Regardless of whether you or 5 feet tall or 7 feet tall, it is the expectation now that you can shoot a 3 pointer and that you can shoot them with consistency. If you want to make teams and make the cuts, your ability to shoot from “outside the arc” is critical. I am going to walk you through the best 3 point shooting drills for improving your outside game.
A stationary 3 pointer and the ability to shoot from the set position isn’t the be-all-end-all. Yes it is important, but just as important as three point shooting and your actual shot is your ability to set up shot.
I am going to break this down into four layers. The first is setting up your actual shots and getting open. The second is going to be increasing the speed and the release of your shot. Then we are going to focus on the accuracy of your 3 point shot. The last thing our shooting drills that you can use to increase the range of your shot.
Importance of 3 Point Shooting in Today’s Game
Basketball is an evolving sport. There once was a time when height meant everything, and although a great shot was still important, there’s never been a more in port and time to know how to shoot a 3 pointer.
If you tune into any NBA game, you will see the emphasis on the 3 point shot and players are shooting from further out than they ever have. A great 3 point shooting team is one that will be able to capitalize a much more open court and make slashers and the centers far more efficient.
In respect to Varsity and College ball, the 3 point shot is something that is becoming expected of you, so it is truly time to step up your game and put some focus with your practice into your 3 point abilities and improving all the underlying aspects that will make you a great 3 point shooter.
There are 4 things that lead to a great shooter:
- Ability to Get Open
- A Quick Release
- Accuracy of Your Shot
- Ability to Shoot at a Distance
Improving the Setup of You Shot. Get Open. Unload.
There’re two ways in which you can get open. You can allude the defender with great dribbling skills, or you can make cuts away from the ball to get open.
Getting open for the pass comes down to your effort. If your defender becomes tired or isn’t willing to run around enough screens then they are going lose defensive position on you.
Endurance and speed are critical aspects to being a great shooter, in particular as a game wears on. If you cannot get away from a good defender, you are going to be shut down and your shooting skills won’t matter. So first and foremost, you focus on your speed and agility.
A Quick Release. Buying Yourself More Time.
The longer you take to release the ball, the less opportunity you were going to have to make the shot. There is no worse feeling than being blocked from behind the 3 point line, so part of your three point shooting skills surround the idea been able to release the ball quickly.
This is something that you should practice and should be part of any shooting drills that you are doing. If you look at any great shooter in the NBA, you’re going to notice that there quick release. This includes the likes of Ray Allen and Steph Curry, Two of the greatest shooters of our time And two of the quickest releases we have ever seen.
What Are the Best Drills to Improve 3 Point Accuracy.
There are several ways that you can work on your 3 point shot accuracy. An inch can make a difference between a ball that bounces out, and a swish. I know they say football is a game of inches, but basketball is also a game of inches.
Here are few 3 point shooting drills that I recommend that you use in order to improve your 3 point accuracy and your overall shooting accuracy.
- 3 point Bank Shots. These are naturally a little bit further than a normal shot. A bank shot has a lot less room for error, an by hitting bank shots from various angles you are going to improve your precision as a shooter. It is far more difficult hit a bank shot from three-point land, then to hit a rim focused shot.
- Hit the Rim. As funny as it sounds if you can practice hitting the rim in certain spots, you are going to be able to improve your accuracy. For this drill, you want to shoot from straight on to the hoop. Start by trying to hit the back of the rim, and then work counter clockwise around the rim. Back side, right side, front side, left side. Then end with a shot square in the middle attempt to “swish”. Do this 5 times.
- 5 Spot Shooting. To do this drill, you want to work your way around the 3 point arc. First, start in the baseline corners. Hit a shot from one corner, then run to the other side and hit a shot from the other corner. If you miss a shot, run back to the same location until you hit a shot from there. The next fall is the 45 angle on the arc, and then do the same thing there. Then finally you want to hit two shots from straight on.This drill is also a good practice in terms of endurance. If you’re missing your shots, you’re going to start to get tired as you have got to run and fetch the ball, returning to that same shooting location.
Drills to Improve Your 3 Point Distance
There are a lot of great drills for improving your shot strength, but I want to keep your exercise routines as simple as possible. You shouldn’t need to take a “book” to the gym to remember what you have to practice, so you should get in the routine of doing just the best drills that will be the most efficient accelerators in terms of your “distance shooting” .
There are 3 distance shooting drills that you should be working on to help you improve the overall range of your 3 point shot.
- Start Deep, Move In. With this drill you’re going to start at Your maximum range. If you need to find a few shots to find that range, then do that. If you have a partner to help feed you the ball, then this drill will take a lot less exercise. I recommend you fetch your own balls.Take five shots at each position, And then move one step in as you get closer to the three-point line. Something interesting is going to happen by the time you reach the three-point line. It is going out all of a sudden feel like a 10-foot jumper and your range has just been increased.This can be a good pregame warm-up.
- Medicine Ball Shooting. Make sure you focus on the spin of the ball as well and proper form. You’re not just heaving a ball up and down you’re emulating your actual shot. Make sure you are getting back spin on the ball and the position the ball in your hands as you would your normal shot.If you are in the gym, shoot the ball towards the hoop and try to also work on accuracy at the same time.
- Shots from Center Court. If you have ever been to an NBA game and watched great shooters like Steph Curry, Lebron James, Isiah Thomas, Klay Thompson, you will notice that pre game they usually take at least 10-20 shots from center. It may seem as though they are doing this just to mess around, but that is not the case. Moving out of your consistent shooting-range, will increase the distance of your consistent shooting-range.As you start to shoot more and more balls from center court, you are going to find your the hoop appears bigger and it starts to feel like a free throw to drop a 3 pointer.
**On a side note, you always want to end shooting free throws when you are tired. This will emulate game play and it is most typical to be shooting free throws after you are being very active and not fresh. This will improve your free throw shooting percentage, Well it is not the focus.
3 Point Shooting “Must Haves”.
One last thing that you should consider before heading into game time. You should not be trying to extend your shot rate for the game, Yes you can take deep shots, But you should finish your practice with a range in which you want to shoot the shots during the game. This will hone in your range.
One of the best tools that I know of for improving your 3 point shot (outside of the drills that I have provided), is the Hathaway Rebounder. This is great for “solo shooting” which is handy because most practice is done when you are solo. This will increase the number of shots that you can shoot in an hour by over 50%, and will allow you to rapid shoot from a shooting tray.
That is if you are practicing before the game on shots from center, without reestablishing yourself at the three-point line, Your first few shots of the game are likely going to be long.
The 3 Pointer. Make It Your “Go To”.
These 3 point shooting drills should help you improve your game. Again if you can shoot a “3 ball” you’re going to be of much more value and asset to any team whether you are playing varsity, college, NBA, or playing in a 3 on 3 tournament.
As far as I’m concerned, anyone that practices shooting 3-pointers properly can become a 3-point shooter. Perfect practice leads to perfection and by implementing that strategies that I have laid out in the training above, you are going to be setting yourself up for a killer shot, from anywhere on the court. Bombs away!