By Andrew Jantke | Indy workouts.... AND a global shooting challenge; Can you out shoot these world


Pictured: The most important thing for a workout coach is the conversations with the athletes. In this recent workout where we captured some amazing shooting displays on film. We think the scores these guys put up in our benchmark drills would be difficult for players at any level in the world to match, and certainly in their respective age groups. We challenge all to try.

As I have been doing so many individual workouts over the years I always thought it would be really useful to have documented, proven benchmark scores and drills for guys at various levels to compare to. About 18 months ago I began to compile some good, easy to run shooting drills that I felt we could use to benchmark player's shooting abilities, from all over the floor, and I began to record scores from all of the benchmark drills I did in our workouts. I want to broaden visibility of these benchmarks to the 1000s of readers out there and I asked 2 guys who are elite shooters in their age groups to demonstrate these drills. I feel these 2 guys are elite, world class shooters for their age (well for any age or level for that matter) so I hope other athletes and coaches will adopt our benchmark drills and try to see if they can beat our guys. The 2 guys are;

15 year old Joel who plays for my Sturt Sabres team and played u16s for SA metro (State team) this past year

19 year old Isaac White who is a Stanford Commit and featured athlete on this site.

I highly suggest that all coaches, from grassroots to high performance coaches, show their kids this film to inspire them to understand what elite shooters look like. Try to beat their score in these benchmark drills.

VIDEO: Stanford player Isaac White, here training with Stanford in preparation to play teams like Kansas Jayhawks, University of North Carolina Tarheels, University of Florida Gators, UCLA Bruins and Arizona Wildcats back home for a "break" but still putting in a massive amount of effort into his preparation for his freshman year with the Cardinal. On the day the footage below was filmed after he had completed a 2 hour intense kick boxing, weights and weighted sled pushing session with a personal trainer, John Chantiotis, a 2 time Australian National Kickboxing champion. Isaac's knuckles were raw from the boxing and had completed a very high level, grueling workout with Chantiotis before this amazing shooting display.

VIDEO: Here is some footage of Isaac shooting in the workout on the day this was filmed. Check out the wrist rotation his shot, footwork timing and rhythm and sweep and sway.

I've also had quite a lot of kids, coaches and parents ask for workout drills and workouts. Time is limited and I tend to stick to guys I coach or have coached. To help more of you I decided to blog about my views on workouts and to share some ideas I have developed over the years with help and input from so many people I plan to do some more blogs later on on individual/small group workouts, to extend on this blog.

The number 1 thing with workouts is I don't think the drills matter too much from a skill development point of view. Some consistent drills, that are scored are useful for benchmarking individual improvement relative to team mates, and others, but the actual drills don't matter too much. They need to be game like, you need to adapt to the athlete's needs, they need to challenge thought processes (not be too repetitive), they need scored and they need to stretch each athlete physically/mentally and skillfully. I like to include drills that require a lot rapid, task oriented thought but executed at rapid, gamepace. I feel the brain can be trained to think rapidly in complex environments, and workouts are great for this. However, in workouts it is the conversations that matter most.

I've worked out all the featured athletes on this site, most of them quite a number of times as have others. Most of these guys are now emerging in to world class players in their age group and have reported my workouts being of great value to their development. For each athlete there is some specific focus on skills to their needs I did with them but inevitably the greatest focus is on 3 pt shooting. I feel that every single guy on a team needs to be able to shoot the 3 ball in the modern game. They need to be able to get off a shot quickly and create space, therefore workout shooting has to also be gamelike, the kind of shots they need to get off at high levels IE on the run, fading away, step backs, off the bounce, slightly off balance, off a bad pass.

We do a lot of work in team training on scoring from dribble penetration into the paint, but really don't get the chance to work on 3 pt shooting much in a typical team training. I will try and describe some of the featured athlete's level, game, areas to develop and what we have worked on in workouts. This will help you understand and recognise how I come up with specific drills and maybe give some ideas of drills you can use, depending on the athlete's needs.

Having said all that I want to reiterate that I strongly feel It is the conversations we have in these workouts that matter more than anything. These conversations are specific to the athlete, lots of questioning by me about everything basketball and life, giving them feedback on their recent games I've seen, talking about their challenges at the moment and building them up with positive affirmations and reinforcement where needed, but always being honest in that.

