Getting players to go “game-speed” and shoot shots during practices at a pace that is equivalent to how they will play on game days is one of the most challenging messages to get across to players. To help our players play at a faster pace and take (and make) shots that are similar to those that they will take during games, we keep track of their field goal percentage while competing against a pre-determined time during each drill.
Competing against the clock has forced our players to work and play at a pace that is more similar to a game environment and keeping track of their field goal percentages has made them more competitive with themselves and with their teammates.
Below are several 3-point shooting drills that we use with our players during individual workouts in the off-season and in-season. If you are unable to work with your players, these drills are still beneficial because players can still complete them with another teammate while still competing against the clock. Along with the competitive nature of these drills, they will also help improve player conditioning.
If players commit to working and shooting during these basketball drills at a level that is initially uncomfortable to them, they will notice their conditioning improvement after several weeks. Shooting the basketball while players are tired is one of the most challenging aspects of game situations to simulate during practices or individual workouts. Completing these drills can help players improve their shooting abilities while they are tired, due to the constant movement, competing against the clock and the competitive nature of the drills.
Drill #1: 7’s Shooting
The player will start on the sideline and sprint to the wing and catch and shoot a 3-pointer. After the shot, the player will sprint to the sideline and back to the wing and shoot again. The player will continue this process until they have made seven 3-point baskets from the wing. Once making seven from the wing, the player will move to the top of the key, where they will continue the same process, with the only difference being sprinting to half court instead of the sideline. Once the player has made seven 3-pointers from the top of the key, they move to the other wing and continue until they have made seven 3-pointers.
The objective is to get the player to shoot a high percentage from the field and make all 21 3-pointers, while working on their conditioning. The set time that we use with our college players is two minutes to successful make all 21 3-pointers. We record the players’ makes and attempts each time we do this drill and post them in our locker room for them to see. You can adjust the time accordingly, just make sure you are challenging your players to shoot and play at a faster level.
Drill #2: Knicks Shooting
The player starts in the corner and shoots two stationary 3-pointers. Following the second shot, the player sprints to half-court and back to the corner where they will shoot their third 3-pointer in transition. Following this shot, the player will sprint to half-court and back to the corner and shoot their fourth 3-pointer in transition. After this shot, the player will sprint to half-court and back to the corner and shoot their final 3-pointer in transition from the corner. The player will shoot five 3-pointers from five different spots on the floor, while sprinting after their second, third and fourth shots at each spot.
As the player makes their way around the 3-point line, the end location of their sprint changes (see diagram). Again, the objective is to get your players to shoot a high percentage from the field, while trying to make all 25 3-pointers. The set time that we use for our players is 3 minutes and 30 seconds. We keep track of our players shooting percentages and whether or not they were able to complete the drill in the allotted time.
These are two examples of basketball shooting drills that we use in our basketball training with our players that help reiterate the importance of working and playing at a high level while shooting the basketball to help simulate game situations. Keeping track of our player’s field goal percentages during these drills have made them more competitive, while competing against the clock has forced them to shoot game-shots at game-speed. Once your players have successfully completed the drills and are shooting a high percentage from the 3-point line, lower their times and continue to challenge them.