There are really only so many drills you do for shooting.

It’s tough to play with such a short, quick movement AND still that the way you are manipulating the movement be meaningful to the players.

That is why I get a lot of my drill ideas from GOLF and TENNIS.  They are also relatively closed-skill based sports, but in variable environments, just like shooting.

As I started to breakdown shooting form drills, I started to realize there are really only a handful of layers that you can add to a skill to make the situation more like a game.

If you can start to understand how to play with layers, then you end up taking a half-dozen meaningful drills and turning them into infinite numbers of layers.  Rather than searching for the MAGIC DRILL, you have an arsenal available to you.


If you have a drill that has a player stationary so they can focus on details in their shooting mechanics, then begin to add DISTANCE to the drill to make it more realistic. Many times I’ll move a player REALLY close to the hoop when they are learning a new habit, and slowly start to back out as they get better at it.

And early on in the process I will allow players to really slow down to focus on a new movement pattern.  As they become more proficient they will need to learn to SPEED UP the movement.  You can even over-exaggerate and go FASTER than necessary at times.


I try to think of movement in two different ways.  There are SIMPLE MOVEMENTS, that will just consist of different single steps in a variety of different directs.  Can a player hop forward?  Hop sideways?  Turn forward?  Step across their body to the side?  All these different kinds of movement occur in different settings in the game, but by focussing on just the last step or two we can simplify a complex game movement.

And of course we can add more GAME-LIKE MOVEMENT that occurs.  Can a player curl off a down-screen?  Can they flare-cut, then head fake and cross-over?  These are more dynamic game situational movements, and can be compounded on each other.


I might start players with the basketball in their hands for drills early on in their development, even if that has them travelling.  But eventually I need to layer in CATCHES and DRIBBLES.  I prefer to think of them as similar things, with a dribble being a simple pass to yourself off the floor.  The habits within those two situations are often very similar.


I’m really experimenting with how early on in the process I CAN and SHOULD be introducing DEFENDERS to drills.  Even the defender can be added in stages, ranging from a token hand in the face, to live defence.  


This is a fun one to play with.  BASKETBALL IMMERSION does a great job of teaching DECISION-MAKING in any drills.  You can force players to react to a cue rather than determine exactly what they should do.


Our goals should be to help players APPLY a new habit, and to search for the appropriate level of challenge for the skills.  You can add and subtract and of those layers to any drill to find the appropriate challenge for that skill.

These are the layers I play with in my ONLINE WORKOUT PROGRAMS to help players and coaches improve their ARC, BALANCE and GUIDE HAND INTERFERENCE.

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