Having good, solid form is a key element in being a good shooter.
To work on your mechanics, use a close to the basket shooting drill.
Stand 2 or 3
feet from the backboard and on one side of the basket. Using only
your shooting arm, shoot a bank shot into the basket. Use perfect
form (ball on finger tips, elbow in, shoot up-and-out towards the
basket, follow through with good backspin on the ball). Rebound
the ball and shoot again. Shoot at least 15 shots from each side
of the basket. Shoot with your right arm from the right side of
the basket, and shoot with your left arm from the left side of the
basket. Once you've shot 15 shots from each side, step back 2 or
3 feet further away from the basket and repeat the drill.
Named after George Mikan, one of the NBA's early stars, this drill
is a key to improving your shot. The drill involves shooting a hook
shot in the lane, but it really helps you improve your overall game.
The Mikan drill helps you improve your hook shot, but it also helps
you improve your coordination, touch around the basket, shot release,
follow through, and confidence in your short range game.
Start in front
of the basket, 2 to 3 feet in front of the rim. Jump off of your
left leg and shoot a right-handed hook shot off the backboard and
into the basket. Rebound the ball, and immediately go into the shooting
motion of shooting a left-handed hook shot (jumping off of your
right leg). Remember to explode up and off the ground as you shoot
the shot. Keep both hands on the ball until you are in the final
stages of releasing the shot. Fully extend your shooting arm, and
release the ball high in the air, using your non-shooting arm to
create space between you and the defender. Shoot 15 shots with each
arm, then move back 2 or 3 feet and repeat the drill, shooting another
15 shots with each arm.
Distance Shooting Drill
Improving the distance on your shot is important to becoming a better
offensive player. Extending your shooting range should be a goal for
any player, regardless of what position you play, or what your shooting
range is currently.
After you are
warmed up and have done some close-in form shooting drills, work
your way back to the the furthest distance from the basket you are
comfortable shooting from (in other words, the extent of your current
shooting range). Shoot 10 jump shots from this range. Once you have
made 8 out of 10, you are ready to move back 1 to 2 feet further
than you would normally shoot from. Make sure you use the same form
on the shot you normally use, getting extra strength and power from
your lower body. Really focus on shooting with perfect form. Shoot
10 jump shots from this distance. Then, move back another 1 to 2
feet and repeat the drill. Continue to move back 1 to 2 feet from
the basket for each series of 10 shots, but stop once you are unable
to maintain solid form on the shot. Once you can no longer use your
typical shooting form, stop the drill. Your goal is to increase
your shooting range over time, a little bit each workout.
Fake and One-Dribble Moves
There will be times in a game when you catch a pass and immediately
go up for a jump shot. But it is important that you're able to shoot
the basketball at the end of a move as well. Working on fake and one-dribble
move drills will help you improve this part of your game, and more
realistically simulates scoring opportunities you'll likely get in
Toss the ball
out to yourself, catch it and pull it into your body and get into
the triple threat position. Make a good, solid pump fake and then
take one strong dribble to your right. Make sure your dribble moves
you past an imaginary defender and towards the basket (the dribble
should take you at a 45-degree angle towards the basket). Come to
a solid, on-balance stop, then go up for your jump shot. Do this
drill 5 times pump faking and dribbling to your right, and 5 times
dribbling to your left. Do this drill from 4 to 5 different spots
on the floor (for example: on the baseline, on the right and left
wings, and on the right and left elbow.
Quick Shot Drill
One of the most important parts of being a good shooter is having
a quick shot, and a quick shot release. Even if the defense is playing
you close, a quick shot release will allow you to still take the shot,
even under lots of pressure.
Here is a great
quick-shot drill. The next time you go out to the court to shoot
around, make a point to work on the quickness of your shot release.
Take a few jump shots like you regularly do (at your regular speed).
Now, concentrate on shooting the ball much more quickly. Speed up
your shot, all the way from bringing the ball through your shooting
pocket, to the actual shot, and the release of the basketball. Concentrate
on speeding up the process, but without sacrificing or changing
your shooting form at all. Shoot at least 25 jumpers at this faster
Do this drill
each time you take the court to work on your shot, and pretty soon
you'll start to notice that you shoot the ball with a much quicker
Fall-Away Jumper Drill
If you watch an NBA game, you'll notice that a lot of players shoot
fall-away jumpers. There's a reason for that: players in the NBA are
so tall, such good athletes, and such good jumpers, that it can be
very difficult to shoot the basketball. Jumping straight up and taking
the jumper isn't an option, because the shot can easily be blocked.
So players look
for ways to create enough space to shoot the basketball. One technique
to create space is the fall-away. Try this drill and start practicing
working on a fall-away jump shot. Start on the block with your back
to the basket. Now, shoot a turnaround jumper to the baseline, falling
slightly away from the basket. Concentrate on shooting the ball
with perfect form, getting good arch on the ball, and keeping your
body on-balance, even though you are drifting slightly back from
the basket. Shoot 20 jumpers from each side of the basket.
from the blocks is a good way to start learning the fall-away jumper,
especially for inside players. After several workouts of shooting
the fall-away from the block, move to other spots on the floor (such
as the elbows, the wings, shorter shots in the lane).
is very important in the game of basketball, and shooting the fall-away
tests your ability to shoot the ball under control. Most coaches
teach jumping straight up while shooting jump shots, and this is
the right thing to teach. But as you move from one level to the
next, and players get taller, and have better jumping ability, learning
and using the fall-away will be a big part of your game. Now, if
you have an open jump shot, then use classic jump shot form (jump
straight up or slightly forward for the jumper). But if you are
playing against a good defender, and he is playing you tight, a
fall-away may be what you need to get room to take the jumper.
More to come...check back soon.