Below, you'll find 22 very effective shooting drills for basketball coaches to use during team practices.
While there are many great training drills for players below, you can reference the following page so you don’t have to filter through the coaching drills below: Basketball Training Drills For Players
4 Types of Recommended Shooting Drills
We recommend you use a mix of block, interleaving, random, and game-based shooting drills in your basketball practices.
Here’s an explanation of each and why you should mix them...
With block shooting drills, you practice the same skill over and over. Block drills are excellent for developing shooting technique, developing rhythm, and building confidence. They can also serve as warm up drills. Here are a couple of examples:
Example 1 - Shoot 10 jump shots from the right elbow with no live defense.
Example 2 - Shoot 10 jump shots in a row off a curl cut from various spots with no live defense.
However, in a game, you rarely shoot the same type of shot twice in a row... your shots vary almost every time. And you rarely execute the same skill on every catch. In a game, you often mix skills between passing, shooting, and dribbling on every catch. And you rarely know exactly what you will do ahead of time on every repetition. Your outcome usually varies based on the defense, time, and score which determines whether your choose to shoot, dribble, or pass.
So block drills do not transfer skills as well as other drills.
With interleaving drills, you work on multiple skills at the same time. So you might work on dribble moves, finishing, passing, and shooting all in the same drill. Or you might work on passing, shooting, and a piece of your offense (ex: screen away). By mixing the skills, you're better simulating what happens in a game and you're improving practice efficiency.
Random practice shooting drills work on multiple skills (interleaving) and have no preset order. There is not a predetermined sequence. Each repetition is different.
Random practice better simulates what actually happens in a game, which helps transfer your shooting skills and accuracy into games.
First round of drill:
Repetition 1 - Curl cut then shoot a midrange shot.
Repetition 2 - Straight cut then shoot a 3-point shot.
Repetition 3 - Curl cut, catch and immediately pass, relocate to another spot on the floor, receive another pass then shoot.
Second round of drill:
Repetition 1 - Straight cut then shoot a 3-point shot.
Repetition 2 - Straight cut, make a dribble move, pass to someone else, relocate to another spot on the floor, receive another pass, take one dribble then shoot.
Repetition 3 - Straight cut, make a dribble move, then shoot.
Incorporating decision cues are a great way to incorporate random practice into your shooting drills. Also, adding defenders to shooting drills is a great way to incorporate random practice, which leads to...
Game based shooting drills is a form of random practice that utilizes defenders in the drills. This is the closest you can get to simulate an actual game. The defenders force decisions, randomize shots, and contest shots. Game-based drills help connect the dots in your brain and do what really matters… make shots during a game situation! However, with game based drills, it takes much longer to get high reps, and if your technique is bad, you're just practicing bad shooting technique over and over.
When to Use Each Type of Drill?
With these four different types of drills in your coaching toolbox, you can pick the tool that works best for the job or problem you need to solve..
If your players primarily need to improve technique or build confidence, you might spend more practice time on block drills and interleaving shooting drills. On the other hand, if your players make shots in practice but struggle in games, you might spend more time on both random and game-based shooting drills.
With intermediate and advanced teams, you might use all of the drill types for shooting in one practice. You definitely want to use game-based drills in each practice.
- Start with block drills to engrain good shooting technique, develop rhythm, and build confidence.
- Then move to interleaving skills to mix skills with shooting.
- Next, go to random practice & game-based drills where you practice multiple skills with no preset sequence. Game-based shooting drills put the skills to the test and simulate real game situations.
Beginner or Youth Shooting Drills
Youth coaches are often searching for drills for their youth team. With minor adjustments, you can use the same shooting drills for youth and advanced players. The only difference is you should spend more time on technique with youth players, stay closer to the basket, use the appropriate size/weight ball, and adjust the hoop height as needed.
This is an important adjustment to ensure your players learn proper shooting form... since youth players do not have the strength to shoot properly from long distance or with a full size ball.