In this article, I will be talking about some good drills to improve your shooting for basketball.

Depending on the age of the player, there is an appropriate drill for that player.

For example, if a player is six or seven years old, he or she should not be practicing the proper shooting form on a 10 foot basket. This athlete is still very young and would not be able to shoot with proper form on a 10 foot basketball because he/she does not have the strength.

Similarly, if an athlete is in 9th or 10th grade, he/she should always be doing drills at game speed. It wouldn’t make sense for a play to practice shooting and not go at game speed, because this player would not be able make the play in a real game.

Below is a list of recommendations/drills for basketball players of all ages to improve their shooting.

1) Practice Form Shooting Everyday

Form-shooting is a slowed down mechanical way to improve the technique/form of a players shot. The main things that go into this drill is “B.E.E.F” (Balance, Eyes, Elbow, Follow Through). Balance: A player’s feet should be comfortable shoulder width apart, with his shooting hand foot in front of the other foot by a little bit. The eyes should always be looking at the hoop and through the “window” in between your shooting hand and the ball.  Elbow is in an “L” shape is pointed straight at the rim to make the ball go straight when a player shoots it. Follow through is when a player shoots the ball and puts backspin on it with his fingertips.

2) “Beat The Pro” Drill

The best thing about this drill is the “pressure” aspect. When you make a shot you get +1 and when you miss a shot you get -2. So misses count for more then makes and if you make it up to +7 you win and if you get to -7 you lose and start over. This game can be adjusted to any score the player wants to try to beat such as +10/-10 or +15/-15.

3. Practice the “Floater” Shot

As players get bigger and more athletic, you need to have many different ways of getting your shot off. One of the best shots in basketball to have is the floater shot. This shot is used to lob the ball over the defense and put it in the basket. Developing the floater shot with both hands makes you that more dangerous of an offensive threat. You want to be able to get the floater off going full speed and also when you are changing speeds.

4. Work on your Up-fake Move

Many players only want to shoot shots when they practice. What happens when the defense takes away your space and you can’t shoot it? You need to be able to have a back-up move to keep the defender off balance and off guard.

The up-fake move is all about faking your shot and selling the fake with your eyes. Many coaches will say “as the ball goes up, your knees go down” and this is because you want to be on balance to get by the defender after you fake them out.

At first, you want to work on your up-fake and footwork at a slower pace so you avoid traveling. Then once you get the form, you can go at game speed.

5. Scoring Off of the Dribble

All players need to be able to have different ways to score. If you are only a spot up shooter, you do not have as many options and the defense can play you for a spot up shooter. When a player can shoot and score off of the dribble it makes him that much harder to cover.

Good moves to practice:

-through the legs crossover
-in and out move
-stop and go – change of speed hesitation move
-combo moves (double cross over, in and out crossover, and make up your own combos)

Drill 1 – Pull-ups: Make 5 in a row from one dribble and then two dribble.

Drill 2 – Put yourself into a game:

This drill is a great demonstration of how players become great. When practicing they put themselves into real game situations and then practice a move to score. Then they pretend that they couldn’t get a shot off and they do a counter move.

Sometime the drill is just constant repetition in game speed until you know that you can get it right.