3 drills to sharpen your perimeter shooting From George Haas, Carroll University, Waukesha, Wisconsin

3-point shooting drillsHere are three drills designed to improve your perimeter game. The 3-pointer is a major part of a team’s offense, so it’s imperative you spend a significant amount of time practicing it.

6-Minute Drill

There are three facets to the 6-Minute Drill:

  • Swing it/step into your shot.
  • Drive it (wing baseline drifts).
  • Wing drive it (opposite wing gets shot).

Use a clock and rotate the drill every minute so players get a chance to shoot in all segments.

Six minutes usually yields 42 to 48 attempted 3-pointers. Other options include skip passes, flares or handoff 3-pointers. Also, be sure to use both sides of the floor so players become accustomed to shooting from either side.

All players rotate lines by following their pass and the shooter rebounds.

DIAGRAM 1: Swing it/step into shot. The ball is passed from the left wing to the middle and from the middle to the right wing. Upon catching the ball on the right wing, the player steps into the shot and releases.

DIAGRAM 2: Drive it (wing baseline drifts). The left wing starts the drill by passing to the middle. The player in the middle takes one dribble before passing to the right wing player, who has drifted into the corner. The right wing shoots a 3-pointer from the corner.

DIAGRAM 3: Wing drive it (opposite wing gets shot). The left wing starts the progression again by passing to the player in the middle. The middle player then passes to the right wing. The right wing drives with the ball to the baseline before firing a cross-court pass to the left wing player, who has moved into the left corner. The left wing shoots.


This drill involves teams of two and is great to build confidence in late-game, time-restricted situations.

3-point shooting drill diagram 4DIAGRAM 4: Playing in teams of two, give each player 10 seconds to complete their portion of the drill. The first player dribbles to the opposite basket and shoots a 3. They grab their own rebound and dribble back to the other end of the court and shoot another 3. Their teammate grabs that rebound and speed-dribbles back down to the other end of the court and shoots a 3.

That player then must gather the rebound and dribble hard back to the original starting end of the court and launch a shot before the 10 seconds expires. Sometimes, this is a typical 3-pointer but, if the first player’s second shot created a long rebound, the 10 seconds might be running out faster for this second player. This creates the possibility of a half- or three-quarter-court shot.

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Allow players the option to shoot either a 3-pointer or a regular shot, giving fewer points for a shot inside the 3-point line. Add some extra excitement by awarding more points for a half-court made shot and even more for a three-quarter-court make. While rare, even these shots needs to be practiced a little for end-of-game situations.

Use this drill toward the end of your practice when players are tired and shots aren’t dropping as well as they did in the first portion of practice.

Hand Off

3-point shooting drills diagram 5Handing off for a 3-pointer is a great strategy late in the game. This drill works on that skill so you are in a better position for a game-tying or game-winning 3.

DIAGRAM 5: The point guard dribbles to the right wing and hands off to 2, who dribbles to the middle searching for a good look at a 3-pointer or to pass to 4, who has received a backscreen from 3. 4 is open for a 3-pointer. 5 moves across the lane or can set a ball screen to have 2 dribble back toward their original side. Practice this drill in a hurried, timed manner but also in a less rushed, patient way.

Here are three drills designed to improve your perimeter game. The 3-pointer is a major part of a team’s offense, so it’s imperative you spend a significant amount of time practicing it.

This play gets your team quicker 3-pointers, which is perfect as the seconds tick away in a game.