February 28, 2024
Brock Washington MSU

Brock Washington of MSU on Strength Training for Basketball Players

Brock Washington of MSU played competitive basketball for the majority of his life. Brock Washington of MSU credits basketball for teaching him about winning, losing, resilience in the face of adversity and so much more. What Brock Washington of MSU appreciates most about basketball is that no matter how much natural talent a player possesses, they need to put in the work in order to improve. A player willing to grind and practice will only reach their full potential. If you are a basketball player serious about improving, Brock Washington of MSU will provide some helpful advice to grow as a shooter.

The great thing about practicing shooting is it can be done with a just a basketball and a hoop. Unlike some other sports that require expensive equipment, basketball is a true test of a player vs. their desire to improve. For this first drill, Brock Washington of MSU recommends a player stands ten feet from the hoop. Once positioned correctly, take the primary shooting arm and extend it up while holding the ball so the elbow is parallel to the shoulder. Then, take the other hand and grab the shooting arm’s elbow to secure its position. With the shooting hand, make sure the index finger is directly in the middle of the ball. Look down at the feet, they should be slightly staggered and the knees should have a slight bend.

From this position, push the shooting arm up to a shooting position and release. Follow-through with a flick of the wrist but do not let the elbow drop. Utilize this drill ten consecutive times from ten feet away and then begin to repeat the drill from different spots around the court. This drill helps a player learn the importance of good form and provides a feel for adjusting to different angles and shot lengths.

For those practicing with a fellow player, Brock Washington recommends practicing the catch-and-release shot. Position the other player at the foul line and work on catching the ball and quickly transitioning into a shooting motion. If the other player wants to be involved, the drill can be switched to a 1-1 scenario where the other player guards after the initial pass. After each missed shot, alternate. Make the winner of the match the first person to make five shots in a row. To make the game more challenging, eliminate the possibility of any layups or rebound put-backs.

For those who are working on growing as a point or shooting guard, Brock Washington of MSU recommends the plus/minus shooting drill. Start at half-court and dribble to different spots along the three-point line. Each made three-point shot is worth two points and every miss is worth -3 points. To make things extra challenging, the game cannot be won until a guard is able to accumulate ten points. Now, this drill can be adjusted based on a shooter’s skill level, but Brock Washington recommends making it as challenging as possible. Guards in the modern era need to be fantastic from the 3-point line in order to see consistent playing time. The plus/minus drill is perfect for those looking to increase their skill from long-range.

Those who play forward or center should not only have the ability to shoot from distance but a mastery of the post-game. With another player start with one’s back facing the hoop on the low post. Have the ball thrown in, take a few quick dribbles towards the center of the basket and shoot a fade-away shot. Make ten consecutive fadeaway jumpers and then move to the other block on the low post. The fade-away jumper is one of the more difficult shots to defend in all of basketball. If a big man can earn a defender’s respect with the fadeaway jump shot, they can really start to take advantage of pump fakes that turn into easy layups or dunks.

While these are just a few examples of the countless shooting drills that are available to player, Brock Washington of MSU encourages players to give these a shot. The most important part of growing as a player is consistency. There will be days where the shots are not falling as easily as others. Never stop shooting and trust that the process will provide the results a player has been looking for. If you want to kick your basketball game up a notch, you need to start practicing like the pros. Basketball shooting drills are a great way to improve your shooting accuracy and consistency for competitive gameplay.

There are a variety of drills that you can do to work on different aspects of your shooting. Over time, you’ll significantly improve your scoring rate if you consistently work on these drills.

Below, we’ll break down 11 shooting drills that work. By following these drills, you can start sinking buckets easily.

Brock Washington MSU

Shooting drills for guards

Elbow pull-up drill

The elbow pull-up drill is excellent for guards who want to work on their shooting form.

What you need: A basketball and a hoop or target on a wall to shoot at.

Start by standing about 10 feet away from the hoop or target with a basketball. Take your primary shooting arm and extend it up while holding the ball so your elbow is level with your shoulder. Next, take your other hand and grab your shooting arm just below the elbow to “lock in” the position. Your index finger should be in the middle of the ball, and your feet should be slightly staggered based on your shooting arm.

Push your shooting forearm up into a shooting motion from this position and release the ball. Be sure to follow through with your shot by flicking your wrist, and don’t let your elbow drop. Repeat this drill 10 times from both short- to mid-range distances inside the three-point line.

The point of the elbow pull-up shooting drill is to focus on quality over quantity. It can help you improve your focus and ability to adjust to different distances and basket angles while using the proper form.

Short- to long-range shooting drill

The short- to long-range shooting drill enables guards to work on their shooting skills while also getting some competitive game-like experience.

What you need: A basketball, one other player, and a half-court or full court with a hoop.

Start by having your opponent stand at the free-throw line while you stand at the top of the key. Your opponent will pass you the ball, and you will attempt to shoot the ball from short- to mid-range distances inside the three-point line as your opponent guards you. After each shot attempt, return to the top of the key with the ball and repeat until you’ve made 10 successful shots.

Once you’ve completed your short- to mid-range shots, return to your original position at the top of the key and have your opponent stand at the free-throw line. Now, focus on making long-distance shots from the three-point line with your opponent guarding you. Once you’ve made 10 successful long-distance shots, swap positions with your opponent and start over.

This drill is great for working on your individual shooting from short- to long-range distances, as well as your ability to score against live defense.

Plus/minus shooting

The plus/minus shooting drill is perfect for guards who want to work on form, consistency, and shooting from different hoop angles.

What you need: A basketball and a half-court or full court with a hoop.

