September 28, 2018 • DrillsWinning HoopsXs and Os

Position shooting drills for youngsters

by Nick Cammarano, Frank Antonides School, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Here are four drills for young basketball players that can help work players in your middle school or feeder programs. Two are designed for forwards, and two are for guards.

Follow the Leader

DIAGRAMS 1-3: This is an excellent shooting drill to get your guards involved shooting from different areas on the floor. It starts by having one player inbounding the ball and four shooters on the floor: in the corner, on the wing, at the top of the key and in the opposite corner.

The shooters are in their “shot ready” position: eyes up, hands out, knees bent, left foot back in order to step into the shot (opposite for left handed players). The inbounder passes to the corner and replaces the player at that spot. After the shot, the rebounder grabs the ball and gets in the passer’s line. The shooter replaces the rebounder.

The next passer sends the ball to the wing for the shot, then replaces. The next passer skips to the top of the key, the next to the opposite corner. This forces all shooters to be ready to shoot on the catch and gives them several reps at different areas of the floor.

Rapid Fire Shooting

DIAGRAM 4: This again works guards on shooting from the catch on the baseline and at the wings. In this drill, there are four lines — two at the wings, and two at each baseline. One rebounder starts the drill by passing the ball to any one of the lines. The rebounder gives some pressure, just to have the shooter get the shot off in good time. The defender should not disrupt or alter the shot.

The shooter then follows the shot, rebounds, and passes to another player in line and give some pressure. This drill works continuously by getting reps at various parts of the floor. Ultimately, against any zone defense, guards have to show the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter.

Two in Traffic

DIAGRAM 5-6: This drill for forwards simulates rebounds, put backs and scoring in the paint.

Three players are at a basket. Two on each side of the basket will be on offense, the one player in the middle is on defense. The drill starts by the defender throwing the ball off the backboard to one side. The offensive player jumps at its highest point, grabs the rebound, and scores using pump fakes (if needed) to beat the defender in the middle of the paint. After the score, the defender throws the ball off the backboard to the other side where that offensive player scores going straight up, not fading away. Players can rotate so everyone can play defense and score from both sides of the basket.

Two-line shooting

DIAGRAMS 7-8: Converting on out-of-bounds plays can give your team those important points to win the game. In two-line shooting, all forwards work to convert on shots in the paint. Two lines are under the basket and two balls are used. One player runs to the foul line, then break to the opposite block. The pass is made by the player in the other line and the player converts. Once the shot is made, the passer runs to the foul line, breaks to the opposite block, and converts.

This drill gives forwards a lot of shots at close range. These shots should be made at a high percentage, and this will carry over to the games. Players need to be give maximum effort, cutting and running hard to complete this drill.

These drills for young basketball players will prepare teams to take the next step forward, while advancing athletes in their respective positions.