Sometimes players might find themselves alone at the playground. In these situations kids tend to shoot around randomly, experimenting with different shots and crossovers. And don’t get us wrong – this is exactly what we want to see, especially at younger ages. It is vital for kids to be able to explore and engage with the sport creatively, as they would play in any other scenario.
But if players want to see real improvement in their skills, shooting along is the perfect occasion to work on specific skills. It is a good idea to teach players individual drills in practices, so they can be used by the player in situations like these.
Here’s a great example of an individual drill that works shooting and footwork, and is a staple for elite players at all levels of the sport. (The video itself also has some great pointers for an effective jump shot).

Rhythm Shooting

DESCRIPTIONSelect two spots on opposite side of the basket (mirroring each other) – always start close to the rim, and work your way outside as players get better. Players spin the ball to themselves as they turn into their shot. Ideal footwork will have players step into their shot INSIDE FOOT FIRST (i.e. on the right side of the court plant your feet left-right, and on the left side plant your feet right-left). Players will alternate between sides, playing for short timed rounds until they make 10 shots on both sides.
SKILL FOCUSShooting, Footwork
AGE (STAGE)Ages 10+ (Learn-to-Train)
EQUIPMENT1 basketball
Instead of spinning the ball, players can take a dribble with the ball. The goal is to make 10 shots from both sides. Given that this is a warm-up drill, 7 to 8 feet is the optimal distance.

Source: The SNYB Blog
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