately attack.
Encourage Aggressiveness - You don't want to be hesitant in this drill. Mistakes will be made. Encourage them to keep attacking. Through repetition, they naturally learn what works and what doesn't. Many times you don't even have to say anything.
Lines For Multiple Players - If you have 5 or 6 players at a basket, you can form three lines between the passer, screener/defender, and shooter. You can then rotate between the three lines.
Pick A Cut - You can also practice a certain cut over and over so you have to get accustomed to attacking the defensive player in that situation. You can say "only flare cuts", "only curl cuts", or "only straight cuts". This is also a great thing to do to get you out of your comfort zone. As humans, we tend to steer towards things that we are comfortable with. This helps us practice all situations.
Limit Dribbles - You can also limit to three or four dribbles to force your players to be efficient with the dribble.
Make It Competitive - You can keep score and play short games to 3 or 4. You can also force the defense to get a stop to go to offense. Or if you have multiple players, the offense stays when they score.
What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...