Shooting Drills for Basketball

Practicing Form

Form is crucial in shooting. Practicing correct form will improve your shooting, while practicing incorrect form could make your shooting even worse. One drill to practice form can be done at home, or anywhere, and players should be encouraged to do this often regardless of level.

Lying flat on your back, hold the ball in both hands. Use your shooting hand and push the ball into the air as though you were shooting. Use your guide hand to stabilize the ball. When you "shoot," the ball should last touch your index and middle fingers, putting a spin on the ball. Watch the spin, if it does not spin backwards there is something wrong with your release. When shooting, the wrist should flop forward with a natural motion. Do not flick the wrist.

Do this drill until the ball spins backwards. Pay attention to form, how the ball feels in your hands, how it feels when you release it and so forth. This will help develop proper shooting form, and will develop muscle memory.


This game is one of the most popular shooting drills and can be fun because it creates competition. You will need groups of two or three players to do the drill. The first player shoots a free throw. If the free throw is made, the shooter gets to shoot a shot of his or her choosing. If the shot is made, the player returns to the foul line and shoots another free throw. The shooter keeps shooting until a shot is missed. When a shot is missed, another player begins a turn.

One point is given for a free throw, and two points for the other shot. The first player to 21 wins the game. For those beyond the beginner stage, have the non-shooting players add some defensive pressure on the field goal attempts. Shooting three-point baskets is also an option.


You will need three goals for this drill. Divide your players into three groups. The first group shoots free throws, the second group takes 10-15 foot jump shots, and the third group does layups.

Have players shoot quickly but under control. You may have a timer to tell players when to move to a new station. The goal here is to get lots of shooting in, so the more shots taken the better.

Quick Thinking

Have one defender under the goal an two players at half court. The two players bring the ball towards the goal about 10 feet apart. As the players with the ball cross the foul line, the defender will either go towards the player with the ball or defend the other player. The player with the ball must pass off if the defender attacks him or shoot if the defender goes to the other player. As soon as the defender makes a move, the player with the ball must shoot or pass. If there is a pass, the person receiving the ball shoots. Have players continue to come down the court in pairs with one defender making them either pass off or shoot. The point of this drill is to make a quick decision and execute that decision.


This is one of the most popular games in shooting, and is an excellent drill. You need at least two players, but any number will suffice. More than five or six gets to be too many.

The first player takes a shot from any position on the court. The next player must take the same shot. Players keep taking the same shot until someone misses. The person who misses gets a letter, an ‘H’ to start. When a player misses, the next player may choose where to shoot, and if that shot is made, the next person in line must take that shot. You only get a letter if you miss a shot that a previous player has made. If one player misses, and the next player misses, no letter is given. Once a person has all five letters, they are out of the game. The winner is the last person standing, who has not received all five letters.

A variation is to use a shorter word for a faster game, such as OUT.

Around the World

Pick five to seven spots around the court as shooting spots, starting in one corner and working your way to the other corner. Have the places spread out evenly and stay within range of the players shooting ability.

Players shoot five shots at each station before moving on to another station. Have players stationed under the goal to get rebounds and pass back to the shooter. Have the shooter shoot quickly as possible, but remain under control.

One variation is that a player cannot move to the next station until he or she has made a certain number of shots.

Another variation to make it more interesting is to have another player "defend" the shot. Have the defender try to get in front of the shooter, but do not block the shot. The shooter will learn to shoot over defenders this way.


Basketball plays and tips:

Basketball Tips:

Basketball Drills and Plays: