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Basketball Shooting Drills:
Pressure Shooting

Some shooting drills should focus on developing good fundamental shooting form; more advanced drills should introduce game situation pressure. The Pressure Shooting Drill focuses on shooting in game situations, developing and improving players' abilities to shoot with accuracy and a quick release in a game.

Instructions to Players

Here's what players need to focus on:

  • When shooting, focus needs to be on proper form as well as quick release - shooters cannot disregard their earlier instruction on shooting form just so they can get the shot off quickly. They must learn to integrate proper shooting form into the game

  • When rebounding, be quick to follow your shot and grab the rebound

  • Rebounders focus on making a quick, hard chest pass out to shooters

  • When approaching shooters, defenders need to approach quickly but under control - as in a game, you do not run blindly at your man, and you do not jump into his shot trying to block him - do this, and 9 out of 10 the offensive player will drive past you

  • Defenders need to realize this is above all a shooting drill - the emphasis of the defender is on providing appropriate pressure to the shooter, not going for the block or ambling out to meet the shooter slowly.

How this Basketball Shooting Drill Works

  • Players take up three positions - one at each wing, and one below the net with the ball

  • The player at the net (#3) outlets the ball to one of the wings (#1)

  • #3 immediately advances on the wing with the ball, advance hand raised to apply pressure to the shot

pressure basketball shooting drill

  • The wing (#1) immediately shoots the ball

  • #1 then follows his shot, rebounding quickly

  • #1 then passes out to the opposite wing (#2)

  • #1 immediately advances on the shooter (#2), advance hand raised to apply pressure to the shot

pressure basketball shooting drill

  • #2 immediately shoots, and then follows his shot

  • #2 passes out to the opposite wing, #3

  • #2 immediately advances on the shooter, hand raised to apply pressure to the shot

pressure basketball shooting drill

The three players go back and forth in this manner for 1 minute.

The Pressure Shooting drill is good practice for shooting in game-like situations. Add in a variation or two, and you can practice almost any individual offensive situation in a game-like environment.

Variation 1 of this Basketball Shooting Drill:
Fake and Drive

  • When the wing receives the ball from the rebounder, he fakes a shot

  • The rebounder/defender charges him hard, assuming a shot

  • The wing waits until the defender has closed the gap, and then drives hard past him

  • The wing either drives all the way to the hoop, or pulls up for a jumper (if the shooter pulls up, be sure to be well past the defender so that he cannot reach back and block)

pressure basketball shooting drill

NOTE: it is important that the defender approaches hard, as if he really means to block the shooter. It is equally important that the shooter waits until the defender has totally committed himself to closing in on the shooter - has either begun to jump at him, or is in the middle of taking a giant step that will finish very close to him - so that the forward momentum of the defender drives the defender past the shooter as he drives in to the hoop.

Variation 2 of this Basketball Shooting Drill:
Shooter's Call

  • Upon receiving the outlet pass, the wing decides whether to shoot or drive based on how the defender approaches him

  • If the defender charges him hard, the wing fakes the shot and drives past him

  • If the defender comes on slowly, the wing shoots over him

NOTE: it is important that the wing makes this decision early - if he hesitates, often what happens is that the two end up in a slow 1-on-1 match, that gives the advantage to the defender. The wing needs to read the defender quickly and react accordingly.

This is a great basketball shooting drill for simulating real-game situations and teaching players not only shooting and driving skills, but also quick decision-making skills that prove vital in the game. The more often they do it in practice, the more easily it will come to them in the game.

Find more Basketball Shooting Drills here

Go to the Better Basketball Coaching home page

"Don't give up, don't ever give up."
- Jim Valvano

Want something more visual?

Check out UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg's video package of drills


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