I also like to get involved. I'll often do some of the shooting drills, and when it is with older guys, with their supreme self confidence, these conversations often at that point can turn into trash talk. It is a lot of fun, it instills a competitive mindset into the guys and they don't like losing to me (won't mention any names here).

Equipment needs

Here is the equipment I bring to a workout:

- The speakers and some tunes - Music adds a lot of value to workouts. I feel it helps with visualization, rhythm and just creates a good vibe to the session.

- Phone with clock that plugs into speakers for drills that are timed. I also use the speakers for a buzzer for timed drills. I can set the clock on my phone if a drill has a countdown and at the end of that time my speaker will beep. Much easier than using a scoreboard clock because the phone is mobile and can work even when you can't access a court clock.

- Punch bag - I feel the use of the punch bag is one of the key factors in my workouts. If you constantly practice moves on the rim without contact then when you get it in the game it is going to be a whole different experience. I feel that not practicing moves on the rim with contact could actually make you a worse finisher because it is just not the same.

VIDEO: Punch bags are a very useful tool in workouts. mmmmm a little soft with these hits though.

- 2 basketballs - I always tend to incorporate 2 ball dribbling skills for warmups. This makes sure players are working on skills on both side of their body and getting their multi-tasking brain switched on.

- Tennis ball - not too big on the use of tennis ball because it is too far removed from playing but it can be good to help the kids use both sides their body and multi-tasking.

- Water - obvious

- Smart watch - My smart watch controls the music, the times for shooting etc., keeps me in touch with any important messages or news updates during the workout.

- Agility ladders - I have a few ladders that I will occasionally pullout for drills.

Shooting

I do a lot of work on shooting 3s in these sessions. Team trainings I find are the best opportunity to work on penetration and moves in the paint but shooting requires more repetition and you need to do it with less players per ring. I feel the guys get much more benefit out of the repetition in individual workouts, needed to develop elite shooting, than in team practice. I also feel that in the modern game players of all sizes can now have success if they can shoot the lights out. The game has become more of a pace and space game and you need high level shooters to stretch defense and as 15 yr old Joel shows you don't need to be tall to be an elite shooter.

My main points of emphasis for shooting are:

- Sweep and sway - Jump forward slightly, shoulders sway backwards. Foot on shooting hand side rotates forward a little.

- Power foot forwards - to get your shooting arm more inline with the ring and perpendicular to the floor you need the foot on the side of your shooting hand forward a little bit on the catch or when you stop off the dribble to shoot.

- Shooting pocket - Youngsters tend to shoot the ball from under their chin or from their hip. This has to be a habit that is eliminated as they get older because the shot will be flat, a low release that is blockable.

- Legs - Use legs for timing, rhythm and arc.

- Wrist rotation - non shooting hand palm should not be pointing outwards, it is just there to balance. Shooting hand needs to follow through at the rim.

PICTURED: Shooting great, Reggie Miller, with a text book wrist rotation.

- Footwork - catch ball with 2 feet in air, in a small hop or stride stop. Be careful when stride stopping not to catch then step but catch on the first step and as you receive the ball the 2nd step should be happening.

- Rhythm - this is hard to describe. Really make sure the footwork, dip, leg flex is small and "in rhythm".

I don't try to stop the dip, I don't try to tell guys to shoot straight up and down and feel these are ideas taught by people that have no understanding of how the game is actually played. The dip helps with rhythm but also the momentum from the dip and upwards movement gives range.

VIDEO: Stephen Curry with the dip. No correspondence or debate will be entered into on this subject. Thankyou.

Catch and shoot should look and feel effortless for the player if all the above is followed.

I do a lot of one handed shooting from behind the arc. I feel that this is the best way for players to develop their shot through intrinsic, drill driven feedback. Are their finger pads on the ball rather than palm? Is their upper arm perpendicular to the floor? Are their fingers spread enough on the ball? Are they relying on their shooting arm for power and not their non shooting arm ? If any of these questions is a no then the ball will be off balance and shake when shooting with 1 arm.

VIDEO: Isaac White with some 1 handed shooting prowess.

I also demand that players shoot at speed. We shoot alot of the 3s off the bounce and encourage players to think about all aspects to maximise the speed of their release and seperation from their imaginary defender. The gather up of the ball off the bounce is very important, as is stepping into your shot in rhythm.

VIDEO: Here is Joel shooting some deep corner 3s on the run. Watch the footwork, the rhythm and the timing all leading to a quick shot from when he catches the ball to when he releases it.

