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Basketball Shooting Drills to Improve Your Shot

There are a number of drills out there to improve your shot. As with most other things, practice makes perfect, so the more reps you perform of any shooting, including these basketball shooting drills, the better your shot is going to get. Of course, if you practice good form, to, then your shot is going to improve even more. These drills can help improve any player's shot; any age, any skill level. I even go back to the "beginner" drills on occasion when I'm in a shooting slump.

Form/Fundamental Shooting Drills for Basketball

One-Handed Shooting Drill

What it Does:
This shooting drill actually does two things that may be difficult for younger athletes to get in the habit of. First, it forces you to follow-through and put some spin on the ball. Second, it makes you get your arm and the shot up, instead of pushing it out. Doing this shooting drill helps develop great shooting habits without thinking about it.

How to Do It:

  1. Stand on the side of the basket that's the same as your strong hand (if you shoot with your right hand, stand on the right side of the basket, left-handed then the left side) at the lower block.
  2. Face the basket as you are going to bank a jump-shot off of the backboard
  3. Using your shooting hand, and only your shooting hand, try to shoot and bank the ball off of the backboard to make the basket
    • Do not use your guide/off hand even to bring the ball up to the shooting position, only your shooting hand for this drill
  4. Make 10 shots like this, then go shoot around like normal again
  5. If you feel yourself pushing the ball or not following through, then go back in close to the basket and make an additional 5-10 one-handed shots before continuing to shoot around
Make sure to not go too far out from the basket when doing the one-handed shot drill as one of your basketball shooting drills. The purpose is to help your form without thinking about it. when you're in close, you are forced to use proper form with your shooting hand, but can lose that if you move too far away from the basket.


Related, smaller or younger players that aren't yet strong enough to shoot with one hand on a 10' basket may need to use a smaller ball, a lower/adjustable basket, or both.

Gyms are great, but crowded. Having your own hoop allows you to perform these basketball shooting drills at your convenience and improve your shot. Check out all the great deals from NBAStore.com here. Current Discount*: 20% off NBA Kids Jerseys at NBAStore.com

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Also check out the basketball available near the bottom of the page.

Mikan Drill
The second of the form building basketball shooting drills is the Mikan Drill.

What it Does:
Though this drill was originally designed by post players for post players, it's actually very beneficial to all players. Younger or beginning players often times have difficulty jumping off of their left leg when shooting a right-handed layup (on the right side of the basket) or jumping off of their right leg and shooting with their left hand when shooting a left-handed layup (on the left side of the basket). The Mikan Drill is especially beneficial as a youth basketball drill because it helps develop better lay up form by forcing you to jump off of the correct leg and shoot with the correct hand on each side of the basket.

How to Do It:
Basically, you're going to be continuously making layups, one on the right, then one on the left, while not letting the ball touch the ground. After each layup, rebound the ball without letting it touch the ground. Then, don't take a dribble and step to the opposite side to make another layup. You should develop a rhythm in which you just take one step to each side. Remember to step with your right leg and shoot with your left hand when shooting on the left side and step with your left leg and shoot with your right hand when shooting on the right.

  1. Stand on the right side of the basket, almost right under it.
  2. Make a right handed layup
  3. Don't let the ball touch the ground, rebound it, and use your right leg to step over to the left side and make a left-handed layup
  4. Now rebound the ball again while stepping to the right side with your left leg, and in the same motion make a right-handed layup
  5. Repeat for a set time or number of repetitions
  6. Remember, step/jump with the opposite leg of the side of the basket you will be shooting on (step with the left to shoot from the right side), and
  7. Shoot with your right hand on the right side and your left hand on the left side

This drill also has additional benefits besides improved shooting/lay up form. It's included in the Basketball Rebounding Drills section because it helps develop the habit of keeping the ball higher and going right back up with it if an offensive rebound.

Free Throws
I don't know if this is considered a drill, per say, but since you should include free throws in your training every day, I've included it in these basketball shooting drills.

