Fun and competitive shootaround drills designed to get plenty of shots up and get players’ bodies moving on game day.
According to a 2014 article from SB Nation, Hall of Fame coach Bill Sharman “introduced the shootaround as a way to burn off nervous energy on game days and begin focusing on the task at hand.” Once his 1972 Los Angeles Lakers team tallied 33 wins in a row, teams took notice of Sharman’s practice. The modern shootaround concept was born.
Shootarounds are a common and popular practice for many college and NBA programs. At this level of the game, players have the availability to get in the gym earlier in the day. For high school programs and other levels that compete on weekends, shootarounds can be a great option for numerous reasons.
The goal of shootarounds should be to get a lot of shots up in a short amount of time, without being too strenuous on players’ bodies/legs. Often it precedes a team meal, with the entire process geared toward players hitting their peak energy level at tipoff. As Coach Sharman alluded to, shootarounds are also a great way to begin to get players mentally prepared to compete.
Many coaches prefer to split shootarounds into two segments:
- Shooting drills/skill development
- Scouting/walk through
Of course, we must acknowledge that there has been some anti-shootaround narrative in the basketball coaching industry recently, as the talk of “load management” has become commonplace. No coach wants to overwork players the day of a game, or cause issues at the back end of the season due to overtraining during the front end. Yet, that is very much an NBA and NCAA related issue; NBA seasons amass 82 games (plus playoffs) with regular cross country travel, while NCAA student-athletes play around 30-35 games and also have classes to attend.
For the majority of coaches reading this, load management won’t be a problem for the level you coach at. So with that being said, let’s get on to the shootaround drills! We hope these team and individual drills, and competitive, fun games, help prepare your players to get buckets when the lights are on at night.
Click on a diagram for full drill instructions and to download it to your FastDraw library.
Shootaround Drills – Team & Individual
Loyola Shooting Competition
Excellent shooting drill to improve passing, concentration and teamwork. Instruct players to use their inside step to flick pass to the receiver’s outside hand unless they are the next shot up – at that point, pass to the shooter’s pocket. Good Pass = Good Shot.
Team Shaka Shooting Drill
Great shooting drill to improve concentration and “next shot” mentality. Point of emphasis: learn to thrive on making pressure shots!
2 Ball Shooting
Great practice drill for taking game shots at a game speed. Point of emphasis here is to go somewhere with the dribble. Run for two minutes off the catch, then two minutes off the dribble. Also, don’t forget that a good pass = a good shot!
First to 50 Shooting
Excellent shooting drill to enhance concentration and teamwork. Point of emphasis: Teams need to work together and find the most efficient strategy to win the drill.
Fun shooting drill to again improve concentration and teamwork. Great choice to start or end practices with, and of course utilize for shootarounds to get players loose.
Utes Win! Shooting Drill
Great shooting competition to end practice on a celebratory note. Point of emphasis: teach the half court shot to come off of one foot.
For more plays and drills by Coach Hueser, check out his Playbank page.
Share Your Favorite Shootaround Drills!
Have the perfect shootaround drill that your players enjoy? Share it with us on Twitter so we can let the coaching community know about it. And if you have it diagrammed in FastDraw, even better! FastTrade to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish it to the Playbank.
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