25 Best Basketball Shooting Drills

Shooting is the most important skill in basketball as it scores points. The other fundamental skills of basketball such as dribbling, passing, dribbling, defensive play, and rebounding make up the core of the game, but all lead to the basket where shooting skills come in, and making the shot is all that counts.

Basketball shooting is not just physical – much of it is a mental attitude and the confidence you have in your shooting abilities. The combination of the mechanical aspects of the game, physical prowess, and mental attitude equate to great shooting in basketball.

Shooting in basketball is so much more than just scoring a point – or three! Developing an accurate shot not only allows you to score points for your team but also controls the game. Accurate shooting by offensive players can force defenders to play them tightly and become vulnerable to fakes, allowing the offensive players to pass and drive, as well as shoot and score.

Great shooters on a basketball team are often called pure shooters due to their smooth, free-flowing shot or soft touch on the ball. Pure shooters drive hard around their opponent and then effortlessly pull up for a soft jump shot. This leads some people to believe that pure shooters are naturally gifted and born that way. This is a misconception. Great shooters are made, not born. Pure shooters all began somewhere and developed into beautiful shooters through dedicated practice to get better at basketball.


Great shooters are made, not born. 

The great thing about shooting in basketball is that you can practice by yourself. Once you understand the mechanics of shooting, all you need is a ball, a basket, and the drive to improve. To become a better shooter in basketball, however, you also need to practice shooting under game conditions when there is pressure from other players. Practicing with a partner will provide you with similar defensive pressure to an opponent that you will experience in a game.

Types of Basketball Shooting Drills

When it comes to practicing shooting in basketball, there are four types of shooting drills that should be combined to simulate what might happen in a game. The four types of basketball shooting drills include block, interleaving, random, and game-based shooting drills.

1. Block Shooting Drills

Block shooting drills are drills that are practiced over and over again to perfect a skill. Block drills are excellent for developing rhythm and shooting techniques and building confidence. Block shooting drills are also a great warm-up before a game.

Here are a couple of examples of block shooting drills:

– Shoot 10 jump shots from the right elbow (no defense)

– Shoot 10 jump shots in a row off a curl cut from various spots (no defense)

However, block drills do transfer skills as well as other drills as you very rarely execute the same skill when shooting and catching in a game. You will mix skills of dribbling, passing, catching, and shooting in a game and they will almost always vary with outcomes based on the defense, time, and score.

So, while block shooting drills are great for practicing and perfecting skills, they are not great for transferring skills into a game.  

2. Interleaving Drills

Interleaving drills allow you to work on multiple skills at the same time such as dribbling, passing, catching, finishing, and shooting. By mixing skills in interleaving drills, you are simulating what might happen in a game and improving your efficiency and mental aptitude.

3. Random Practice Shooting Drills

Random Practice Shooting Drills have no predetermined sequence or pre-set order with each repetition being different from the last. These types of drills simulate what happens in a game, which helps transfer your shooting skills and accuracy into games.

Example (Breakthrough Basketball):

The first round of the drill:

Repetition 1 – Curl cut then shoot a mid range shot.

Repetition 2 – Straight cut then shoot a 3-point shot.

Repetition 3 – Curl cut, catch and pass. Relocate to another spot on the floor and receive another pass before shooting.

The second round of the drill:

Repetition 1 – Straight cut then shoot a 3-point shot.

Repetition 2 – Straight cut, make a dribble move, pass to someone else, relocate to another spot on the floor, receive another pass, take one dribble then shoot.

Repetition 3 – Straight cut, make a dribble move, then shoot.

4. Game-Based Shooting Drills 

Game-Based Shooting Drills are the closest you can get to simulate an actual game as they make use of defenders in the drills. Defenders will contest shots, randomize shots, and force decisions, creating the same type of atmosphere in practice as there is on the court during a game.


Block shooting drills are also a great warm-up before a game. 

When to Use Each Type of Basketball Shooting Drill?

If you are your players (if you are a coach) want to improve technique or build confidence, spend more practice time on block drills and interleaving shooting drills. If you are your players are making shots in practice but are struggling in games, spend more time on both random and game-based shooting drills.

Intermediate and advanced players should use all four types of drills for shooting in one practice with a particular focus on game-based drills. Begin with block drills to develop rhythm, build confidence, and engrain good shooting techniques. Then move to interleaving skills to mix skills with shooting, followed by random practice and game-based drills where you practice multiple skills with no pre-set sequence and simulate real game situations.

Best Basketball Shooting Drills

Here are some of the best basketball shooting drills in each of the four categories of shooting drills:

Form Shooting Drills

1. Six-Step Form Shooting Progression

This progression shooting drill can be used by youth players who want to develop their shooting technique and by advanced players as a great warm-up before a game.

