Working on your game situation shooting skills is one of the most vital parts of your practice plan. No matter what specific shooting drills you use, remember to practice with a purpose by following these guidelines:
- Have players arrive early at the gym and begin with “form shooting” close to the rim. Focus on the BEEF fundamentals (balance, eyes on the rim, elbow up and in, follow through by pointing your fingers into the basket).
- Have each player count their makes and misses. Track their shooting percentages, set goals for improvement, and reward players who are able to increase their effectiveness.
- Practice at game speed – all players involved in the drill, from shooters, to passers to rebounders should be cutting and moving at full speed to simulate the intensity of the game.
- Set a time limit for each drill. Put the time up on the scoreboard if you can, or have an assistant coach or parent use a stopwatch to keep track. Players will always work harder and smarter when they have a defined start and stop time for the activity!
Below is one of my all-time favorite shooting drills. It’s fun. It’s great for increasing practice intensity, and it will build some solid comradery amongst your athletes.
Dribble Penetration and Pitch Shooting
You’ll need two basketballs, 10 players and three minutes on the clock. Divide your players into three lines at the left wing, top of the key, and right wing (see the diagram below). The middle line begins with the ball.
The drill starts with the middle player driving past the foul line, making a jump stop, pivoting toward the left wing and firing a chest pass to the first player in that line.
The left wing makes a shot fake, then dribble penetrates to the block. He pivots, then makes an pass to the first player in the right wing line, who has drifted to the baseline.
The right wing player will catch and shoot from a point inside his range, then follow his own shot to get the rebound, then feed the ball back to the middle line. The players will rotate to the line the passed to: middle to left, left to right, right to middle.
Scoring The Drill
The goal of the drill is to score 30 points or more inside three minutes. The first 20 made shots (regardless of spot) are worth one point. During the last minute if team has accumulated 20 points any made three-pointer is worth two points. The team will run one sprint for each point below the 30 point goal.
Make sure you emphasize that your players keep their heads up and on a swivel throughout the sequence. Dribble drives should under control with a short, sharp jump stop and aggressive pivot.
To get shots and drives from the opposite sides as well, switch the first pass to go to the right wing instead of the left.
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