Basketball Shooting Games

Basketball Shooting Games are a lot more fun and develop game-like shooting skills much better than shooting drills. These shooting games make it fun to work hard to develop scoring skills that will carry over to success in games.

These shooting games can be used during both in-season practices and during your “improvement season.” I define the improvement season as the time between April and September.

We have a competitive workout that you can use when your focus is on skill development. In addition to shooting drills, it includes pressure free throws, ball handling games, and driving to score games.

To keep things new and interesting for your players, it helps to have a few ways to keep score during these competitive shooting games. The competition can come from a player’s personal best, a team standard such as gold performance/silver performance/bronze performance, or competing against a teammate.

Another idea to make the games competitive would be to have them compete against a friend from another school and compare their workouts against each other.

I define 4 distinct types of shooting games:
(Click the link to see games in that category)

Technique Shooting Games
Game-Pace Shooting Games
Free Throw Shooting Games
Toughness Basketball Shooting Games

Here are links to the most popular basketball shooting games on our site:

Technique Basketball Shooting Games:

10 Up Shooting Drill


Coach Mike Neighbors, Head Coach of the Arkansas Women’s Program uses this drill.

The first three players in the passing line at the top have basketballs.

The line in the corner is the shooting line.

Player 6 is up first and has his/her choice of moving in front of the arc to shoot a two point shot, or moving behind the arc for a three point shot. Player #1 with the basketball, passes to player 6 for the shot.

If 6 makes the shot, the value of the shot is “Up.” If the shot made is a 2 point shot, 2 points are “Up.” If the shot was a 3 and was made, 3 points are “Up.”

1 rebounds the shot, passes the basketball back to 4, then goes to the back of the shooting line and 6 goes to the back of the passing line.

Player 7 is the next shooter, if she makes the shot, that many points are added to the “Up” Total (2 or 3 points). If Player 7 misses, she takes the points that are “up” against her. The Up total will start over.

The first player to collect 10 up points is out, and the remaining players move to another spot on the floor.

You can decide what you want players who are eliminated to do–shoot free throws, move into another drill or game, or whatever fits your situation.

See the rest of this shooting game by clicking here.

Xavier’s “Baseball” Shooting Drill

These are some notes from Chris Mack, Head Men’s Coach, University of Louisville when he coached at Xavier.

You can see the archives of their basketball coaching newsletter at this link: Xavier Newsletter

The record by a Xavier Player is 228 by Trevon Bluiett.

The rules for the drill are as follows:

Start at spot #1.

The first 3 made shots at each spot are worth 0 (nothing) points.

Every make after the 3rd make at each spot counts as 1 point.

After a shooter misses for a 3rd time at a spot, they move to the next numbered spot.

Procedure is repeated for all 9 spots.

Score is total points from all 9 spots.

I like the unique scoring approach for this drill to add some variety to the drills you use.

You can adapt the scoring system or the number of spots for your needs.

See the whole drill here: Xavier’s Basketball “Baseball” Shooting Drill.


Game Pace:

Warrior Shooting Drill

This shooting drill was contributed by Joel Hueser. Coach Hueser is the Head Boys Coach at Papillion-LaVista South High School High School in Nebraska.

The comments along with each diagram are from Coach Hueser.

Warrior Shooting is a great drill simulating a variety of cuts:
1) Basket Cut
2) Using a Pin Down
3) Using a Flare Screen and
4) Back Cut.

The purpose of this post is to get your thoughts going about creating a similar drill that incorporates the shots that your players get in games.

In addition to game spots, I like to have shooting drills include a scoring and timing element as well.

You can see more details on this drill here.

3 Competitive Shooting Drills


1 starts at coaches box/sideline and sprints into a wing 18 foot jump shot …

1 back pedals 3 times and sprints into a corner three pointer.

1 sprints through the key to opposite corner back up to the coaches box/sideline and turns and sprints for an 18 footer from the wing

1 backpedals three times and then sprints for a corner 3

*Repeat this pattern until player has shot 16 shots.

***To make it competitive put a time limit on it and a number of makes that they should have…

Find the other 2 competitive shooting drills by going here.


Prairie Fire Shooting Drill


This basketball shooting drill is from Coach Randi (Peterson) Henderson, Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Coe College.

This drill encourages communication, responsibility, and attention to detail.

The team is required to keep the ball off the ground for the duration of the drill as well as make consistent two handed passes and catches on the run. Other variations of the drill are 1) to make a certain amount in 1:00 2) have a perfect 1:00 3) Add Coaches for defense in transition or to trap the out1et.

The most demanding way to run the drill is to put 5:00 on the clock with the team goal being to score 150 points (1 point for layups, 2 points for 2 point jump shot, 3 points for 3 point shots).

The rules are NO TRAVELS, NO MISSED LAYUPS, AND THE BALL CANNOT TOUCH THE GROUND. Exception: 1 bounce is allowed on the rebound for two and three point jump shots.

You will need to adjust the standards to fit the level you coach and the changing abilities of your players from year to year and also adjust the types of shots and passes to fit your system of play.

For more information on running this drill, click here.


Free Throws:

“Point Huskies” Free Throw Game

This free throw shooting drill was designed by Mike Neighbors, Women’s Basketball Coach at Arkansas. At the time of this post, Mike was the coach at Washington.