Step 1: The 1-Hand Form Shooting Drill

Best for: The 1-hand shooting form drill is an excellent foundational drill for developing and reinforcing the release” portion of your shot.

Drill Instructions

Stand in a strong, balanced position with your feet about shoulder-width apart or slightly narrower. Make an L-shape with your shooting arm and focus on pushing the ball up and out. Your elbow should be above your eyes at the finish. Focus on maintaining a strong but flexible wrist and pushing the ball through your fingers. Once the ball has left your hands, your index finger or your index/middle finger should be pointing at the hoop.

Shooting up and out and pushing the ball correctly through your fingers creates the proper backspin on the ball, which is exactly what you want to achieve. Begin by shooting against a wall and then progressing onto the basket.

Watch this video to see the 1-Hand Form Shooting Drill.

Step 2: One Hand Form Shooting Drill – With Guide Hand

The next step is to add the guide hand to the shooting release, however, in this drill, the guide hand does not touch the ball. This is to counteract players falling into a bad habit of using their guide hand when shooting and overshooting to the left or the right.

Drill Instructions

Stand in a strong, balanced position with your feet about shoulder-width apart or slightly narrower. Make an L-shape with your shooting arm and focus on pushing the ball up and out. Your elbow should be above your eyes at the finish. Your guide hand should be near the side of the ball but not touching it and must remain still.

Focus on maintaining a strong but flexible wrist and pushing the ball through your fingers. Once the ball has left your hands, your index finger or your index/middle finger should be pointing at the hoop.

Shooting up and out and pushing the ball correctly through your fingers creates the proper backspin on the ball, which is exactly what you want to achieve. Begin by shooting against a wall and then progressing onto the basket.

Watch this video to see the 1-Hand Form Shooting Drill with a Guide Hand.  

Step 3: Set-to-Go Drill

The Set to Go Drill focuses on the top half of the shooting motion and develops the coordination of extending your legs to shoot as the ball passes up through the shoulder position.

Drill Instructions

Stand a few feet from the basket. Your arm should be at an angle of approximately 90 degrees and the ball near the shoulder – this is known as the “set position.”

When ready, extend your legs and shoot at the same time in a smooth, fluid motion without any pauses. There is little to no jump in this movement – it is more like a free throw.

Watch this video to see the Set to Go Drill.

Step 4: Tuck-to-Set

The tuck is a position that helps develop timing, arc, fluidity, rhythm and a higher release point. Just before shooting, you immediately bring the ball to the tuck position with your arm at a 90-degree angle and parallel to the ground from your waist to shoulder level. Your elbow should be tucked back near your side in a relaxed position.

Drill Instructions

There are two stages to this next drill: Tuck-to-Set and Tuck-to-Go. These two consecutive drills teach you to start the upwards motion of the ball first before extending your legs to jump. On the command of “tuck,” you put the ball in the tuck position as discussed above and place your foot back. On the command of “set”, you bring your foot forward and the ball up to the set position.

The ball needs to move from the tuck to the set position as soon as your foot hits the ground. As you begin to develop the correct coordination and rhythm, you can increase your speed of the drill. Practice this drill with both the right and left foot and repeat the drill for 10 – 20 reps.

Step 5: Tuck-to-Go Drill

Once you have grasped the rhythm and timing of the Tuck-to-Set drill, the next step is moving onto the Tuck-to-Go Drill.

Drill Instructions

Start with the ball in your hand and as you move the ball in an upward motion, begin to extend your legs into a jump. It is very important to emphasize a smooth, fluid motion without any pauses or hitches in the shot motion from start to finish.

Your foot should hit the ground as the ball hits the setpoint and the legs should be extended as soon as the foot hits the ground. Begin the drill slowly and gradually speed up as you master the drill.

Watch this video to see the Tuck-to-Go Drill.

Step 6: Shooting Off the Pass

Once you have mastered the proper rhythm and timing, you can start shooting from the pass just like a game.

Watch this video to see how to shoot off the pass.

Here are some examples of shooting drills using the six-step structure above for beginner, intermediate, and advanced basketball players.  

Beginner Basketball Shooting Drills Workout

20 x Hand Form Shooting Drills

20 x Hand Form Shooting With Guide Hand

40 x Set-to-go drill at 3 feet, 6 feet, 9 feet, and 12 feet from the basket

20 x Tuck-to-set Drill on each leg

30 x Tuck-to-go with the ball – 30 shots on each – begin at 10 feet from the basket

30 x Shooting Off the Pass – 30 shots on each – begin at 10 feet from the basket


Shooting Off the Pass Drill in motion.

Intermediate and Advanced Basketball Shooting Drills and Warm-Up

For intermediate and advanced players, a condensed version of this to warm up can be used to hone in on and sharpen the proper shooting technique.