Using the principles of B-E-E-F (Balance, Eyes, Elbow, Follow-Through) found on the Basketball Shooting Tips page, shoot a large set of free throws every day when your legs are tired (so after some basketball conditioning). You don't have to perform the large set all at once, like 50 or 100, but can split it up in multiple sets of 10.

If you're on a hardwood court, find the "dot" that lines up to the center of the basket and line yourself up according to your preference. Each player is different in where they line themselves up on this, but be consistent in where you line up in regards to the dot or the basket. For example, I always have my right foot on the dot so that my right hand lines up with the center of the basket. Now do your "routine" and shoot your free throw. Just make sure to do the same thing every single time you shoot a free throw. (Mine is simply two dribbles, bending at the knees, and then shooting the ball and holding my follow-through).

As my example shows, make sure to bend your knees before shooting and follow-through. Also make sure to keep your feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders square to the basket, elbow tucked tight and under the ball, and eyes on the basket. You should shoot a TON of free throws every day: at least 50-100. The key is donig it when your legs are tired.

Repetition Basketball Shooting Drills

All of these basketball shooting drills are simply about repetition and getting some shots up every day. Just make sure to use the B-E-E-F Principles and practice good fundamentals: Practice makes good, perfect practice makes perfect.

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Catch and Shoot
Moving around the court (key elbows, baseline, three-point line, etc.), have a partner pass you the ball and immediately go up with a shot. This is "spot-up-shooting," where you are ready to go directly into a shot as soon as you receive the ball. Have your feet shoulder width apart, slightly staggered, and body squared to the basket. Receive the pass and immediately jump up into your shot, keep your eyes on the target, elbows tucked, and follow through.

If you are practicing by yourself (or your child is) you can spin the ball backwards toward yourself or get a "toss-back" to pass against and receive the pass back so you can go directly into your shot. You can also get a basketball rebounder to return your shots to where you're spotting up from.

Dribble to Shot
The first of the basketball shooting drills helps you to practice spot-up shooting. The second helps you to become more comfortable shooting off of the dribble. Again, this is a repetitive drill for basketball shooting that you have to remember to keep form on.

The best place to start this drill is at the top of the arc, but you can (and should) move all around the court for this shooting drill.

In short, take one dribble to your right or left, and in one fluid motion, go directly into your shot as you're picking up your dribble.

Moving Right:
  1. Start at the top of the arc (or wherever you've moved to on the court)
  2. The following remaining steps should be done in one continuous, fluid motion:
  3. Take one dribble to your right (dribbling with your right hand): step with your left foot while dribbling
  4. Pick up your dribble and keep your left foot planted
  5. Step with your right foot toward the basket so that your feet are shoulder-width apart and square to the basket
  6. Bend slightly at your knees and jump up to execute a jump shot. Make sure to keep your B-E-E-F principles in mind
Moving Left:
  1. Start at the top of the arc (or wherever you've moved to on the court)
  2. The following remaining steps should be done in one continuous, fluid motion:
  3. Take one dribble to your left (dribbling with your left hand): step with your right foot while dribbling
  4. Pick up your dribble and keep your right foot planted
  5. Step with your left foot toward the basket so that your feet are shoulder-width apart and square to the basket
  6. Bend slightly at your knees and jump up to execute a jump shot. Make sure to keep your B-E-E-F principles in mind

Basketball Shooting Drills Conclusion

Note that the basketball shooting drills currently available are for individual training. If you're a coach looking for team basketball shooting drills, bookmark this page or add it to your favorites. I'll be adding team shooting drills in the near future!


Basketball Shooting Tips
Keep these basketball shooting tips in mind when practicing these basketball shooting drills.

Back to Basketball Drills

Basketball Scoring Tips
Shooting is only part of how to improve your scoring average, see what else you can do.


Regardless of if you're an individual training yourself, a parent looking for youth drills, or a coach, you can also benefit from the Better Basketball Video Series...they've got some great tips and drills in their videos that can supplement what you find on basketball-tips-and-training.com


Check out the Better Basketball Better Shooting below, as well as some other training aids to use in your basketball dribbling drills.


























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