Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is now the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers, surpassing Ray Allen. But did you know that one summer Steph Curry changed his shot from a lower-release “catapult shot” to shooting over his head? After his freshmen season in high school, it took him a whole frustrating summer and thousands of shots to get used to his new shot. The point is: great shooters aren’t necessarily born, they’re made. Which means you can also improve your shooting. So today we’ve pulled together some of the best basketball shooting drills to help your game. These drills will help you work on your form, your speed, and even your handling of pressure situations.
By the way, for even more shooting help, you can learn directly from Steph Curry in his MasterClass (a sponsor of our site).
Individual basketball shooting drills
It’s not always easy to find someone to hoop with, but that’s not an excuse to not work on your shot. Here are some fun individual basketball shooting drills you can do, including some you can do without a hoop, from home. So grab your best outdoor basketball and get to work!
1. On the ground shots
Lay on your back on the floor. Position your shooting hand so that your index finger lines up at the half way point of the ball. Hold your guiding hand flat against the other side. Shoot the ball into the air, ensuring you follow through closing your hand towards your wrist. Shoot the ball 20 times with the goal of getting it right back into your shot pocket.
2. Three running challenge
The goal is to make one three at each of 5 spots around the arc. If you miss a shot, you must run to half court and then back again, before taking your next shot. Pros can finish this drill in 20 seconds. Try to aim for under a minute.
3. Three consistency challenge
In this contest you can play by yourself, the goal is to make one three at each of 5 spots around the arc within a minute. The trick is, if you miss a shot, you have to go back to the shot before. You can also do it by needing to make 2 in a row (or if you miss 2 you go back) and with 7 spots, to make it more challenging.
4. Shoot off the catch on the arc
For this drill, start at the baseline. Run following the three line, towards the top of the key. Once you’re about half way to the top, toss the ball out in front of you. Then scoop it up and shoot the three. For this drill focus on getting into your shooting rhythm as you “receive” the ball. That means meeting the ball with your whole body already in the upward part of your shot. Repeat until you get 10 makes on each side.
5. Shooting decision making
Here is a great reaction shooting drill you can do when you have a buddy. Have your buddy pass you the ball, as you shoot anywhere within the arc. If the passer keeps their hand up after the pass, pass it back. If the passer drops their hand after the pass, shoot it. You can do this for spot up shots or on the move. You can also do this working on any type of pass. For example, try working on left hand push passes while you’re shooting on the move. Get 10 makes.
6. Shooting balance turn drill
Make 10 shots off 180 turns. Make sure your feet are under your shoulders and slightly turned for proper alignment. Bounce the ball with your back to the basket, and while the ball is in the air jump 180 degrees to fully turn around facing the basket. Then fire the shot once you land.
7. Shooting balance tap drill
Make 10 shots off 3 Taps. Off the catch or a flip pass, stride stop into your shot. When you land, do 3 taps on your toes – jumping up and down quickly 3 times. This holds you accountable to landing on balance and not fading.
8. Shooting balance backpedal drill
Make 10 shots off backpedals. Step backwards and have your passer send you the ball. Shooting while moving away from the basket is difficult. Make sure you drop your hips and keep your chest up on these.
9. Contested shooting drill
As the shooter start at the top of the 3 right above the corner of the foul line. The contester starts on the block on that side. The goal is for the shooter to get to the foul line corner and get off their shot. The contester can move as soon as the shooter takes their first dribble. As the shooter you need to have a quick first step and release, and occasionally resort to the floater. As the defense you need to charge the shooter full speed. The person that makes the shot keeps the ball. First to 5 wins (all 1s).
10. Contested corner shooting
Pretty much the same drill as above, except in this case both players start in the paint and you need a third player to pass the ball. The shooter runs to either corner, turns 180 degrees and tries to get the shot off. The defense tries to interfere with the shot. First to 5 wins (all 1s).
11. Quicker pull up
This drill will help you work off of a split catch to get into your shot downhill and quicker, which is a great tool to use on the close out. Right before you catch the ball split your feet. Take one dribble forward into space. On that dribble take a cross step with your back foot and explode out. Hit 10 makes on both foul line corners.
12. Backspin shooting drill
This is a three finger shooting drill Klay Thompson uses. Tuck your pinky and your ring finger under your hand, and put your other 3 fingers on the ball. Then shoot shots and follow through with your three fingers. Then switch to all 5 fingers and after you shoot the ball get your pointer finger to touch your thumb, like an OK sign. Get 10 makes running these two drills through.
13. Mid-court runs
Start at the circle in the middle of court. Have your passer ready to send you the ball. Get to a spot on the floor as quickly as you can and call for ball. Get 10 makes on twos and 10 on threes.
14. Form shooting
Stand at the free throw line and throw the ball off the backboard glass with your right arm. Then catch the ball with your right arm – not using your left hand at all. After that, get into your shot and fire. Then run the same drill back, but this time throw with your left and catch with your right, and then get into your shot. This helps you catch control with one hand and then snap the ball back into your shooting position.
15. The 27 game
The goal is to make 21 out of 27. Take 9 shots on the wing, 9 shots at the top of the key, and the opposite wing for 9 shots. It’s 3 rounds of 3 shots at each place. First do catch and shoot, then a one dribble right, then a one dribble left.