Video: Isaac shooting deep corner 3s on the move. Like Joel, very good timing, rhythm, speed and accuracy (of course)

Video: Isaac turnout shooting 3s on the move. More very good timing, rhythm, speed and accuracy (of course). A little bit slower than I would like on the actual turnout but he had just completed 3-4 hours of grueling training prior.

Benchmark drills

I feel that both Isaac and Joel are elite, world class shooters and with these young men challenge anyone out there in the basketball world to outshoot them in our benchmark drills. Both of them invest a phenomenal amount of hours in improving shooting in individual workouts together with each other, various workout coaches (including myself) and by themselves.

We want to lay down the challenge to kids in Isaac's age bracket, 19 or younger, or Joel's 15 or younger, or any age group or level for that matter to prove themselves better shooters than these guys in our benchmark drills. I hope this challenge will inspire better shooters amongst our readers and followers and at the same time encourages both Joel and Isaac, who are strong competitors to look to maintain their shooting edge of their peers in the sport, anywhere in the world. Infact I am sure many high level pros would find these scores a challenge. Let's see.

Keep in mind all these drills must be carried out from at least the 3 FIBA 3 pt line (in between NCAA College and NBA 3 pt lines). So if you are in the US the High School 3 pt line won't count:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-point_field_goal

Drill 1

3 mins of 3s.

2 balls, 2 rebounders/ passers.

Video: Isaac's score 62

Video: Joel's score 52

Drill 2

OKC drill.

Make 3x3s from the 5 spots, make 2x3s in a row from the 5 spots, make 5 shots on the run in a row, then shoot from top of 3 pt line and only count the shots made from the top. 4 minute time limit.

Video: Isaac's score 30

Video: Joel's score 25

Drill 3

2xin a row from 5 spots at edge of key (IE block, elbow, free throw line, same on other side), then 2 in a row from 5 spots at corresponding spots behind 3 pt line. How long does it take to finish all 10 spots??

We did not actually tape this one on this day but the scores were an amazing....

Joel: 2m15secs

Isaac: 2m12 secs

Drill 4

55 second shooting

Rapid fire shooting. 2 rebounders, 2 balls push the shooter to reset quickly and get lots of shots off.

We did not do this one on this day but lets lay down the challenge anyway to everyone out there.

Can also change it to do shots on the run in situations like flare screens, pindowns, diagonal cuts etc.

Specific drills for specific needs

This section will be quite hard to follow as it uses a lot of terminology with little explanation. I'll do a couple of blogs soon on various moves in situations and positions on the floor which will help. Meanwhile, I'm happy to assist anyone with questions on what I mean by the moves described below.

I always engage with the guys to ask what they want to work on in the session. I have done so many workouts we just adapt on the run to their needs.

6'8'' Wing needs work on both side of body, div 1 college player, national rep

Wants to work on both side of body, versatility 3s, key, post.

Typical session

- 2 mins of x layups. Reverse layup, bunny hop drop then drop step, 1 hand scoop layup. By doing 3 (an odd number) each round you alternate sides.

- 55 second rapid fire shooting. Quick shots, rest quickly

- Throw down moves. Start in dead corner sprint up floor catch ball and make various throw down moves. EG: Throw down towards baseline, then behind back

- dribbling to half way while throwing tennis ball, change hands on way back

- 3 mins of 3s

- 2 ball alternate dribbling, various skills with 2 balls

- floaters/tear drops with punch bag

- 55 second rapid fire shooting from 3 pt line

- post moves with bunchbag. Each move has a move and a counter. I get him to either see my feet position and or whether I jump to decide when to use the counter.

- 1st to 10 3s vs me. He will tell you he won more but I recall I won. A couple out of 5 games.

- Left hand push passes against the wall

- Shooting at top of 3 on the run

- Post moves vs punch bag only rule was if he dunks ON me, I buy lunch........ I bought lunch.

Note the above workout was in 38 degree heat.

6'1'' Combo guard, Div 1 college player, national rep

Wants to get shots off on the run, speed of shot, create space on shots IE stepbacks, slide bounce and fadeaway 3s

Typical session

- 2 ball dribbling skills

- Full court ball handling. 1 dribble move that would would split 2 defenders, 2 dribbles combo 3 moves.

- Ball handling with punch bags - retreat dribble at elbow then move to change direction, spin move at Ts, hit punch bag at 3 pt line make a move on the rim. Dribble back to 3 pt line at other end and pull up for a 3.

