Basketball Systems, Skills & Drills

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1 on 1

Fundamentals - Keys to shooting

See Shooting - Torbett build your shot, Drew Hanlen, Augie Johnston, Steph Curry, Adam Filippi, also Hubie Brown Spot, Movement, Off the dribble, and YouTube playlist - Shooting form.

  • Stance (balance)
    • hop (quick off a catch) or 1-2 step (quick off the dribble)
    • drop into a hop or 1-2, a quick hip drop (don't jump)
    • knees bent and feet ready
    • 10 toes to the rim (or feet angled, e.g. with dominant right eye)
  • Grip
    • shooting-hand in the middle of the ball, fingers spread
    • guide hand beside the ball, thumbs form a ‘T’
  • Shot pocket
    • on a perimeter shot, start by looking over the ball
    • on a catch, dip the ball down to the shot pocket (bottom of the shot line) and load up (bend the knees) for rhythm and power
    • for a quicker shot, catch in the shot pocket with feet set and knees bent, don't lower the ball (shooting off the dribble, you and the ball are already low)
    • there are two right angles, elbow and wrist (set the wrist)
  • Aim at the hoop
    • back rim (“look to the hook”), or the whole basket (the empty space)
      • Noah Basketball - shoot the ball two inches past the centre of the basket
  • Extension
    • shoot from the leg drive, on the way up
    • upward elevation of the arm (70-75% of max force), full extension, arm straight
    • elbow lock and wrist snap, relaxed wrist and hand
    • ball comes off the index and middle fingers (the shooting fingers)
      • variation - the index or middle finger is in the middle of the ball, and comes off last
    • medium to high arc (45 to 55 degrees), shoot up and out the top of a telephone booth
      • Noah Basketball - shoot at a 45-degree angle
    • shooting elbow above eyes - elbow to eyebrow
  • Follow through
    • reach in the cookie jar and hold for backspin
    • keep the shooting hand spread wide, shooting fingers pointing in the rim
    • guide hand finishes in a vertical position off the ball, fingertips even with the shooting-hand wrist

Dave Love - get to the shot pocket while your legs are still loaded, go up and out from there.

Scott Adubato - for a quick, snap release, have the feet set, be low, don't bring the ball down.

Rick Torbett - time breaking of the shooting wrist with feet leaving the floor.

Hal Wissell - shooting rhythm comes from a down-and-up motion of the legs. Shooting off a catch, the "down" comes just before the catch, and the shot goes up as the legs go up. Keep the ball high, don't lower it.

Adam Filippi - on a jump shot the ball should leave your hand right before the top of your jump. For an "elevation" shot, shoot as you extend your body and release with your feet barely leaving the ground.

Form shooting progression

Start with "shadow" shooting (without a ball, see Tauer, 5star shadow, GVRTC form), then have players shoot to a partner,

  • one-hand
    • isolation position - guide hand beside but not on the ball (Love)
    • rhythm shooting - ball in front resting on the shooting hand,
      • legs flexed, raise ball to waiter position, shoot in one motion (Johnston, Filippi)
      • ball-drop - drop the ball, squat to catch and move up into a one-handed set shot (Taylor Allan)
  • ready position (set point) - waiter position, put the guide hand on the ball (Torbett, Johnston, Tauer)
  • ready-set-fire - ready position, bring the ball down to the shot pocket, jump shot (or set shot to start) (Torbett)
  • elbow-in drill - shot pocket to ready position, back to shot pocket, repeat, no shot (Filippi)
    • progression - legs extend then load up again (Johnston)
  • shot fake - shot pocket to ready position and back, shoot (Hanlen)
  • shot pocket
  • thigh taps - tap your thigh 3 times with the ball, shoot (Collin Castellaw - Perfect shot pocket, YouTube)
  • elbow tap - tap shooting elbow to your hip (body space), shoot (Castellaw - Improve shooting form, YouTube)
  • floor pick-ups - ball on floor (check shooting fingers), or partner rolls a ball (Steph Curry, Nash block, Form, Love)
  • drop (Nash) shooting - drop to touch the ball to the floor (Johnston, Nash block)
  • stuff shooting - hold the ball in one hand, move it over to the shot pocket, shoot, or shot fake (or elbow-in drill) (Hanlen)
  • bounce-ups - bounce the ball (or let a shot bounce), hop and catch, bring it down to your waist (and load up), shoot (Curry)
  • pound stuff (ball-quick) - one or more dribbles, a) no shot, b) shoot, progression - scissors dribbles (Hanlen, Frankston step-up, Torbett, Filippi)
  • step-ups (spin a pass, or from partner) - step-in with anchor foot (Tauer, Alford, Filippi), hop step (Torbett), 1-2 step (Frankston, Johnston)
    • Ullah - spin a pass 3 times, 1-2 step (anchor foot), pump fake, shoot the 4th time (Quick release)
  • machine-gun drill - hot feet, hop, catch, shoot (Doc Scheppler - The hop is the secret, YouTube), can add quick turns
  • quick turns - e.g. 90 or 180 degrees (90s, Love, Curry)
  • hop drills - balance (GVRTC, Filippi)
  • one-legged shot - off the non-dribble foot (Ullah - Top 7 shooting drills, YouTube)
  • line shooting - set shot, jump shot (Torbett, Form, Filippi)
  • square-ups - GVRTC (step-up 90s), Torbett (square in the air)
  • dribble step-ups, square-ups - Frankston, Torbett (1-2 dribble, pivot square-up), GVRTC
  • pull-ups - one-dribble pull-ups right, left (Hanlen)
  • free throws - 2-3 dribbles, up and out, or flex then up

Other form shooting (can be with a partner)

See Shooting - Tauer form, Form, Nash form, Nash block, Rick Torbett, Frankston step-up, 90s, Dave Love, GVRTC form.up

© 2007-18 Eric Johannsen