All of us, whether on the sidelines or right on the court, love a good challenge. Challenges keep us motivated, push us to improve, and help us set and achieve new goals. In the world of basketball, challenges can come in various forms – defensive challenges, team challenges, and of course, the ever-exciting shooting challenge.

Today, we’re diving deep into the world of shooting challenges and how they can transform not just your shooting skills but your entire game. The highlight of today’s discussion is the incredible 3-6-9-12-15 shooting drill, a favorite of Arkansas women’s basketball coach Mike Neighbors. This drill is not just about putting up shots; it’s about pushing your limits, both physically and mentally. With each round, you’ll take more shots, move across the court, and test your accuracy under pressure.

What to do with Shooting Challenges

All coaches and players love a great challenge. That challenge could be a defensive challenge, a team challenge, or in this day and age a shooting challenge. Coaches can do a variety of things with different a shooting challenge:

1.  Post a leaderboard in your locker room

These leaderboards will allow all the players in your program to see now only how they currently rank for the season, but if you have an all-time leaderboard, it could motivate them to get one of the top scorers of all time. This could be a great motivator to keep encouraging your players to get shots up.

2. Discuss strengths and weaknesses with your players

If you have a player that thinks they are a great shooter, have them perform a certain shooting drill that you like. The key to the shooting drills is it must be measurable and something that can be completed fairly quickly.

3. Red-Yellow-Green Light System

Part of the discussion with your players could be the Red-Yellow-Green light system. Some coaches like having a system like this in place to give players a goal/something to shoot for to enhance their shooting opportunities on the court. The premise goes that a player with a Red Light can only shoot closer to the basket, yellow can shoot a 3 if it is in rhythm, and a green light can shooter has the most freedom to take the shots they choose.

3-6-9-12-15 Shooting Challenge

This is where the 3-6-9-12-15 shooting challenge comes into play. This is a great shooting drill from Arkansas women’s basketball coach Mike Neighbors. Players will shoot shots from the top of the key, right wing, and then left wing. There are 5 rounds. In round 1, a total of 3 shots are taken, round 2 a total of 6 shots, and all the way to round 5 with 15 total shots. Players start shooting at the top of the key, then move to the right wing, and then to the left wing.

After each round of 3-6-9-12-15, each player will shoot a free throw too. At the end of the drill, the player will have taken 50 total shots (45 3 point shots and 5 free throws).

Here is the catch though:

After every 3rd shot, the shooter (if they miss) will run around a set of cones on the other end of the court. If they miss 1 shot, they will run around the first cone, miss 2 shots around the second cone, and 3 shots around the 3rd cone.

So that means on the round of 6 shots, they could run around cones twice, 9 shots they could run around cones 3 times, and on and on until they complete the round of 15 shots. The first cone is just over half-court. The 2nd cone is right at the old 5 second line. And the 3rd cone is in the deep corner.

This is a great drill not only to get shot reps up but also for conditioning. We have learned a great score for a high school player is 32 or more. If they are able to make 32 or more in 6:30 or less, they would be in the green light status, 24-31 in the yellow light status, and 23 and below in the red light status.

This is a great drill that we have enjoyed implementing. Be sure to check out the visual that was attached with this article and the attached scorecard.

Appendix A (Scorecard for 3-6-9-12-15 Shooting Challenge)



Number of Shots Number of Made Shots Free Throw































Kyle Brasher | Gibson Southern High School
Lady Titans Basketball Coach

Related: Using the Flex Offense Against Switching Defenses


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