Around the world and back again

Take shots at different parts of the "key". You cannot progress to the next point until you convert a goal. If you are playing against others, you keep progressing "around the world" until you miss a shot. If you miss a shot, the next player shoots from the beginning or where they last missed a shot. A variation is to shoot free throws to determine in what order you go "around the world".

Around the world shot distances are as follows:
Around the World
Once you get to 7 then go the reverse order back to the starting position. There should be 14 shots in all - 7 is shot twice in a row, making the second shot the 8th shot.

Horse is played with 2 or more players. Shoot free throws to see who goes first. The first shooter, the "lead' shooter, can shoot any shot from any position. The lead shot can be a lay-up, 3-pointer, back to the basket or a "called" shot where the shooter says for example 'you must dribble in with your left hand, stop 2 metres short and bank it off the back board'. A "called" shot must be announced before the calling shooter shoots.

If there are 2 players and the first player misses then next player can take any shot. If you have more than 2 players then all subsequent players must follow the lead shot even if, say, 2 out of 4 people missed the shot.

With every missed shot when following a lead shooter, the player that missed the shot calls out 'I'm an H' if one shot is missed, 'I'm a Ho" with 2 misses, 'I'm a Hor' with 3 misses……When a player misses 6 shots following a lead shot then they are a "Horse" and they are out of the game.

Lie on the back shooting
This is an excellent exercise to ensure correct shooting fundamentals. Ensure you have your parent's permission and that nothing breakable is near you. 

Lie on your back with your hands positioned as if you are about to take a shot. Now take a shot so that the ball returns back to your hands. Make sure you are getting back spin on the ball by "goose necking" your shooting hand as you release the ball. If you have a correct shooting motion then the ball will fall straight back to your hands without having to move. If the ball is not falling back to your hands then you are probably: 
  • Not keeping a straight a straight forearm with your shooting arm;
  • The non-shooting hand is not just steading the ball but taking an active part in the shot;
  • When you release the ball, your shooting hand is spraying one side or the other instead of being perfectly perpendicular to your forearm.
Beat the Pro
Imagine playing 1 on 1 with your favourite player. You are trying to beat them to 21 points. You must take "game" shots. You must picture someone playing defence against you. For every shot you make, you get a point and for every shot you miss, your imaginary player gets 2 points. When you get to 20, you take one last "buzzer beater" shot and you must make that to win. See if you can Beat the Pro.

Free throw shooting
Draw a line 4 metres straight out from your basket (3.5 metres for U9's & U10's). Now practise free throws, seeing how many you can get out of 10. Keep track of your PB (personal best). Follow these pointers:
  • Follow the same routine with each and every foul shot, whether it is in your backyard, at training or in the game. This will give you a more "comfortable zone" in game situation.
  • Visualise the game is even and there is one second left on the clock and it's a grand final. Put pressure on yourself so you can cope with the pressure better when it is for real.
  • Use your legs to get the power, not your shoulders.
  • Don't get down on yourself if you miss a few shots. A good shooter always believes the next shot is going in no matter how many they miss in a row.
  • Note how you miss shots. Are they falling short, to the left, right or the back of rim. Adjust your shooting action accordingly. You will be a much better shooter when you know what you have done wrong by where the shot lands.

Figure 8's - without dribble
Hand the ball from hand to hand as you go around and through legs. 

Quick hands
With legs spread, hold the ball between legs with one hand in front and one hand reaching behind you, drop the ball and switch hands catching the ball before it hits the ground. Repeat as quickly as possible. You can also do this with both hands in front then catch it with both hands behind. 

Drum dribble
Either standing or on one knee have players dribble ball changing hands with each touch. Start with a steady dribble then work down to super fast low dribbles. Then have them dribble with one finger on each hand and with their balled up fist.

Tom-Tom dribble 
Spread legs, dribble ball with right hand passing it to the left hand, dribble ball with left hand between legs and to the right hand. Now dribble ball with your right hand behind you to the left hand that should also be behind you. Then dribble the ball back to the right hand now in front of the body, repeat.

Rebound scoring
This will make you a scoring machine under the boards. Start by standing on one side of the basket roughly the same distance from the backboard as the outer edge of the ring. Bank a shot from off the backboard into the basket, collect the ball after it travels through the hoop then with one step quickly move to the other side of the basket and do the same action. Continue scoring and moving from one side to the other until you miss a shot. Keep tabs on the PB (personal best) for how many consecutive shots you can hit. Doing it properly you will develop wonderful footwork rhythm as you move side to side.