One question I get constantly is: “What shooting drills should I use?” and “What is the best shooting drill?”

Many coaches are in love with shooting drills so I decided to give into the pressures and make a three part series on shooting drills. Below is a link to the first video–Part I of this series.

Here’s the funny thing about this — I really am not a big fan of shooting drills. I mean, they are ok and they serve a purpose, but a high percentage of parents, players, trainers and coaches fail to realize that the drill is simply a component of shooting and is not what makes the shooter.

Not following me? Think of it like this– In 2004 I was running a basketball training program in Calgary, Canada and had a coach in the program who was in love with shooting drills. Every night he would go home and download two or three shooting drills from the internet. After a few weeks, he had over 100 drills. The funny thing about it was his players could not shoot a lick.

That coach (we will respect his anonymity) did not fully understand that the drill does not make the player. It is what you do inside that drill that determines basketball shooting success. Drills don’t generally give a player mechanics. What they give that player is a great amount of shots at high speed in different situations.

In the Part Episode I discuss the importance of muscle memory in drills and correcting your players through discipline. The most important aspect that I speak about, however, is the difference between RESULT and PROCESS drills.

Most drills that coaches use are Result driven. It is about making the shot. “First one to 10 makes is a winner.” Most of the time there is little if any shooting instruction that goes along with the drill. The player is so focused on making it and the number that they lose any focus whatsoever.

I am a huge fan of Process Drills which is focused more on the mechanics and correcting the mechanics than making it. An example of process shooting is saying, “I don’t care if you make it or miss….Just focus on shooting it straight” OR “Lets make sure we are not short today.”

When players hear this, they focus greater on the shot and make more shots. It really makes a great amount of sense. Lets focus on college basketball players for example. The #1 way a college basketball player misses is short. I would estimate as much as 60%+ of all shooting misses at the college level are short. So why not focus on NOT missing short? It should be a no brainer.

The last part of drill shooting I want to discuss today is based on survival shooting–shooting a basketball to the point of total exhaustion. I have a friend who is a trainer in Southern California who believes basketball shooting is not about mechanics but shooting until you are ready to pass out. The problem with this mindset is that it destroys young players (grades 4-8) and can damage many high school players as well.

Survival training is very common with trainers. This might work at the NBA, WNBA or college levels, but if you do this to a young player, the shooting mechanics will suffer. Young players cannot shoot a large number of shots while going as fast as they can for a long period of time because they lack strength, endurance and basketball mechanics as a whole.

If a younger player needs to work on his overall conditioning, he should never do an activity that requires great hand eye coordination and a focused discipline like shooting.

If a young players need conditioning, they should run extra sprints or do full court ballhandling, but should not use “survival mode” shooting. This training can only assist older and more advanced shooters.

Great shooters need to be pushed when it comes to cardio vascular work. Notice I said the word GREAT. Not average, not young, but great.

If a young, inexperienced or poor shooter shoots until exhaustion, the mechanics will quickly disappear. I have seen players lose their shooting form by focusing on survival training.