This drill will improve shooting form and develop good shooting habits so once players get in a game, they will
consistently use proper form without thinking about it. This simple drill is critical for youth player and can
greatly improve shooting percentages for all types of players. All youth coaches should run this drill almost
First of all, it's important to understand that this is drill requires you and all your players to pay very close
attention to the details. It also requires a lot of repetitions. This is all about developing perfect shooting form, so
once you get in a game you use the proper form without even thinking about it.
1. Each player needs to grab a basketball
and find a basket. It works best to have
three players (or less) at each basket.
Two players on each side of the basket
and one in front.
2. Each player should stand about 2 feet
from the basket. (Yes, it's only two feet.
Do not stand farther back!)
3. For right handed shooters, your right
foot should be centered with the basket
and pointing directly towards the middle
of the basket.
4. Your left foot should be positioned
shoulder width apart in a comfortable
position. Most players leave their left
foot slightly behind the other foot. The
left foot should be pointing in the relative
area of the basket but probably should
not be pointing directly at it. Most
players feel the most comfortable with
their left foot pointing just to the left of
5. Bend your knees, at a comfortable angle
somewhere around 45 degrees.
6. Now if you're feet are aligned properly, the rest of your body should follow suit.
7. Hold the ball in your hand, palm facing up. Your non-shooting hand can dangle to the side.
8. Slowly bring the ball in and hold is as if you were shooting with one hand.
9. Your arm should form a 90 degree angle.
10. Your tricep should be parallel with the floor and directly above your right leg.
11. Your wrist should be bent with fingers spread out. The ball should be sitting on your finger pads, NOT
your finger tips.
12. Your index finger should be in the center of the ball.
13. Pause. This is when you make sure your arm, feet, and everything is in the correct form.
14. Look at the front of the rim.
15. Proceed to shoot with one hand, leaving your off hand to the side. The player should use his legs on
every shot. At the end of the shot, the player should be up on his toes. This is very important, because
players generate most of their strength from their legs to shoot the ball to the basket.
16. Hold your follow through, like a gooseneck.
17. Grab the ball and repeat the process.
18. Get the ball quickly but don't hurry your shot! Take your time.
19. Each player should get a minimum of 20 repetitions, but 50 or 100 would be better.
20. Be patient. Finding the correct form is going to take time and building strength.
21. Find your range, and stay within your range. If you are able to use correct form easily and consistently when shooting from the around the free throw line (12 feet from the basket) but find your form is compromised when shooting further away, such as a 3-pointer (roughly 20 feet), you are not shooting within your range.
As players master this skill, you can progress to other variations:
1. Use two hands instead of one. Just make sure the off hand is one the side of the ball and not used to
propel the ball.
2. Do a jump shot. You should still stay two feet from the basket.
3. Flip the ball to yourself, pivot, and shoot a jump shot. Again, stay close to the basket and make sure
you proper form, even though you are going slightly faster. Do not sacrifice form!
For more advanced players, we commonly start with one-hand form shooting and progress all the way to
pivots. We generally spend a few minutes on each progression and check all the players to make sure their
form is not slipping.
Points of Emphasis
1. Hold your follow through.
2. Take your time and always make sure your form is perfect.
3. Bend your knees.
4. Don't stand back too far! Stay just a couple feet from the basket.
Motivation / Teaching Tips
Tip #1 – Once you get good at it, don't think you can stop. There are NBA players
that do form shooting everyday!
Tip #2 – If they don't do it properly, this drill is a waste of time.
Tip #3 – Make sure NOT to dip one shoulder or lean too far forward. When shooting, you
want to have an erect torso. "Shoot tall."
- Fronts of the Feet - Most of your weight should be on the fronts or balls of your feet and the majority of the weight should be on the big toes. Heel should still be in contact with the ground.
- Wide Base & Feet Turned Slightly In - Your feet should be pointing straight ahead or slightly turned in (pigeon-toed). This creates an angle that allows you to provide more force against the ground. In the picture to the right, the feet are bowed out which is improper form.
Your feet should also be slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Hips Back & Knees Bent - Butt should be behind the heels and your knees should be pointing forward, but not past the toes.
- Knees Inside of Feet - This helps create better push-off power.
- Butt Down - Staying low helps maintain balance.
- Shoulders Over Knees - Your shoulders should be over your knees with your chest out and back straight or slightly arched.
- Hands up - Depending on the tactic (Hands out or hand up to defend shot/dribble
- Eyes focused on the player's waist or chest.
- You should be able to draw a vertical line from the front of
your forehead thru the front of your knees thru the front of your toes.
- All of this should create GREAT BALANCE.
Lane Slides (Defensive Drill)
This drill requires using the defensive stance above, and tremendously improves your lateral quickness and speed defensively. It’s a great a way to improve your man-to-man defensive skills at practice or by yourself.
1. The drill takes place within the paint. You start with your outside foot touching
the line anywhere from the block to the
elbow in the free-throw lane.
2. Get into a defensive stance
3. Then, slide across the lane and touch
the opposite line with your outside foot.
4. Once you touch the opposite line, slide
back and touch the line where you
5. You should do this as quickly as
possible for 20-30 seconds.
Points of Emphasis
1. Maintain a good defensive stance (butt low, on balls of feet, legs slightly wider than shoulder width
apart, knees bent, back bent slightly forward).
2. Slide as quickly as possible
3. Do not click heels, feet should never cross
4. Do not bob up and down; head should stay on a level plane
Tip #1 - A reoccurring theme in these drills is to keep them as competitive as possible. If you are going
to do this in practice, you could have each player go for 20-30 seconds and see who can do the most
Twenty in Two
Player runs from baseline A to baseline B and back to baseline A, which counts as one. The goal is to run twenty within two minutes. This is a great drill for assessing conditioning, and is used at many levels!
Ladders (also known as Sui's)
- Players line up on the baseline
- On the coach's whistle, players start sprinting
- When the players reach the foul line (extended), they stop, touch the line, then sprint back to the baseline, stop and touch the baseline
- Immediately they sprint to the half, stopping and touching the half line, and then sprint back to the baseline, stopping and touching the baseline
- Immediately they sprint to the far foul line, stopping and touching the foul line, and then sprint back to the baseline, stopping and touching the baseline
- Immediately they sprint to the far baseline, stopping and touching the baseline, and then sprint back to the original baseline, thus completing one ladder/sui.
This drill is used throughout the season in order to build up game conditioning rapidly. At higher levels, players can be expected to run 10+ per practice!