Scoring vs Shooting

Loose Ball

Hustle and Desire is What Puts Points on the Board

| Scoring Inside | Scoring Outside |

Many players are under the misconception that they have to be a great shooter or shoot a lot in order to score. Still others are constantly being pressured and influenced into shooting more during a game by parents and/or so called "advisors". In most cases, this selfish advice is given out without regard to a total team effort or to the outcome of the game.

In addition, players spend countless hours working on their shooting form and individual moves. However, players should realize that to become a proficient and consistent scorer it only requires hustle, aggressiveness and determination (not shot attempts or shooting form).

Hustle Points


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Inside Scoring Basics


You do not have to be a great shooter to score. If you are an inside player, hustle and determination on the offensive boards will produce a least one putback shot opportunity each half. If you play aggressively you will get fouled and go to the line at least one time per half. As a result, if you make your free throws, you have will have scored eight (8) points without taking a shot from the field.


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Backcourt Scoring


For back court players the same results apply. If you hustle and play tough on the defensive end of the court, you will be able to steal or deflect a dribble (or pass) to a teammate and receive a return pass for an easy lay-up at least once per half. If you are aggressive and constantly move on offense, you will get fouled and go to the line at least one time per half. If you make your free throws you have will have scored eight (8) points without taking a shot from the field.

Therefore, in games when you are shooting well, you may score 15 to 30 points. On nights when you may be shooting poorly, you will still score in double digits.

Scoring Consistency

Coaches cannot count on "scorers" that score 20 points one game and 4 points the next. They would prefer to have a player score 10 points every game. Consistency is a characteristic found in all great players. Just take a close look at the present best players in the game. They all have one thing in common. Because of their all out hustle and determination style of play, they will achieve their basic eight points (and then some) in every game they play.

Become a complete play and do not expect coaches to hand out playing time based solely on points scored. Make hustle and effort your trademark. Work on your attitude, determination, and hustle in every drill in every practice. Go all out after loose balls. During a game, play every play with the same intensity as if it was the last play of a close game.

Scoring Efficiency (P/S)

Points per shots (P/S) is a new statistic that is now being compiled and analyzed by coaches on all levels. Points per shot is an indication of a player's scoring ability, and is an important statistic for coaches to know, especially during crunch time at the end of a close game when they need your best scorers on the court.


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Seven Scoring Tips

  1. Know your shooting range (See "Range Finder" drill next page).

  2. Get open before you receive the ball. Movement creates opportunity.

  3. Get the ball to the open player. You will be surprised how many times it will be YOU!

  4. Be on balance and take good shots. "Hoped" or hurried shots rarely go in the basket.

  5. Be an aggressive offensive rebounder. Over 50% of all shots and 35% of free throws will be missed.

  6. Take good shots. Passing up a good open shot is worst than taking a bad shot.

  7. Lastly, acknowledge the passer on every assist. This will usually result in getting more and better passes.


For additional shooting tips see: Ten Sure Ways to Improve Your Shooting


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Fun Shooting Drills
That Will Improve Your Game

Drills: | Putback | Range Finder | Ten | Swish |


"Putback" Drill

This drill is actually a game played with two players. One player takes seven outside shots in a semi-circle around the basket while the other player tries to tip in any missed shot. If the shooter makes a shot it is worth one point. If the rebounder tips in a missed shot they get two points. After seven shots players switch positions. First player to 21 points wins.

Putback Drill

Note: For a tip or putback shot to count the rebounder must have both feet off the ground. This drill is great for anticipating missed shots and establishing the proper position for a putback shot or tip. It is, also, a great for practicing your shooting concentration and accuracy since every time you miss a shot it provides your opponent with an opportunity for two points.



"Range Finder" Drill

This drill is best with three players and two balls (rebounder, feeder and shooter); however, it can be done with just two players (rebounder & shooter). The shooter keeps shooting the ball along one of the designated shooting spokes (area). Any time they make three shots in a row, they take a step backwards (away from the basket). Any time they miss three shots in a row, they take one step forward. You will quickly find your comfort or sweet spot.

Range Finder Drill

Two Ball Shooting Drill

Early in the season determine your shooting range for all five spokes (right baseline, left baseline, right wing, left wing and straight out from basket). Each spoke will be different. During the season check your spokes periodically as needed.

During a game work hard to create a open shot within you range for each these spokes. Don't let your ego or outside pressures take you outside your range.



"Ten (10)" Shooting Drill

Shoot from various spots on the court with a goal of scoring a "10" You score one point for each made shot. However, in scoring, anytime you miss two shots in a row your score goes back to zero. Once you get to "10" move to another spot and repeat.

Two Ball Shooting

Ten Drill

This "Ten (10) " drill is best with three players and two balls (rebounder, feeder and shooter); however, it can be done with just two players (rebounder & shooter) or even solo.



Free Throw "Swish" Drill


To improve your free throw shooting try this game. Shoot free throws three at a time. Keep score by scoring one point for every swished (no rim contact) shot, no points are scored on a made free throw that hits the rim, and a minus one point for a missed shot. A perfect score is 3 points. You can make it a competitive drill by challenging teammates and friends.

Once you strive for excellence (swishes) in free throw shooting, you will definitely become a better free throw shooter during games.


Learn More Drills for Skills: Individual Player Shooting