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Basketball Shooting Drills - Russian 5 Ball Shooting Drill

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This drill I picked up watching the Russian national team preparing for The European Championships. There are three lines of players under the baskets at each end of the floor. All fours players who are at the front of each line on the outside, two on one end of the floor and two on the opposite end have a basketball to start. Three players (one ball) start on the court, usually with a rebound outlet pass, and make a three man passing figure 8 weave, until the ball ends up in the middle man's hands when he is within shooting distance at the other end of the floor. Of these three weaving players, one will be weaving to the left, where they will receive the ball from the player standing out of bounds (facing) the breaking team, on their side of the floor (left side or corner).

The third player of the breaking team, is weaving toward the right, where they receive a ball from the player standing out of bounds (facing) the breaking team, on their side of the floor (right side or corner).

Almost simultaneously there each of the three players of the figure 8 team will take a jump shot and move to the end of the lines out of bounds under the basket they have just shot at.

The player out of bounds under the basket, takes one basketball and initiates a figure 8 weave back in the other direction using the two players who just made the past from out of bounds, in each the right and left corner. The first two players behind each right and left corner retrieve the two extra balls and wait for the figure 8 to return, on the next trip down the court.

The new figure 8 weave team follows the same procedure, only in the opposite direction, until the man in the middle is within shooting distance, and the man cutting to the left can receive the pass from the man with a ball in the left corner, and the man cutting right can receive the pass from the man with a ball in the right corner.

Each time down the court, the break will end with three shots. However, there is only one ball moving up and down the court on the figure 8.

This is a great warm-up and conditioning drills and provides extra shooting practice under game speed conditions.

Shooters do not rebound any missed shots, so that the drill keeps moving quickly.



Number of Players:

10 or more


Make sure your players clear the extra two balls shot quickly and that the passers in each of the corners are ready to pass when the fast breaking team arrives in their half of the court.


We like to practice our three point shots with this drill, as it simulates conditions where a player must stop quickly off the break to hit the open 3.

For younger players I would always encourage they only practice shots, that they can make, and should be taking in game situations. Post players can pull up at the elbow or on the short baseline.

We often play a game where the winner is the first player who makes 10 shots, and losers get sit-ups.


Shooting off the break and conditioning


This basketball drill is licensed under a Creative Commons License. This drill is from Pål Degerstrøm at www.degerstrom.com/basketball.

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