Unorthodox Shooting Drill
That Improves Decision-Making

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Here is an "unorthodox" shooting drill from Basketball Decision Training Camp director Chris Oliver.

The person under the basket gives a cue to the offensive player. After each cue, the shooter reacts with the appropriate game-like decision.

Decision Cue and Offensive Reaction

  • Hands Down = Shot
  • Hands Out = Pass
  • Step Towards = Drive
  • Jump to the Side = Drive and Counter
  • Hands Out and Step Towards = Pass and Cut
  • Hands Out on Drive = Penetrate and Kick

Well, why don't you just do a drill with actual defenders?

This is a reasonable question.

I actually don't think it's an either/or deal. Based on your objective and your environment, I think you implement progressions with and without a defense. This can progress to multiple players being involved on offense and defense.

You might do this in one practice. You might progress over a month's time in practices.

Each drill serves a purpose. Each drill has pros and cons.

For example, a 1 on 1 drill with a close out will result in fewer repetitions. This is due to the time it takes to finish the play and reset for each repetition. You will also need more rest time between sets.

Look at the example below. You can pretend that rest time between sets is the only factor.

1 on 1 Drill
60 seconds - 8 total shots (4 per person)
1 minute rest
4 shots in 2 minutes for each player.

Shooting Drill - Decision Cues
60 seconds - 8 shots (the video above completed 8 shots)
1 minute rest while rebounding for partner.
8 shots in 2 minutes for each player.

In the same allotted time, you get 2x as many shots... or even more if you include the other factors.

Also with the 1-on-1 drill, you won't have the passing element.

If you go 2-on-2 or just have an additional player standing somewhere to pass the ball to, you get fewer repetitions.

If it's me, I use progressions with and without a defense. Each one is unique and has a purpose. You need to evaluate your situation.

And if you don't have any additional basketball players available, a coach, a friend, a sibling, a parent can all help with this drill.

If you like out-of-the-box drills and unique thinking for skill development, be sure to check out Chris Oliver's Basketball Decision Training Camps.

You will do a lot of shooting, ball handling, passing, footwork, finishing, and more.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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