10 x Hand Form Shooting Drill

10 x Hand Form Shooting With Guide Hand

20 x Set-to-go drill at 3 feet, 6 feet, 9 feet, and 12 feet from the basket

10 x Tuck-to-set Drill on each leg

Tuck-to-go with the ball – 20 shots on each – begin at 10 – 15 feet from the basket

Shooting Off the Pass – 20 shots on each – begin at 10 – 18 feet from the basket


Tuck-to-go with the ball warm-up drill. 

Click here for some more fantastic form shooting progressions used by professional basketball coaches that improve strength, power, balance, stability, faster running, higher and faster jumping, quicker changes of direction, and better playing through contact.

Block Shooting Drills

Block shooting drills are practiced over and over again to perfect a skill. They are excellent for developing rhythm and shooting techniques and building confidence. Block shooting drills are also a great warm-up before a game.

The Ray Allen Shooting Drill

The Ray Allen shooting drill can be used as a shooting warm-up or as a competitive but fun way to end a workout. It can easily be adapted for all levels of basketball players from beginners and pros.

Drill Instructions

Five lines on the court have five spots at different distances from the baskets:

Spot 1 – 4 Feet

Spot 2 – 8 Feet

Spot 3 – 12 Feet

Spot 4 – 16 Feet

Spot 5 – 20 Feet

Players must make consecutive shots from each spot from one through five to advance in line. If players miss any of the spots, they start over at the same spot.

Watch this video to see the Ray Allen Shooting Drill

The Elbow Shooting Drill

The Elbow Shooting Drill focuses on effective footwork and is a good drill for establishing balance, fluidity, and consistent motion at pace while moving into a shot from both the right and the left directions.

Drill Instructions

This drill ideally needs four players. The first player stands just above the top of the key in the shooting line; a rebounder positions themselves near the basket on the off-side of the right-side shooting elbow; and two players stand in the passing line at the right-wing, free-throw line extended and outside the three-point line. The ball will be in a passer’s hands, to begin with.

The shooter jab steps to the left and then cuts to the right elbow. The passer delivers a pass so that the shooter can step right into the shot using the left foot as the pivot foot. The rebound player throws the ball to the passing line. The first shooter becomes the new rebounder. The first rebounder joins the passing line. The first passing player becomes the next shooter, etc.

The process can be repeated from the opposite elbow and the rebounder and passing-line positions can be adjusted. Continue the drill until all players have had shot ten shots from both elbows. Players must use the right foot for the pivot foot when shooting from the left elbow.

Points of Emphasis:

  • When shooting from the left elbow, players must use the right foot for the pivot foot when shooting.
  • To avoid wasting energy repositioning the ball, players should be thrown to the shot pocket.
  • Shooters must always be on the move and catch the ball just as they arrive at the elbow.
  • The shooter should land in the same spot, or slightly in front of the spot, from which they started the shot.

Interleaving Shooting Drills

Interleaving drills allow you to work on multiple skills at the same time such as dribbling, passing, catching, finishing, and shooting. By mixing skills in interleaving drills, you are simulating what might happen in a game and improving your efficiency and mental aptitude.

“Rocker” Shooting Drills

There are several progression steps to this drill.

Shooting Drill Progression #1 – 1 Dribble Pull Up

In the first step, you catch the ball and prepare to shoot. Then step through, take one dribble for the pull-up jump shot. It’s important to cover a good distance with your dribble as this creates separation from the defender and creates an open jump shot.

Pound the ball to get it quickly back into your hands as this speeds up the shooting motion and minimizes the time that the ball is away from your hands. This makes it more difficult for the defender to steal the ball.

Shooting Drill Progression #2 – Step Back Jumper

In the next progression, take one dribble at the basket, then step back for a jump shot. Aspects to focus on in this step are to explode backward to create separation from the defense and make sure you are balanced for consistency in your jump shot.

Shooting Drill Progression #3 – Rocker Step

Now execute the step-back move and if the defender closes out hard on the step-back move, explode forward or execute a dribble move. This is known as “the rocker step.” Remember to execute compact movements and move in straight lines to remove wasted movement and make your shot motion more efficient.

Wichita State Attack Series Drill

The Wichita State Attack Series is an excellent drill for developing guard moves and countering when attacking the basket.

Main points of emphasis in this drill: 

 

  • Blow drive by defense
  • Finish through contact more often
  • Defend and knock out more pull up jump shots
  • Drive by the defense with counter dribble moves
  • Handle contact on the perimeter and rip through a physical defender

Each move in the drill begins with a step-over cut, which is essentially a cut to the mid-post area. Execute a brief post up before cutting to the wing.

Drill Progressions

Progression 1: Rip – 1 Dribble – Lay-Up

Rip the ball across your body to execute a sweep to the baseline side. Take one dribble, and finish at the basket.

