A basketball shooting drill called the Pressure Shooting Challenge can help you take your jump shot to the next level by making it harder to score, ensuring that you have to improve your accuracy, and making every attempt to count.
Of course, you’ll need a ball machine basketball and a basketball hoop rebounder, but the actual drill itself only requires your own hands and arms to complete.
The pressure shooting challenge drill
The popular version is to pick five spots on the floor, one in each corner, at the elbow, at the wing, and one at the top of the key.
To complete this drill, shooters must make two consecutive shots from all five locations for a total of ten makes. The drill’s score is the time the shooter takes to accomplish the ten makes. Another variant is to start at each spot and catch ten consecutive alley-oops from a partner with enough force that you’ll have to race back downcourt before attempting another pass.
From there, complete ten free throws; after your last make, sprint back downcourt for another attempt at an alley-oop. Try completing all five shots in less than 30 seconds on each attempt for an extra challenge.
Individual drills to complete before the challenge
It is vital to practice focusing on getting high-arcing layups in traffic.
Shoot after a light workout; shooting is more about hand-eye coordination than strength. You’ll also want to practice shooting off screens, which will force you to move quickly without losing rhythm. Before you begin, here are some shots to practice daily.
- Layup/floater: Get into position for a routine layup; shoot it softly off the backboard as if there were defenders in front of you. You should still get plenty of height on it—don’t go crazy with power.
- Off-the-dribble jumper: Use a basketball passing machine or someone else to feed you passes while you are running full speed toward them. Make sure they vary their pace and location, so you have to adjust your shot quickly.
- Pick-and-roll jumper: Set up two basketball hoops about 15 feet apart; one is your roller hoop, where you’re rolling around screens toward an open space; the other is your popper hoop, where your teammate will pop out after setting screens at various locations around half court.
How to perform the challenge and analyze your results
To challenge yourself, you need your pressure shooter challenge.
It will help you become mentally strong in different situations and improve your shooting under pressure. Choose two or three shots that you are good at and two or three that you don’t shoot well, and set up cones on a half-court with 10 feet in between each one. Start at one cone and move down into position for each shot, then go back up and repeat until you reach the other end of the court.
Do not step over any lines.
If you do not have enough room to perform a full drill, use as many cones as possible while still being able to make all of your shots. You can also limit how long you take to get from start to finish.
Tips and coaching points
When shooting, every player should have a target.
You want to build muscle memory to think less about your shot and react. Here is a challenge that will help you develop muscle memory in no time: Take one step back from your usual shooting spot, turn around, and see how many shots you can make in 30 seconds.
On game day, you won’t be able to take any extra steps backward.
Still, it will become second nature by mid-season if you practice it regularly. The goal of each shot is to get it off quickly before defenders get close enough to block your view or disrupt your rhythm. The more comfortable you are taking quick shots, even when rushed, the better prepared you’ll be for game day.
Suppose you’re looking to take your basketball shooting to the next level. In that case, this pressure shooting challenge drill can help you work on your form without worrying about dribbling or passing the ball. In addition, this drill forces you to work on your decision-making skills under pressure, leading to better game situation results.