Shooting has become one of the most important aspects of the game of basketball. In the past, only guards were expected to shoot with proficiency regularly. Now, big men like Dirk Nowitzki, Mehmet Okur and Rasheed Wallace can shoot with accuracy befitting a guard! Such innovators have raised the expectations of coaches all around the world. It is safe to say that every player now has to have a respectable shooting percentage regardless of position.
Shooting can be further categorized into set shots, jump shots, free throws, shots off the dribble, catch and shoot, fade-aways and three-point shots. You have to practice every possible shot that you will take in a game, especially shots which you most frequently take. Of course there are several basics and fundamentals which you have to practice regardless of how experienced you are. The numbers listed below are shots made not shots taken.
Close range shots 50
This is meant as a warm-up and a chance for you to practice your shooting mechanics. Shoot as close as 5 feet to the basket. Concentrate on proper form and use your legs.
Free throws 100
Free throws are extremely important in basketball ever since it was played professionally. Anybody who gets fouled must shoot free throws so there is no reason not to practice them. Practice on good form and perform the same movements you would do before shooting a free throw every time. (Chris Paul spins the ball back to him once before shooting free throws every time)
3 point shots or shots in the post 50 (catch and shoot)
Depending on your position and playing tendencies, choose either shooting 3 point shots or performing post moves. Remember when catching the ball, you want to be in position to shoot immediately and quickly. You might want to throw in a couple of fakes in the routine to break the monotony. Practice catching and shooting the ball from both sides.
3 point shots or shots in the post 50 (off the dribble)
Same as before, only now you are practicing shots off the dribble. Concentrate on proper footwork when shooting of the dribble. (When dribbling to the right, plant your left feet down first. Vice-versa)
Jump shots close-range or mid-range 50
Choose either shooting close-range or mid-range by evaluating your game. If you are a center who plays dominantly inside, shoot close-range shots. If you are a guard or forward, shoot mid-range shots. Remember to shoot while jumping up. Do not shoot while you are at the top as this will cause a break in momentum and your shot will most likely fall short.
Situational shots 100-200
If there is one thing I’ve learned from all these years of practicing, it’s that no matter how hard you try to go ‘game-speed’ in structured shooting workouts, you won’t be able to simulate the exact movements which you will do in a game. As such, you should spend some time practicing shots which you think you will be shooting in a game. You might be shooting a fade-away from the free throw line, a three-pointer at the corner or maybe even a series of fakes before shooting a layup. The possibilities are endless and at the same time, fun.
When practicing shooting, you should shoot from every angle of the court. Do not favor any particular side of the court as you will cultivate a bad habit of shooting from the same spot. Mixing up shots with several extensions of fakes will also be very effective in training your reaction.
There you have it! Start practicing shooting every day consistently with this workout and you will become a better shooter in no time!