We are always looking for new ways to incorporate free throw shooting into our full team practices.  This is one we came up with to compete as a team and also have the element of individual competition.

We have six goals in our gym.  We split off to shooters and rebounders at each goal.  10:00 goes onto the game clock.

Each shooter shoots until they miss.

The shooters must make at least 5 in a row to get a POINT HUSKIES (this is a reference to what our PA announcer says at our volleyball games)

5 makes in a row equals 1 point.
10 makes in a row = 3 points.    
15 in a row = 5 points.  
20 = 9 points.
25 = 12 points.
30 = 15 points
35 = 20 points.
40 = 25
45 – 32
50 = 40

from 50 on the team gets one point extra per make

The team total is added for each shooter.  So at the end of ten minutes we have a team score.  

We also chart individual scores to keep record boards for individuals.

Couple of things to have provisions for:

1) As the time is geƫting close to zero… any streak that was begun before the 1:00 minute mark can be completed until there is a miss.

2) Any streak that begins within the last :30 seconds can only go to the next increment of five.

3)  How long will you go before you allow “distractions”

Our total team record is 270 so far.  Individual highs are 145 ( yes, 145),  57, 48, 33, 32 and several in the
high 20’s.

Love the competition this breeds.  It is also NO FUN to not have your name called out for long streaks…
We hope this drill will conƟnue to keep us in the Top 10 naƟonally for FT Percentage.

Check out the original post of this drill here.


Finish The Game Pressure Free Throw Shooting Drill

This drill simulates pressure free throws at the end of a game and emphasizes the damage done by missing free throws late in a close game.

Run the drill at the end of practice to more closely simulate the mental and physical fatigue form the end of a game.

Line up the team in the lane spaces and behind the arc as they would for a free throw attempt. The shooter gets a 1-1 opportunity. Put a realistic score on the scoreboard that you would have in the final minutes of a close tournament game, whatever fits your level.

We put the score on the scoreboard at 45-44 for high school varsity with our team leading by one. If the shooter makes the shot, your team gets one point added. If the shooter misses, the opponent gets two points added. That emphasizes the importance of each miss. After one shooter is done, rotate until each player has had a chance to shoot.

If you win the game, practice ends on a positive note. If you lose, there needs to be a penalty such as running, frozen push ups, or whatever you want to use. Or, you can do the drill again until you win it’

If the game ends in a tie, then have an overtime where only the players who missed the first time shoot.

Get more ideas on how to run this drill here.


Don Meyer Free Throw Games

Make 25 without missing two in a Row

  • Cant miss 2 in a row
  • If you miss 2 in a row, you have to swish the next shot to stay in
  • Run if you fail

4 Up

  • Split into teams–teams take turns shooting free throws
  • Players get one free throw, then rotate shooters
  • 1 team has to get 4 shots ahead of the other team
  • Each player needs to mimic the shooting motion (even if you are not shooting)
  • Push ups for losers

Beat Steve Nash

  • Make a FT = +1 Miss a FT = Nash +3
  • 1st one to 10 wins

Find lots more shooting games like these by clicking here.

Team Free Throw Shooting Drill

The name of this Free Throw Shooting Game/Drill is “What’s Up?”

What’s Up Team Free Throw Shooting Game

Editor’s Note from Brian: The object of the game is, like golf, for the shooters to accumulate as few “Up Points” as possible.

This description was provided by Coach Neighbors

As a result of having a larger team than we have had the last few years, we have had to become a little more creative in our use of space/goals/time.

This seems to be most true in how we use our time with free throw practice. This is one we came up with this week. It’s a morph of several other shooting drills we have utilized in the past.

You can find more info on this drill and how it works by clicking here.


Free Throw “Golf” Shooting Drill


Jason Dycus, Head Girls’ Basketball Coach, Naperville North High School (IL):

There are 3 or 4 players at a basket.
Put three minutes on the clock.
Each person shoots one free throw and rotates.
Each time someone makes a free throw, one point goes in the bank.
The first person to miss add the score in the bank to their score (for example, if three people make a free throw in a row and the fourth person misses, the fourth person now adds 3 points to their score).
The player with the lowest score wins.

You can find more great drills and diagrams like this one here.



KP Shooting Drill

This drill is from Mike Neighbors, Arkansas Women’s Basketball Coaching Newsletter. It is back and I just sent him several email addresses for coaches who were interested in joining his list. If anyone else wants to be added, let me know and I will pass it on.

You might be able to incorporate this drill into your practices or possibly for your players who are looking to get in some extra shooting during winter break.

Click here to find out what Coach Neighbors says about this drill.

The purpose of Technique Shooting Games is to work on proper shooting habits. There is no component of speed, but there should be a scoring component. You don’t have a basketball shooting game unless you are scoring it!

Game Pace Shooting Games should be both scored and timed. The objective for the player is just like a game–play as fast as you can function. You are working at getting to the balance between fast enough to get a shot off in a game before the defensive player adjusts, but at a pace where the player can be in control and execute proper technique.

Free Throw Shooting GamesIt is difficult to simulate in practice the pressure and heart rate that players experience in games. Here are a few ways to manufacture pressure in practice or in workouts.

Some coaches call the Toughness Shooting Games “gut busters.” They are designed to push your players past their physical and mental comfort zones. They are most effective when they are at the end of the workout when the player is already fatigued.