- 1 hand 3 pt shooting. Sets of 3. First player to 10 makes.

- 2 hand catch and shoot. Sets of 3. First player to 10 makes.

- Step backs catch and shoot. Sets of 3. First player to 10 makes.

- 3 mins of 3s. 2 balls, 2 rebounders.

- Shots on the run.

- Run and shoot deep corner 3s. Sets of 5, first player to 10 makes

- Turnout 3s. Sets of 5, first player to 10 makes

- Run to wing, catch and slide dribbles to dead corner or towards middle. Sets of 5 first to 10.

- OKC drill. Benchmark drill.

- 1 hand shooting. Sets of 3. First to 10.

- Make 10 floaters or euros.

- 5 spot shooting. Benchmark drill

- Moves off wing ball screen. Give scenarios of how they could be guarded when coming off the onball. Use punch bag so they work on attacking screeners hip (in this case they knock the edge of the punchbag as theiy blow past).

- Warm down

6'5'' PG, CoE player, national rep

Wants to continue to develop ball skills, shooting and wants to be able to take small or weaker guard to the post.

- 2 ball dribbling skills

- Ball skills whilst throwing tennis ball at the same time.

- Full court ball handling. 1 dribble then a move that would would split 2 defenders, 2 dribbles into combo 3 moves. I like to use the combination of dribbles to get players playing at speed whilst challenging their mind.

- Ball handling with punch bags - retreat dribble at elbow then move to change direction, spin move at Ts, hit punch bag at 3 pt line make a move on the rim. Dribble back to 3 pt line at other end and pull up for a 3.

- Moves on rim with punchbag. Various moves on rim with punch bag. Dribble moves into; Euro steps, 2 foot stop moves (IE Land on 2 feet and shoot a floater, step through, drop step or combinatiion of all of them), bunny hop moves, off foot layups, reverse layups

- Shooting, catch and shoot off a bad pass. Try to disturb shooting rhythm like in a game and still hit shot. Make 10, but they only count when you make 2 in a row.

- Shooting on the run

- from top jab step one way, 2 steps other way, catch and shoot. Add 2 slide dribbles.

- from top jab 1 step one way, 2 steps other way catch and take 2 dribbles, running and pull up for a 3

- make 5 deep corner 3s on the run

- Benchmark drill 3 mins of 3s

- Post moves. Counter with coaches foot movement. Aim to attack the front foot. Counters when defender jumps etc.

- Shooting off flare screens. Start at top of 3 point line and run to wing of imaginary flare screen. Then shoot or make different moves on the rim. Mostly worked on throwdown moves if it is not catch and shoot.

- Free throws. Make at least 9/10.

- Warm down

Conclusion

I strongly encourage players to seek out help from workout coaches that fit their needs the best. There are a lot of pretenders and imposters out there in the workout space so buyer beware. All have different levels and expertise etc. A good place to start is in your club environment. Speak to your Director of Coaching, or if you are in your state's high performance program speak to your High Performance Manager. For me I tend to ONLY workout with kids/families I coach, have coached, have a relationship with and I am confident are going to put much more time and effort into their own development than I personally put into theirs.

I also value Assistant Coaches on my staff that do individual workouts with the guys and in my and Joel's current team (Sturt Sabres). we have our Assistant Coach, former Adelaide 36er, Jason Williams who goes way above an beyond. J-Will has a great playing and coaching background and runs an awesome workout. Also at Sturt (my current club) we are also lucky to have a Director of Basketball that takes our Sturt kids for workouts and is a great workout guy too.

To succeed as an athlete, and have the same kinds of opportunities as our featured athletes, you need to structure your life around your goals and personal development. Everything matters, you need a weekly timetable and plan to manage workouts, trainings, homework, family and social time and need to dedicate a lot of time and effort to your personal development. Ultimately, whether you succeed or fail to hit ALL your goals (none of us ever do hit every goal) the journey is a lot of fun, very satisfying and packed with amazing opportunities if you are diligent and dedicated.

Finally, I reckon we got better shooters than you! Who is up for the challenge? Who can knock off these elite, world class shooters in featured in the footage above? Regardless of age or level, I reckon it will be very tough for ANYONE to, but give it a go and let me know. Remember our 3 pt line is FIBA range, so it is in between NBA and College 3 pt line, measurements are above.

VIDEO: Satisfaction when you hit a goal!

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