Shooting Tips for the Off-Season

With the summer right around the corner now is the time to get in the gym and improve your shooting. Most players would say shooting is the most fun part of basketball. I say making shots is the most fun part of basketball. In this blog I will discuss shooting game shots from game spots at game speed. 

Shooting game shots from game spots at game speed is a shooting tip we hear all the time. And it's a great tip, but what does it entail? Let's take an in depth look at this tip and see what shooting game shots at game spots at game speed really looks like.

Game Shots

I believe it's very important for a player to know their offense. You must know details like where the entry pass is made, who cuts where, who screens for who, and what the offense is trying accomplish (ex. get ball inside, open jumper for best shooter, isolation, etc.). Once you know those details you will then know where your game shots will come from. What's equally important is what action is taking place to get you those shots. By action I mean are you receiving a down screen, getting open on your own by using various cuts, pick and roll, isolation, etc. 

Game Spots

Now that you have learned your game shots and the action to get you those shots, you must shoot those shots from game spots. This means if I'm receiving a down screen for a jumper on the wing, then this is the shot I need to be practicing. Your workouts needs to be efficient with little lag time and wasted energy. Don't waste time shooting shots you're not going to be shooting in a game. If I'm a post player and the coach is not calling for me to shoot three pointers then I don't need to spend a bulk of my workout shooting threes. Same goes for guards and wing players. If I'm a point guard and our offense incorporates a lot of pick n roll then I have to spend time shooting shots off the dribble at the elbow, floaters in the lane, three pointers behind the screen, and off rejecting the screen. 

Game Speed

To get the most out of your shooting workout and to make it effective you have to be going game speed. Don't think you can through the motions and then go full speed in the games and be effective. You have to make practice hard so the game will be easy. Going game speed can improve your timing, footwork, and conditioning. Know that going game speed is for the player that understands and can execute proper footwork and shooting mechanics. If you are a beginner or struggling with footwork, you may want to go slower at first until you master your footwork.

How to Drill

There are number of ways to conduct a skill development workout. I believe if you are more skilled, meaning you know how to shoot the basketball the correct way and have proper footwork, you don't necessarily have to do a lot of high rep spot shooting. You want to make the workout resemble a game as much as possible. What I like to do is pick three or more shots with different actions and have the player go through those shots for set amount of time or reps. An example of this would be simulating an elbow jumper off a down screen, a three pointer on the wing off a flare screen, and a dribble hand off into a pull up jumper. We would cycle through those shots 4-5 times for a total of 12 or 15 reps. Then repeat on the other side.

One more thing

Remember the off-season is a time to get better. What's mentioned above is especially important during the season. In the off-season you will want to mix in some shots you may not shoot in a game. This is how you grow as a player and evolve your game. If you are not a three point shooter then you may want to work on your range and add some threes into your shooting workout. If you didn't shoot well off the dribble then you should get up shots off the dribble. Doing this over the course of the off-season will improve your shooting before the season.

Take the example from above apply it to the game shots you would get in the game. Get creative and make your workouts meaningful and effective. That way you will get the most out of your time in the gym. Remember practice produces habits and your game is as good as your practice. Checkout the highlights below of some of the best shooters in the NBA. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Or you can send an email to