The Euthanasia Warm-Up Shooting Drill

August 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

Euthanasia Warm Up Drill

This is my favorite basketball shooting warm-up drill.

It’s very, very simple. Start at any dot shown in the diagram. Keep shooting until you make three in a row. Move to another dot. Repeat until you finish at all dots.

Shoot with regular form, like a free throw– don’t shoot with one hand only. Shooting with one hand trains control, which is good for layups, but does not train form very well, which is the focus of this drill.

After you finish the drill, consider doing it again, this time with the left hand, and one hand only. This will help train control for left hand layups. You can skip the two ‘corner’ spots this time (bottom two dots on the diagram).

The drill sounds simple, but it may take longer than you think. If you shoot on average 80% from each of those spots, you’ll take on average roughly 24 shots total to finish at all five spots, right hand only. If you shoot 50%, you’ll need 70 shots on average. And your shooting percentage at the five spots is probably lower than you think.

When you shoot, your goal is to not just to make it, but have the ball not even hit the rim. It should be so soft it “a kitten could fall asleep” — hence why it’s called the euthanasia drill.


What the Drill Trains

  • Consistent shooting form — if you want a consistent three point form, you need to start with a consistent form at close distances
  • Familiarity shooting from anywhere on the court (people who focus on free throws tend to be less accurate from other angles on the court)
  • The clutch factor: When you make two in a row, can you relax and make the third one as well?

What to Focus on During the Drill

These shots are so close to the basket, unless you’re a beginner, you probably don’t have to think too much about making the shots. Here are things you should focus on while shooting:

  • The ball should not touch the rim (trains arc)
  • Your form is pure. Think about your form from your legs all the way to your release.
  • You’re relaxed. Watch for tension in the shoulder and neck.

This sounds very simple, but sometimes, if you’re stuck on one spot for a very long time, you can get frustrated and start tensing up and losing your form. Stay focused and calm.

Estimated Length of Drill: 2-8 minutes. To calculate how many shots it will take you on average to finish at each of the five spots, use the following formula:

n=\dfrac{1 + a + a^2}{a^3}

where is the expected total number of shots, and a is your average shooting percentage from the five spots.

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