Below you'll find 22 very effective shooting drills for basketball coaches to use during team practices.
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 (shoot from the same spot). Example: Shoot 10 jump shots from the right elbow. In a game, you rarely shoot 2 elbow jumpers in a row... shots are random. So block drills do not transfer skills as well as other drills. However, block drills are excellent for developing shooting technique and building confidence.
Random shooting drills vary the type and location of shots you take. Example: Take a midrange shot, then a 3pt shot, then shoot off the dribble, then a free throw, and repeat. By randomizing your shots you are better simulating what actually happens in a game, which helps transfer your shooting skills and accuracy into games.
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.
Game based shooting drills are the closest you get to simulating an actual game. They utilize defenders to 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 4 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 most of your practice time on "block 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.
Typically, with an intermediate or advanced team, we use all 4 drill types in one practice:
- Start with block drills to engrain good shooting technique and build confidence.
- Then move to random and interleaving drills to further develop skills, improve confidence, and get lots of reps.
- Finish with game-based shooting drills to put their skills to the test and simulate real game situations.
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.
Form Shooting Drills
Block Shooting Drills
Random & Interleaving Shooting Drills
Game Based Shooting Drills with Defenders
FREE eBook: 72 Winning Basketball Drills
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