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Basketball Shooting Drills

The purpose of these basketball shooting drills is to teach you how hit the shot under game-like circumstances. In a game you have defenders, performance pressure and fatigue.
1. Important Basketball Shooting Terminology
2. Basketball Shooting Drills
        Drill #1 - 5 Cone Drill
        Drill #2 - Do or Die Free Throw Drill
        Drill #3 - Side-to-Side Drill
        Drill #4 - V-Cut Drill
        Drill #5 - High-Post Shooting Drill

Important Basketball Shooting Terminology

"Shooting Pocket or The Pocket" - Is the lowest point in which the ball reaches when a player prepares to shoot a jumper. Each players' shooting pocket is slightly different depending on height, age, skill level etc. Passers are encouraged to pass the ball to the players' pocket, and the shooter is encouraged to catch the ball in their pocket and just go straight up for the jump shot, instead of catching the ball high, dipping down and then spring back up for the shot (wastes too much critical time).

- This refers to player(s) running from one baseline (end of the basketball court) to the other baseline, and back.

"Square Up To The Basket" - If you were to draw a straight line from shoulder to shoulder, the line should be perpendicular to a line from the basket to your chest.

"Suicides or Suicide Lines" - Suicide lines are where player(s) start from the baseline, run to the free throw line and back to the starting baseline; then run to the half-court line and back (to the baseline); then run to the free throw line on the other end of the court and back; then finally run to the other baseline and back.

Suicide Lines Basketball

"Target Hands" - This is where a player indicates where he wants to catch a pass.. You can use two hands (when out in the perimeter) or one hand (when in the low post and your other arm and hand is trapping the defender in place).

"Triple Threat Position"
- This is an offense position that allows you to be able to pass, dribble or shoot. It's the same stance as a typical basketball player's free throw stance.

"Up And Under" - Is when the shooter fakes a shoot to get the defender up in the air, then the shooter takes a step forward past the defender to shoot, lay the ball up or pass.

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Basketball Shooting Drills

Drill #1 - 5 Cone Drill

This drill will help develop the players' shooting accuracy under game-like speeds. It's more difficult to shoot with proper form and timing when speed is involved. The shooter should run at game speed to each cone and then upon catching the ball immediately set your eyes on the target and jump straight up and land back down where you started, no drifting over the left or right.

In this drill you have one rebounder ("R") and one shooter ("S").

Number of Players: 2
Number of Basketballs: 1

The Drill:
1. Player R starts with the ball near the basketball
2. Player S starts at the cone by the baseline.
3. Player R passes S the ball.
4. Player S catches the ball in the triple threat position and shoots. 
5. Player R rebounds.
6. Once player R secures the rebound, player S runs to the next cone.
7. Player R passes the ball in player S's pocket.
8. Player S catches the ball in the triple threat position again and goes straight up for the jump shot.
9. Repeat until player S shoots from all five cones. 
10. Switch roles now, so Player S becomes the rebounder and player R becomes the shooter.

Pressure Element: The player that makes the most shots out of 5 wins. The loser does a sprint.

5 Cone Shooting Drill

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Drill #2 - Do or Die Free Throw Drill 

Free throws are a critical part of the game, especially towards the end of a close game. This drill is designed to simulate the pressure of an important free throw in a game. This drill is often done towards the end of practice, when players are already tired.

Number of Players: 1-15 (in this example we use 8 players)
Number of Basketballs: 2

The Drill:
1. Split the team into two groups and place one group on each basket.
2. Get players to line up behind the free throw line.
3. The first player shoots the free throw. If the player makes it, it's player 2 turn to shoot a free throw; however, if player 1 misses, the entire group has to sprint the the sideline and back (back to their spot in the lineup).
4. Repeat until the group makes 10 free throws.
5. The first group to ten wins.

Pressure Element: The losing group has to do 2 full suicides.

Free Throw Shooting Drill

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Drill #3 - Side-to-Side Drill

This is a good drill for simulating shots that typically occur in a game. Place two cones on two opposing sides of a half court (see diagram below).

You can place the cones anywhere you like. For example, if you're a three point specialist, place the cones at the three point line. You could also position the cones in the low post, high post or baseline.

Number of Players: 2
Number of Basketballs: 1

The Drill:
1. Player S places the two cones in two spots where he/she normally shoots from in a game.
2. Player R starts with the ball, and passes to Player S.
3. Player S catches the ball in the triple threat position.
4. Player S jumps straight up in the air for the jump shot.
5. Once player R grabs the rebound, player S runs (game speed) towards the other cone while displaying target hands.
6. Player R passes the ball to Player S.
7. Player S catches and shoots.
8. Repeat this until the shooter takes 10 shots, then switch roles.

Pressure Element: The player that hits the most shots out of ten wins. The loser does a sprint.

Side-to-Side Basketball Drill

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Drill #4 - V-Cut Drill 

This drill focuses on developing the shooter's ability to shoot while under defensive pressure.

Number of Players: 4
Number of Basketballs: 2

The Drill:
1. Player 2 has a ball and is standing 5-6 feet from player 1 (who is at the three point line).
2. Player 2 passes the ball to Player 1.
3. As player 2 passes the ball to Player 1.
4. Player 2 runs at Player 1 to lightly contend the shot (don't block the ball).
5. Player 1 shoots the ball and follows his/her own shot to grab the rebound.
6. Player 1 takes over Player 4's position.
7. Player 2 then does a v-cut.
8. Player 3 passes a ball to player 2.
9. Player 3 then runs at Player 2 to contest the shot (again don't block the shot).
10. Repeat until a player hits three shots.

Pressure Element: The losers do partial suicides (up to the half court line).

Basketball Drill V-Cut

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Drill #5 - High-Post Shooting Drill

This is a drill for centers and forwards. The aim of this drill is to develop the players shooting accuracy from the elbow and train the players to follow their own shots.

Number of Players: 3
Number of Basketball(s): 1

The Drill:
1. Player S is guarded by player D.
2. Player S cuts (as illustrated in the diagram) to the left elbow.
3. Player P passes the ball to player S.
4. Player S can either take the jump shot, or do an Up-&-Under move.
5. Player D and S then fight for the rebound.
6. If player S makes the shot, or player D get the rebound, player D dribbles to player's P position, and player P now goes to the low post (where player S started). Player S now plays defense. If player S made his shot, he is reward and gets to shoot again.

Pressure Element: Every shot missed equals 5 push-ups at the end of shooting practice.

High-Post Shooting Drill

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