In the plus/minus drill, you will start at half-court and run toward the top of the key for a three-point shot. If you make it, you get one point. If you miss, you get minus-three points. Repeat this shooting drill for a total of two minutes. If you get to 10 points, you win the drill.

Switch up your hoop angles in between three-point shots to make things more challenging. You can also use the plus/minus drill to shoot two-point shots anywhere on the court.

Shooting drills for forwards

Finishing drill

Finishing drills help forwards master driving to the basket and finishing with a layup.

What you need: A basketball, one other player, and a half-court or full court with a hoop.

Start by having your opponent stand under the basket with the ball. You will then stand at the free-throw line. Your opponent will pass you the ball, and you will attempt to drive to the hoop and score a layup. It’s your opponent’s job to provide live defense as if you were in a real game. Repeat this drill until you make 10 layups but alternate your approach and angle to the basket with each attempt.

By practicing finishing drills with a defender, you can work on your dribbling skills and ability to power through to the basket to make a layup.

Post feed, fade-away drill

This drill is excellent for forwards who want to work on their ability to score in the post and improve their fade-aways.

What you need: A basketball, one other player, and a half-court or full court with a hoop.

Start by standing near the low post with your back facing the hoop. Your partner should position themselves near the top of the key. They will then pass you the ball. After you catch it, take a few quick dribbles, pivot to face the goal, and quickly shoot a fade-away shot. Repeat this process until you’ve made 10 successful fade-away shots but remember to alternate your positions in the post to get experience shooting from different hoop angles.

This drill is great for working on your shooting mechanics and footwork. It’s also a good way to practice your fade-away shot, which can be difficult to master.

Shooting drills for centers

Rebound shooting

Practicing the rebound shot is an important basketball shooting drill because it helps offensive centers learn how to rebound and shoot or lay up the ball quickly in the post.

What you need: A basketball, a shooting guard, an offensive center (you), a defensive center, and a half-court or full court with a hoop.

The shooting guard will take a shot and purposefully miss, and you will have to compete against the defensive center to rebound the ball and make a quick layup or a short-range shot. Repeat this process until you’ve made 10 successful baskets from different hoop angles and short-range distances.

Mikan drill

The Mikan drill is named after basketball legend George Mikan. It’s a simple and effective shooting drill that centers can work through alone or with a partner.

What you need: A basketball and a half-court or full court with a hoop.

Start by standing on one side of the basket. Power the ball up for a layup while using the backboard. As soon as you land, jump again and rebound the ball as high as you can out of the net. Make sure to keep the ball over your head. Your rebounding jump should get you to the other side of the hoop, where you will repeat the process. After completing a circuit of 10 Mikan drills laying up the ball with one hand, switch to your other hand for 10 more.

The Mikan drill is excellent for developing proper layup form and technique and increasing your touch around the basket. It will force you to keep your eyes up and find the basket quickly after rebounding.

Reverse Mikan drill

The reverse Mikan drill is a great basketball shooting drill because it helps you work on your ability to finish in the post with your back facing the hoop. This drill will help you improve your shooting form, footwork, and sinking baskets from a difficult position.

What you need: A basketball and a half-court or full court with a hoop.

Start by standing under the hoop with your back facing the baseline and your chest facing the free-throw line. To begin, jump off your left foot and lay up the basketball off the backboard with your right hand. Once you land, jump back up to rebound the ball as high as you can out of the net with the intention of landing on the other side of the hoop. From there, repeat the process, but jump off your right foot and lay up with your left hand. Aim for 20 layups for each hand.

Shooting drills for all positions

Whether you’re a guard, center or forward, shooting drills – especially ones that focus on shooting form, footwork and transition shooting – can help you build a more consistent and confident shot. Follow along with IMG Academy basketball coach, Dan Wendt, as he guides you through 3 basketball drills that will help you shoot confidently.

When the game is on the line, will you be ready? IMG Academy offers premier basketball camps, cutting-edge mental performance training and nutrition guidance to maximize your potential.

Shooting drills FAQs

What exercises help with shooting a basketball?

There are a few exercises you can do to help with shooting a basketball.

Strength and flexibility are key to being a strong shooter. Focus on weight-free exercises like lunges, squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, and dumbbell presses.

Speed and agility can make or break a player. Focus on plyometric training to ensure better coordination and quick reaction for rebounding and shooting.

Rested muscles are essential for every athlete. Be sure to take time for stretching and massage to ensure your muscles are in their best condition.

How do you get a good shooting form?

Consistently practice the elbow pull-up drill to get good shooting form. This drill ensures your primary shooting arm stays locked in the correct position for each shot.

Bring your shooting arm to shoulder height and bend it at a 90-degree angle. Keep your elbow in (don’t let it bow out). Place your opposite hand directly below your shooting elbow to prevent it from moving. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly staggered based on your shooting arm. As you take a shot, focus on extending your forearm forward without moving your elbow. Don’t forget to follow through with your shot by flicking your wrist.

Practicing the elbow pull-up drill is a great way to get comfortable with your shooting motion and make minor adjustments to improve your form. It enables you to focus on hand placement, feet placement, and proper angle of release.

What is the best basketball shooting drill?

While all these drills will help improve your shooting skills, working on your shooting form is the most important. Form drills focus on the fundamentals of shooting a basketball and train your body for positioning. It’s important to master form skills before anything else to ensure you’re taking shots with the best posture, strength, stance, and power every time.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many basketball shooting drills you can use to improve your game. Remember, practice makes perfect. So, make sure to put in the time and effort if you want to see results.

Ready to make basketball practice a priority and improve your skills even more? Check out NCSA’s list of men’s basketball camps and women’s basketball camps today to find a basketball camp near you.