Basketball Shooting Catch and Shoot Lead-up Drills

Basketball Shooting Catch and Shoot Lead-up Drills
By Dr. Hal Wissel

Shooting close to the basket as a warm-up helps you develop confidence, rhythm and mechanics.

Objectives of the Catch and Shoot Lead-up Drills:
1. Improve ability to catch and shoot with a quick release. To shoot with a quick release have your hands and feet ready. Your hands should be up above your shooting side shoulder with your shooting hand facing the front of the rim.
2. Jump behind the ball on the catch blocking it with your shooting hand, while placing your non-shooting hand slightly under the ball. Eliminate reaching. Reaching slows your release and causes you to catch with your hands on the side of the ball leading to sidespin. “Good catches make good shots.”
3. Your knees should lower just before the catch and extend upward on the shot in a quick rhythmical down-and-up motion enabling you to shoot with a quick release and in rhythm. Land in balance. Hold your follow-through until the ball reaches the target.

Front-of-Board Shooting. This drill focuses on the fundamentals: shooting hand behind the ball, elbow-in alignment, release off the index finger, follow-through, and catching the ball in position to shoot. Face the backboard. Pick a spot near the top corner of the front of the board to serve as your target. Using a spot on the front of the backboard is excellent for fostering a straight shot. Begin with the ball in shooting position above your shooting shoulder. Place your shooting hand behind the ball, with your hand facing the target and with your index finger at the ball’s midpoint. Aim the ball at your target on the front of the board, and shoot a jump shot at that target with a full follow-through (full elbow extension); you want to make the ball return to your shooting position so you don’t have to move your hands on the catch. Say your personalized key words in rhythm from the start of your shot to the release of the ball. If the ball does not return to your starting position, jump behind the ball and catch it in position to shoot. A shot that does not hit your target and does not come back directly to you is a missed shot. After a miss, visualize a successful shot with good form, again saying your key words. Use feedback from the feel and direction of the ball. For example, if the miss was caused by your arm going to the side, add the key word straight. Use point if the ball went off the wrong finger, creating sidespin. Use hand if you caught the ball with your hands on the sides.

Side-of-Board Shooting. This drill is the same as the front-of-board shooting drill except you use the side of the backboard. This drill puts more emphasis on a straight shot and good catch. On a shot that is slightly off, the rebound will go to the side. This enables you to practice jumping behind the ball to catch it in position to shoot. Face the side of the backboard. Pick a spot near the top of the side of the board to serve as your target. Using a spot on the side of the backboard is excellent for fostering a straight shot. Aim the ball at your target on the side of the board, and shoot a jump shot at the target with a full follow-through (full elbow extension); you want to make the ball return to your shooting position so you don’t have to move your hands on the catch. Catch the ball in position to shoot. Jump behind the ball on shots that rebound to your left or right side.

Point-of-Board Shooting. This drill is the same as the front-of-board and side-of-board shooting drills except your target is the point of the backboard between the front and side of the board. This drill is obviously more difficult than the side-of-board shooting drill. It puts more emphasis on focusing and releasing the ball off your index finger. It also provides a greater challenge for jumping behind the ball in position to shoot. On shots that are off target, the rebound may go farther to the side than in the side-of-board shooting drill. This enables you to practice jumping behind the ball to catch it in position to shoot. Face the point of the backboard. Pick a spot near the top of the point of the board to serve as your target. Focus on your target on the point of the board and shoot a jump shot to the target, emphasizing the release of the ball off your index finger. Catch the ball in position to shoot. Jump behind the ball on shots that rebound to your left or right side.

Catch and Shoot Off Toss to Left Elbow. The main objective of this drill is to develop your ability to catch and shoot in one motion with a quick release. Another objective is to develop your ability to start a jump shot in a balanced stance while facing the basket and to land in balance after the shot. Start with the ball at the offensive left block outside the lane; your back is to the basket. Pass to yourself by tossing the ball high so it bounces high at the offensive left elbow of the court. Run outside the lane to the left elbow and quickly jump behind the ball, turning to the middle to face the basket. Use a jump stop and land in balance. Have your hands and feet ready with your hands above your shoulders and your knees slightly flexed. Catch the ball with your shooting hand high, facing the front of the rim. Catch and shoot in one motion. Your knees should lower just before the catch and should extend upward on the catch in a quick rhythmical down-and-up motion.

Catch and Shoot Off Toss to Right Elbow. Perform the same drill starting at the offensive right block and tossing the ball to the offensive right elbow. 

Basketball Shooting Catch and Shoot Lead-up Drills

Edited from: Wissel, H. (2011). BASKETBALL: Steps to Success. Third Edition. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.

Wissel, Hal. (2009). Basketball Shooting: Make Your Shot Automatic DVD. Basketball World, Suffield, CT. Wissel, Hal. (2005). Basketball Shooting: Confidence, Rhythm and Mechanics DVD. Basketball World, Suffield, CT.

Dr. Hal Wissel conducts SHOOT IT BETTER Mini Camps worldwide and year round for players ranging from NBA and WNBA to youth level. Visit: http://www.basketballworld.com  or call BASKETBALL WORLD at 888-812-5452 or 860-668-7162

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