‘Boston Series’ shooting drills: Maximizing shots with little time
If you don’t have the ability to help your players get hundreds of reps in practice — whether it’s due to budget restrictions or limited gym space — the following shooting drills can help.
Called the “Boston Series,” these drills provide a great deal of practice for essential skills — pivoting, passing, shooting — and provide 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.
To build in a little competition among players, divide your team into two or more groups, if possible, and put into place a reward-and-penalty system for the winning and losing groups.
You should also keep a records for the highest number of shots made during a set period of time for each drill. This is a good method for challenging your players to work together to improve as individuals and as a team.
‘Boston Series’ block drill
The block drill emphasizes proper footwork, learning to use the glass, making good outlet passes, and learning to direct passes away from defenders 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 — 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). 6 cuts down the middle of the lane toward the baseline. At the baseline, they plant a foot and cut 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, they 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 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 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 shots are taken.
‘Boston Series’ Foul-line drill
The foul-line drill emphasizes proper footwork, reacting to rebounds, making good outlet passes and passing to a 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 five players set up at the foul-line extended on either the right or left side. Have one player 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 their 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 and throws an outlet pass to 6 in the corner. Once 1 passes the ball, they must cut to the weak-side block, plant the foot, and cut to the foul line.
6 passes to 3, 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. The rotation pattern continues until either a set time elapses or a set number of shots are taken.
‘Boston Series’ 3-point shot
In this drill, much like the previous drill, the emphasis is on proper footwork, learning to read the board after a 3-point shot, passing to the wing area, and throwing a good pass to a shooter’s target hand as they come out of their cut.
You need four balls and eight players for this drill. Divide the squad into two groups of players, with four standing in two 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 breaking out beyond the 3-point line. 2 throws a pass to 1.
DIAGRAM 8: 3-point shot drill (B). 1 shoots a 3-pointer, follows the shot, rebounds, and power dribbles to 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 their cut for a 3-pointer. 2 follows the shot, rebounds the ball, and power dribbles up the lane line, handing the ball to the appropriate line.
The rotation pattern continues until either a set time elapses or a set number of shot attempts are taken.