Basketball shooting drills for beginners
16. 5-spot shooting
For this drill you’re just going to shoot 10 shots from 5 different places on the court. You’re going to toss yourself the ball and run into the shot. The short corner, the wing, the top of the key, and the same on the other side.
17. Basic layup no dribble
Start on the free throw line on the right corner. Take two steps with the ball in your hand, and finish with a layup shot. Get 5 makes. Then move to the other side.
18. Layup with dribble
Start from the top of the three point line. Dribble the ball, and then pick it up once you hit the paint. Hit your layup to the right. And then hit a layup to the left. Get 10 makes alternating.
19. Free throw shooting
Go to the free throw line and create your free throw form. Basically this is the way you’re going to shoot free throws every time you step to the line. Some players like to dribble the ball three times and then shoot. Others hold the ball over their head and shoot. We recommend doing the shortest routine possible so you don’t get in your head about it. Dribble the ball once, bend your hips, and shoot. Get 5 makes in a row, and do one push up for every free throw missed.
20. 5 in 1 shooting drill
There is a designated shooter and rebounder. Put 1 minute on the clock, and the shooter has that amount of time to make 5 mid-range shots. After each shot, the shooter must run and touch half-court before shooting their next one. The goal is to get 5 makes in 1 minute.
Fun basketball shooting drills for youth
Here are a few ideas for shooting drills if you’re coaching younger kids.
21. 1 vs 1 shooting drill
There are two shooters. Each has a spot on opposite foul lines to start. They can take any mid-range shots they want once you say go. And they win by beating the other person first to making 5 total shots.
22. Shooting caterpillar
Divide your team into two groups and put them in line next to each other side by side. Every team has its own ball. If the shooter misses the shot he needs to rebound it and get back to the spot and take another shot until he scores. Once the person at the front of the line scores, then the next player shoots. The winner is the team that hits all their shots first.
23. Knock out
Everyone is in a line at the foul line. You need two balls. The first person in line has one and so does the second. The first shooter takes a foul shot. As soon as they shoot, they second person can take their foul shot. They get their rebounds and keep shooting from anywhere until they make it in. Once they make it, they pass the ball to the next person in line so they can shoot their foul shot. The goal is to get out the person in front of you by scoring before they do.
24. Free throw fun
Line up players around the paint. Put 3 minutes on the clock. Each person shoots one free throw and rotates. Each time someone makes a free throw, one point goes in the bank.
The first person to miss, adds the score in the bank to their score (for example, if two people make a free throw in a row and the third person misses, the third person now adds 2 points to their score). The player with the lowest score at the end of the time wins.
25. Balance shooting
Start on one leg, hop to the other, land, and shoot. Get 5 makes on the left and 5 makes on the right.
Individual basketball shooting workout
The best individual basketball shooting work out starts with easy shots to build your confidence. Begin with a few backboard shots right by the blocks. Then, progress to ducks right around the basket:
- 2 side line shots
- 2 shots between the block and foul line corner
- 1 shot at foul line corner
- 1 shot at foul line
- 1 floater down the middle
- Then reverse the pattern on the opposite side
Run this drill through multiple times, until you hit 80% of your shots.
Then move on to shooting threes. Get 5 makes at the 5 spots around the arc.
Then progress to deep range shots with a goal of hitting 5. See how many shots it takes to get there. The next time you do the drill, try to beat that percentage.
Basketball shooting feedback
Every time you shoot the ball, you are getting feedback about your shot. Here’s how to fix your shot back on the feedback you get.
If the ball goes over the basket or hits the back, it means your follow through did not close enough. Make this adjustment:
If the ball falls short of the basket, it means you did not put enough power behind the shot. Make this adjustment: Use your legs more by bending at your hips.
If the ball goes to the left or the right, you’re not releasing (or last touching) the ball with the right finger or your stance could be off. Make the adjustment: Be sure to pick up the ball so your index finger aligns to its center. And look at your toes when you shoot. They should be facing towards the basket and fairly evenly aligned.
Basketball shooting drills PDF
Looking for something easy to print out and take with you to your next shooting workout? Here are a few basketball shooting drills PDFs you’ll enjoy.
- Wolfpack: Here’s a drill booklet for team shooting, partner shooting, individual shooting, transition shooting, and more.
- Xavier: These are some popular shooting drills from the Xavier men’s basketball team coaching staff. Drills include 1-2 step shooting, Celtic/Double Celtic, and many more.
- Trevor McLean: This basketball drills PDF has 20 individual shooting workouts you can do.
Answers to FAQS about better basketball shooting
The best way to get better at shooting in basketball is to ensure your form is correct (holding the ball the right way, shooting with your feet set and aligned, bending your hips, and following through) and to get in more reps. Try to shoot 100 shots each day.
The layup is the most efficient shot in basketball.
To practice basketball shooting at home, lay down with your back on the ground, and shoot the ball straight up, working on your form. Then catch it and repeat.
Enjoy fun basketball shooting drills
Now that you know basketball shooting drills, you’re ready to start working on your explosiveness. Check out basketball guard drills to get better at attacking.
If you need to stock up on equipment to complete these drills, check out or Wilson’s cool basketballs. There are WNBA replica balls by WNBA team, and, of course, our favorite the Evo NXT Game Basketball. Or shop DribbleUp’s smart ball to work on your game, because both sponsor our website so we can keep putting out great basketball drills.
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