“Boston Series” Shooting Drills: A Competitive Way To Maximize Shooting Work In A Short Period Of Time
By Dan Ross, Head Girls Varsity Coach, Springdale High School, Springdale, Pa.
IF YOU DON’T have access to the latest technological gadgets to help your players get in hundreds of reps in shooting practice — whether it’s due to budget restrictions or limited gym space — the following shooting drills can really help.
Called the “Boston Series,” these drills provide a great deal of practice for essential skills such as pivoting, passing and shooting, as well as providing solid work as a general conditioning tool.
All of these drills can be done for a set period of time or for a specified number of repetitions. Whichever way works best for your team is fine.
To build in a little natural competition among your players, you can divide your team into two or more groups (depending on the size of your squad or number of available baskets) and put into place a reward-and-penalty system for the winning and losing groups.
You should also keep a posted record for the highest number of shots made during a set period of time for each of the drills. This tactic is another good method for challenging your players to work together to improve as individuals and as a team simultaneously.
The “block drill” emphasizes proper footwork, learning to use the glass, making good outlet passes (both to the corner and top-of-the-key outlet areas) and learning to direct a pass away from the defense by hitting the shooter’s target hand on a sharp cut.
You’ll need two balls for this drill. There are seven players per squad, with six players set up in a single-file line at the top of the key and one player (player 7 in Diagram 1) set up in either the right or left corner, depending on the side you’re shooting from.
DIAGRAM 1: Block Drill (A). Player 6 cuts down the middle of the lane toward the baseline. At the baseline, he or she plants a foot and cuts to the block. 1 throws a pass to the 6’s outside hand at the block.
DIAGRAM 2: Block Drill (B). As soon as 1 throws the pass to 6, he or she must begin to cut down the middle of the lane in front of the shooting player. The cutter must go baseline to avoid congestion.
6 plants the inside foot, pivots, shoots off the glass, follows the shot, rebounds and throws and outlet pass to 7 in the corner.
7 passes to 3 at the top of the key and follows the pass, going to the end of the line at the top of the key.
DIAGRAM 3: Block Drill (C). 6 then replaces 7 in the corner. 2 continues the drill by throwing a pass to 1 cutting at the block area.
All players follow the same rotation and the drill continues until either a set time elapses or a set number of shot attempts are taken.
The foul-line drill emphasizes proper footwork, learning to read the board to react to rebounds, making good outlet passes (to the corner or wing areas) and to learn to throw a pass and hit the shooter’s target hand while he or she is coming out of a quick cut.
You’ll need two balls for this drill and at least 5 players set up at the foul-line extended on either the right or left side and with one person in the right or left corner, depending on what side you’re shooting from.
DIAGRAM 4: Foul-Line Drill (A). Player 5 cuts to the weak-side block area, plants his or her foot and cuts to the middle of the foul line.
DIAGRAM 5: Foul-Line Drill (B). 1 passes to 5 for a jump shot from the foul line. 5 follows the shot, rebounds the ball and throw an outlet pass to 6 in the corner. Once 1 passes the ball, he or she must cut to the weak-side-block area, plant the foot and cut to the foul line just as 5 did.
6 passes to 3 in line, follows the pass and breaks to the end of the line. 5 replaces 6 in the corner.
DIAGRAM 6: Foul-Line Drill (C). 2 passes to 1 at the foul line and the rotation pattern continues until either a set time elapses or a set number of shot attempts are taken.
In the 3-point shot drill, much like the previous drills, the emphasis is on proper footwork, learning to read the board after a 3-point shot attempt, passing to the wing area and throwing a good pass by hitting the shooter’s target hand as he or she comes out of a hard cut behind the 3-point line.
You need 4 balls for this drill and 8 players. Divide the squad into two groups of players with 4 standing in 2 single-file lines at the top of the key (spaced out at the lane-line extended).
DIAGRAM 7: 3-Point Shot Drill (A). 1 begins the drill by cutting to the opposite low block, planting and then breaking out beyond the 3-point line. 2 throws a pass to 1.
DIAGRAM 8: 3-Point Shot Drill (B). 1 shoots a 3-point shot, follows the shot, rebounds the ball and power dribbles his or her way up the center of the lane. The ball is given back to the line from which the original pass came from.
2, after making the pass, cuts to the opposite low block and breaks out beyond the 3-point line.
DIAGRAM 9: 3-Point Shot Drill (C). 3 passes to 2 coming out of his or her cut for a 3-point shot. 2 follows the shot, rebounds the ball and power dribbles up the lanes line, handing the ball off to the appropriate line.
The rotation pattern continues until either a set time elapses or a set number of shot attempts are taken.