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How to Get Better at Basketball Shooting: 9 Drills & Tips

Posted by Jordan Snider on Nov 2, 2023 9:29:00 AM

Do you love basketball?

If so, you probably understand the importance of being able to shoot. 

Whether you’re in a triple-threat position or dribbling toward the paint, the ability to rise up and knock down a shot is a skill you’ll want to have. 

So, what can you do to improve your shooting?

Below, we’ll list nine different basketball shooting drills to help you become a better player. But first, let’s talk about what elements go into great shooting form. 

The Elements of Great Basketball Shot Form 

Your balance is the first crucial element of taking an accurate shot in basketball. Without terrific balance, how can you expect to hit your target?

In general, you want to keep your feet shoulder-width apart with your dominant foot slightly in front of the other. For example, if you’re right-handed, your right foot should be slightly in front of your left. Your knees should be bent, your back should be straight, and your hips should be straight to the target. 


When shooting on the move, having all these mechanics perfectly lined up is not always possible. However, as long as you shoot from a balanced position and aren’t falling over, some shooting off the dribble drills can help.

Next is your elbows — you may not realize it, but elbow placement is one of the most important elements of your form.

Try to keep your elbows in as you rise for your shot. The ball should start close to the chest and underneath the chin with your dominant hand toward the back of the ball. 

Meanwhile, your other hand should only be used as a guide — it’s not actually used to shoot the ball! 

If you flare your elbows during your shot, you’ll be much more likely to shoot off-target.

Your eyes and where you look are the next part of your shot. Everyone has a different target that they look at to help them shoot, but what they have in common is that their eyes lock in on the mark early and never leave. 

For example, four-time NBA champion and current three-point record holder Stephen Curry says he locks in on the netting hooks where the rim meets the net. 

Last is the follow-through — as you come up through your shot form, you’ll release the ball by extending your elbow and flicking the wrist and fingers of your shooting hand.

For the follow-through, picture a cookie jar on a high shelf — act as though you’re trying to reach into this jar and pick out a cookie for yourself. 

Nine Basketball Shooting Drills to Help You Become a Better Shooter

Stationary Shooting

You have to learn to walk before you run. 

Similarly, learning basketball shooting form means staying in one place closer to the hoop and working on your mechanics before attempting more challenging shots. 

Stationary shooting is a fundamental drill that lays the foundation for accurate shooting. By standing still and focusing on their shooting technique, kids can fine-tune their form, learn to align their bodies, concentrate on their target (the hoop), and develop muscle memory for consistent shooting. 

This drill helps build a strong shooting foundation from the ground up, which is essential for success in more advanced shooting situations.

  • Stand still in front of the hoop.
  • Hold the ball with both hands.
  • Focus on the hoop.
  • Use your shooting form: bend your knees and follow through with your shooting hand.
  • Shoot the ball into the hoop, aiming for the center.

Layup Lines 

The closer you get to the basket, the better your chance of scoring, right? 


Layup lines are an essential part of basketball training—they teach kids how to perform layups effectively with both their right and left hands. Developing this skill boosts their versatility on the court, allowing them to finish close-range shots and get those easy baskets confidently. 

  • Form a line at a distance from the hoop.
  • Dribble toward the hoop.
  • As you get close, jump off one foot (right foot for right-handed, left foot for left-handed) and lay the ball gently off the backboard into the hoop.
  • Alternate between right and left-handed layups.

Free Throw Challenge

Legendary three-point shooter and two-time NBA champion Ray Allen once commented that his shooting workouts start with a free throw warm-up.

Why is this?

While many people come into the gym and mess around with different types of shots, Ray believes in taking game shots—the shots you’ll take in a real game. He can work on his release without wasting time by warming up with free throws. 

To be the best player that you can be, you need to be able to hit free throws!

The free throw challenge is a crucial drill for honing kids' free throw shooting accuracy. By practicing them, kids develop a consistent routine and learn to handle pressure situations. Through repetition, focus and muscle memory will improve, increasing their success rate from the free-throw line and allowing them to pick up those easy and crucial points in games. 

  • Stand on the free-throw line (15 feet from the hoop).
  • Hold the ball with both hands.
  • Focus on the hoop's center.
  • Bend your knees and follow through as you shoot the ball into the hoop.
  • Try to make as many free throws in a row as you can.

