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5 great basketball shooting drills to improve your game

Basketball shooting drills

Shooting is a fundamental skill in basketball. Every player wants to score. Here are some basketball shooting drills to help teams do just that.

Shooting is one of the skills that players enjoy the most and want to practice more. It’s great because players can practice it alone and get immediate feedback. Most coaches believe all players can become good at shooting with a lot of practice. However, great shooters must also need to have special physical talents. Although, any player can become a good shooter and an excellent free-thrower with enough practice. That’s why players and coaches are always on the lookout for basketball shooting drills.

One of the two basic objectives of basketball is to get a good shot and score. The other objective, of course, is to stop the other team from doing the same. In this blog post, taken from Basketball Skills and Drills, 4th Edition you’ll find some great basketball shooting drills to help you get a good shot every time. 

5 Basketball Shooting Drills

Coaches need to be creative in developing basketball shooting drills. They should be sequential and progressive, as well as include all the basics of shooting. Coaches also play a vital role in influencing athletes as explained in What is the role of sport coaches and how can they influence athletes?

1. Line Drill: Shooting Addition (Without Ball)

This drill helps teach shooting in a simulated game situation.


This a form shooting exercise with no ball and no defender (the ball is added later). Players should be positioned in four lines in the baseline formation. In this drill, players execute a quick stop in shooting position after jumping from the foot closest to the basket. Later, the drill can be done using a ball and an underhand spin pass or a dribble.

2. Free-Throw Progression

This drill gives players a daily drill they can use to perfect free-throws.


This drill consists of four parts:

  1. Five slams: Begin by grabbing a ball and slamming it hard on the sides with both hands simultaneously. This ensures proper grip.
  2. Then, shoot five form shots from any spot without a shooting target. The shooting foot should be placed perpendicular to any line of the court (e.g. the sideline). Shoot five free throws using perfect technique and holding the follow through until the ball hits the floor.
  3. Shoot at least 10 soft-touch free throws from a position six feet in front of the basket with complete physical technique. After the technique has been perfected, appropriate goals for free throws should be made (e.g. from 5 makes to 8 or 9 makes to 10 swishes).
  4. Finally, go to the regular free throw line and shoot free throws with perfect technique. Use all the correct physical and mental techniques to groove the free throw. Use these techniques in competitive situations. Set goals and keep written records.

3. Footwork and Field Goals (for Free-Throw)

This drill combines competitive shooting with footwork and movement.


Start by facing away from the baseline under the basket in triple threat position (figure 1). Then use live ball moves away from the basket for two dribbles to a quick stop and PPF rear turn to face the basket. 

Using triple threat position in basketball shooting drills
Figure 1. Triple threat position

Make a shot fake and then create a shot from a dribble drive or live ball move. Then make a completion move to the basket, ready for a possible rebound. Finally, finish with a put back or by taking the ball from the basket and repeating the drill. 

Possible goals for this game include making a certain number of shots in a row and avoiding consecutive misses for a certain amount of time or number of attempts. The player with the ball can select any field-goal situation and any move. 

4. Pairs In-and-Out Shooting

Teaches shooting in a 2-on-0 game simulation drill that covers all shooting situations. 


This continuous, competitive shooting drill involves multiple principles of movement including passing, catching, shooting and offensive rebounding. Players are grouped in pairs (one or two pairs per basket). The basic rules are as follows:

  1. All pairs begin on the coach’s command, starting with the passer under the basket with a ball. 
  2. A teammate gets open for a shot, calls the passer’s name and then receives a pass for the shot. 
  3. Shooters rebound their own shots until a basket is made. They then gain possession after the make to pass to a teammate for a shot.
  4. The receiver must always get open and call the passer’s name.
  5. Passers make a quick, on-target pass at the right time to a teammate for a good shot. Then, they go quickly to another location of their shooting range, ready to move only when a teammate has scored and has possession of the ball.  

5. Long Layup Attack

This drill provides perimeter players with a long layup attack-the-basket drill from the middle of the court. 


A perimeter player starts with a live-ball or dribble move from top of the key on the free-throw-lane alley to draw the shot blocker away from the basket for a pass-down or to take a long layup, one-hand ‘runner’ off the backboard. After the long-layup skill has been achieved on the move without a defender, a shot blocker can be added to the 2-on-1 situation. The shot blocker can fake-help or help to block the long-layup, this forces the attacker to use a dump-down pass to a cutting or posting teammate. 

For more shooting drills, as well as drills for dribbling, passing, catching and rebounding, check out Basketball Skills and Drills, 4th Edition.

Other Sport-Specific Drills

Watch 5 fun tennis footwork drills to improve your agility

Master the volleyball kill

Further Reading

Basketball Essentials

Youth Basketball Drills, 2nd Edition

This entry was posted in: Coaching & PE, Fitness & Health


Hi, I’m Hannah, marketing assistant and one of the bloggers here at Human Kinetics Europe. I wasn’t blessed with the coordination to play most sports, but that’s not stopped me becoming a great watcher of them. Particularly when it comes to football! So I’m here to bring you all you need to know about exciting new product releases and the latest in sport, fitness and PE.

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