Progression 2: Rip – 1 Dribble – Jump Shot

Rip the ball across your body to execute a sweep to the baseline side. Pull up for a jump shot after one dribble.

Progression 3: Rip – Counter Move – Jump Shot

Rip the ball across your body to execute a sweep to the baseline side. After one dribble, make a dribble move to change directions and shoot a jump shot.

Progression 4: Double Rip – 1 Dribble – Jump Shot

Rip the ball across your body to execute a sweep to the baseline side. After the cut to the wing, execute a double rip, take one dribble to the middle of the floor and take a jump shot.

Progression 5: Double Rip – Counter Move – Lay-Up

Rip the ball across your body to execute a sweep to the baseline side. After the cut to the wing, execute a double rip, take one dribble to the middle of the floor and finish with a lay-up.

It is important to practice this drill on both sides of the court.

Emphasis Points:

  • Crisp passes 
  • Cover distance 
  • Outside hip finish 
  • Pound the ball 
  • Drive body to body 

Watch this video to see how to execute this Wichita State Attack Series Drill

Random Practice & Game-Based Shooting Drills with Defenders

Random Practice Shooting Drills have no predetermined sequence or pre-set order with each repetition being different from the last. These types of drills simulate what happens in a game, which helps transfer your shooting skills and accuracy into games.

Shooting Off the Dribble – 30 Point Drill

This is a great drill for improving your ability to shoot off the dribble and practice shooting free throws under pressure when you are fatigued.  

Drill Instructions

The drill begins near half-court sprints to the first cone and receives a pass just behind the first cone. The shooter takes three shots at each cone on the court:  

  1. One three-point shot after one dribble (3 points)
  2. Dribble move to the left for a mid-range jump shot (2 points)
  3. Dribble move to the right for a mid-range jump shot (2 points)

This equates to a total of seven points at each cone as you are taking three shots, coming to a total of 28 points. At the end of the drill, shoot two free throws worth one point each, bringing the total score to 30 points.

Track your scores each week so you can track your improvements over time – a score of 23 or above is a great score.

Variants of this Drill:

          The position of the passer can be changed to simulate game passes. If you are practicing this drill with just two players, the shooter can rebound each shot. With three players, the drill can be practiced with a passer, shooter, and rebound player. Use two basketballs to practice more efficiently.

1-on-1 Away Screen Shooting Drill

The 1-on-1 Away Screen Shooting Drill is another excellent drill for improving shooting during games under pressure. Every action an offensive player takes on the basketball court is based on a defender’s positioning, so it is important to replicate cuts and situations that may occur in a real game in your practices. It is also important to simulate away screens.

Drill Instructions

One player stands on the wing as a passer and another player stands at the top of the key with the ball. This player is the screener and will become a defender once the play has begun.

Another player on the wing receives the screen and becomes the offensive player. They pass to the wing and immediately sprint to set the screen for the player on the opposite wing. Once the screen is set, the offensive player sprints to the top to catch the pass.

After the screen, the screener then becomes the defensive player by trying to stop the offensive player from scoring.

Important Tips to Ensure More Scoring Opportunities for the Screener:

  1. When a screen is set, defenders tend to flock to the ball, so if you have great screens for good shooters, you will be left alone with plenty of easy scoring opportunities.
  2. Take two steps down towards the basket as this gives the offensive player more time to set up the screen and creates a better angle and position for the screen.
  3. Communicate the screen with a signal or verbally so your team knows what you are thinking.
  4. Sprint to the screen as this gives both defenders less time to get in position.
  5. Perform a quick stop as this shows the referee you are not moving, and you won’t risk getting an offensive foul called against you.

Watch this video to see how this drill is executed.  

Final Thoughts

There are hundreds of shooting drills for you to practice to be a great shooter in basketball – remember that great shooters are made, not born! Learning the correct technique and putting in extra hours of practice is a sure-fire way of becoming a better shooter.

Remember the four fundamentals of shooting in basketball and perfect them before you start putting in extra hours to ensure your technique is correct. It is more difficult to get out of bad habits than to learn the right technique.

Start with a great foundation and learn to shoot with a strong, balanced stance. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to optimize balance in a variety of moves. Always be ready to shoot – this is a vital part of being a great shooter. Keep your knees bent for power and balance and your wrist cocked in preparation to receive the basketball. Keep your eyes on the target when you have the ball and keep your elbow close to your body. Shoot in a smooth, fluid motion with your eyes on the basket and point your fingers towards the basket so the ball can follow their line.

And last, but not least, practice, practice and practice some more. Some of the best shooters in the world can shoot up to 500 baskets a day. Work on all aspects of shooting – not just the shot – always include dribbling, passing, stationary, mid-range shots, three-point shots, off-the-screen, foul shots, floating shots, backboard shots, and off-rhythm shots, and you’ll see the difference.

Have fun on the court!