Spot Shooting 

Every player has their favorite spot. No matter what kind of player you are, there’s a spot on the floor where you know your shot has the best possible chance of falling through the hoop!

Spot shooting drills allow kids to focus on specific shooting areas, like the corners or wings. This concentrated practice helps them master shooting from their preferred spots and develop a scoring advantage in those areas. The repetition in spot shooting builds muscle memory, making these shots more automatic during games.

  • Choose a specific spot on the court (e.g., the corner).
  • Stand at that spot.
  • Practice shooting from that spot, focusing on accuracy.
  • Retrieve the ball after each shot and repeat.

Around the World

Contrary to the spot shooting drill, it’s about becoming a dangerous shooter from all around the court for some players.

Around the World is a dynamic drill that helps kids become well-rounded shooters. By making shots from various spots on the court, players can learn to adapt their shooting technique to different situations—after all, sometimes you can’t make it to your favorite place!

The Around the World game improves shooting accuracy and versatility, making players more confident shooters from all areas of the court.

  • Set up points at different locations around the court (e.g., baseline, wing, top of the key).
  • Start at one spot and make a shot.
  • Move to the next spot only if you make the shot.
  • Continue until you've made a shot from each spot.

Pass and Shoot

There are two common scenarios where a player will shoot the ball: from a catch-and-shoot position or shooting off the dribble.

Passing and shooting drills are essential for kids to improve their catch-and-shoot skills.

In actual games, players often receive passes and must take quick, accurate shots before defenders have the chance to close out. This drill helps kids develop hand-eye coordination and make precise shots immediately after catching the ball.

  • Begin with the ball and dribble toward the hoop.
  • As you reach the shooting range, stop dribbling and quickly set your feet.
  • Use your shooting form to take a shot.
  • Practice shooting after dribbling to improve your skills.

Dribble and Shoot

So, what about the other scenario where players will shoot the ball?

Shooting off the dribble isn’t an easy task—however, once you get the hang of it, it’s an essential skill that can help you leave your defender guessing.


Dribble and shoot drills simulate in-game scenarios where kids must transition from dribbling to shooting and create their own scoring opportunities. This drill enhances coordination, balance, and shooting under movement.

  • Begin with the ball and dribble toward the hoop.
  • As you reach the shooting range, stop dribbling and quickly set your feet.
  • Use your shooting form to take a shot.
  • Practice shooting after dribbling to improve your skills.

Horse or Pig 

It doesn’t always happen, but you’ll have to shoot strange shots from odd places to get the basket in some situations.

Playing "Horse" or "Pig" encourages kids to get creative with their shots. It challenges them to attempt different shooting techniques and develop their shot-making abilities under pressure. 

This friendly competition fosters a competitive spirit and improves their shot creativity and accuracy when attempting challenging shots.

  • Take turns with a friend to make creative and challenging shots.
  • If you make a shot, your friend must make the same shot.
  • If your friend misses, they get a letter (starting with "H" or "P").
  • Continue until someone spells "HORSE" or "PIG."

Time Pressure Drill

Picture this: the clock is running down, the score is tied, and you have the ball in your hands. 

There’s no better feeling for many basketball players than making a game-winning or game-tying shot. Luckily, there are ways to improve your shooting when you don’t have much time left!


The time pressure drill simulates these game situations that we talked about above. Players can improve their ability to execute crucial shots in critical moments by practicing under time constraints. 

This drill enhances mental toughness and decision-making skills while shooting, making them more clutch players on the court.

  • Set a timer for one minute.
  • Take shots from a specific spot or multiple spots on the court.
  • Quickly retrieve the ball after each shot and shoot again.
  • Count how many shots you make in one minute and try to beat your score each time.

Enhance Basketball Shooting Abilities at a Basketball Summer Camp

For lovers of the game, nothing beats a summer basketball camp!  

Experienced counselors can share their favorite drills to help your child become a better shooter. 

If summer camp is on your mind, we can help you pick the right one. The Future Stars Camp Comparison Checklist lets you easily compare and contrast basketball camp costs, activities, dates, and locations.

Access the Camp Comparison Checklist today and find a basketball summer camp your child will love!

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