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Master your shooting skills

This is an excerpt from Basketball Skills & Drills-3rd Edition by Jerry Krause,Don Meyer & Jerry Meyer.

Soft Touch or Killer Shooting

Purpose: To review shooting mechanics and build confidence in players by shooting on a regular basis (recommended as a warm-up for each practice).

Equipment: One ball and one basket per player. Not more than four players per basket.

Procedure: Soft touch or killer shots are taken at five spots (five shots at five spots) with specific goals appropriate to skill level. For example, beginners might shoot or make one shot at each spot (two backboard shots at 45 degrees and three rim shots-corner, middle, corner); see figure 4.31. The mental goal is to develop the habit of full focus (pick up target early and see or hold for one count). Intermediate players might be able to make two or three shots at each spot; advanced players could set a goal of only swish shots at the five spots (make three or make up to five in a row). Of the two soft touch options-one-handed and two-handed-either or both are used, but especially the one-handed version, in which the player goes to the spot, places the ball in the whole shooting hand (the palm up), locks and loads the ball into the shooting pocket, places the balance or bookend hand to the side of the ball (not touching), and shoots the shot. Coaches can emphasize these points: have the feet ready, sit into the shot, put the ball in the shooting pocket, use full focus (verbal prompt focus), and execute a full follow-through. Each player goes through the checklist to review the basics on each shot. The same drill of five shots in five spots can be done with the use of the balance hand added.The essential four steps of field-goal progression should be performed each time that a player steps on the floor to practice. Every time a player picks up a basketball, it’s an opportunity to relearn shooting (the essential slams, form shots, Hays footwork drill, and soft touch).

Players should always use soft touch shooting to apply mental practice and use verbal prompts (focus, feel [during shot], feedback [after shot, yes or net on makes; shot location on misses]).

Groove It Shooting Drill

Purpose: To evaluate shooting effectiveness and range.

Equipment: Ball, basket, and court area.

Procedure: At any spot or shot, shoot and make a minimum of 5 out of 10 shots (preferably, 7 out of 10 shots) with that move and from that location. The preferred spots or shots are shown in figure 4.31.

Options: To groove the shot at each spot, start at five locations outside the arc with a live ball.

  • Pass right and left-repeat a set of 10 shots until reaching the goal for made shots.
  • Use a shot fake and dribble right and left with proper footwork; shoot sets of 10 shots until the goal is met.
  • Face away from the basket in front of the five spots at 10 feet (3 meters) from the basket. Toss a two-handed underhand self-pass at 12 feet (3.7 meters), use a two-handed pickup and a PPF rear turn to face the basket, and shoot using mental edge technique (focus, feel, feedback). Players should keep track of their personal records for consecutive makes at each spot.

This is an excerpt from Basketball Skills & Drills, Third Edition.

More Excerpts From Basketball Skills & Drills 3rd Edition