In the 11-plus years she has played women's basketball, former Cal Poly Mustang Kristina Santiago has performed hundreds of training drills. This four-year Big West All-Conference team member, two-time Big West Conference Player of the Year and 2012 Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention knows what it takes to play at her best. Now you can too with this exclusive look at the routine that helped develop Santiago into one of the nation's top shooters.
For all of these drills, it helps to have a partner to rebound and pass back to the shooter.
Standing approximately two feet away from the basket and using only one hand, make 10 straight shots. Work on getting a feel for the ball on your fingertips and snapping your wrist, then repeat the routine with your non-dominant shooting hand.
For this drill, choose five spots, approximately 15 to 17-feet away from the basket, and focus on form and elevation throughout each shot. Make 10 baskets at each spot before moving on, and make sure to avoid "stepping into the shot" at this point in the progression.
Select five spots along the 3-point line and make five shots at each before moving on. Mimic game situations, like stepping to the shot at the top of the arc as you would from a trailing position, or shooting from a stationery position in the corners.
From the left baseline to wing, right baseline to wing and the elbows, run between the two spots focusing on inside-foot pivots and squaring up your body for the shot on the move. Make 10 shot with each pairing of spots before moving on the next progression.
This catch & shoot drill mimics game situations—e.g., moving off the block and coming off a down-screen, curls, pops, flares. Focus on moving at game speed while maintaining proper form. In this final progression, depending on time available, make a total of 30 to 50 shots from a variety of situations. For an advanced variation, have a coach shout offensive cues as players move through a set play.
In July, Kristina will be traveling to China with the USA All-Star Team to play against international Olympic competition in the Four Nations Basketball Tournament. Follow her on twitter at @TSantiago12.