The Neglected Shot
Improving Free Throw Accuracy & Confidence
Free Throw Common Errors
Practicing Free Throws
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Player Development: The Neglected Shot (Free Throw)
In a recent game, a NBA player shot “Air Balls” on two consecutive free throws??? In a NCAA DI conference tournament game, a player missed four straight, end of game free throws resulting in the team losing the game and its NCAA tournament bid??? On the other hand, Kentucky’s strong free throw shooting, 35 of 37 against Louisville, made them invincible in winning the NCAA Men’s Championship.
Free throw shots are unique in that the shooter has complete control of the shot. Free throws are shot from the same spot and distance from the basket with no defense to worry about. The shooter also has the choice of the type of shot to shoot. Since free throws account for approximately 25% of scoring, and a single free throw can make the difference in winning or losing, the ability to shoot free throws should be taken very seriously.
What is your current free throw percentage?
The 3 C’s – The Keys to Successful Free Throw Shooting
“Consistency, Concentration & Confidence” Anyone can be a successful free throws shooter regardless of age, sex and physical attributes. Shooting a free throw, similar to a golf swing, is a single, fluid action consisting of a minimum of moving parts. Proper free throw mechanics include stance, finger grip, wrist and elbow position, eyes focused on target with a straight release and follow through. Once the smooth, repetitive action of a free throw is learned and acquired, it becomes a natural reflex that is seldom lost. In fact, players will be able to make free throws with their eyes closed. Learn how the “3 C’s” can greatly improve free throw accuracy and success immediately – Premium Members – Click Here
Common Free Throw Errors to Avoid
Poor free throw shooting percentages are mainly the result of improper mechanics. However, not focusing and concentrating entirely on making the shot can spoil good free throw form and technique.
- Unsure or not confident about making the shot. Probably going to miss.
- Being distracted or having multiple thoughts rather than concentrating on a single thought of making the shot.
- Not taking a deep breath and relaxing on every free throw.
- Holding palm on the shooting hand on the ball. If the palm is involved you cannot hit the rim softly.
- Holding off hand on top of ball. This will result in blocking the shot. Hold the off hand to the side of the ball.
- Not clocking your wrist back, your shot will be flat and tend to nose dive.
- Holding elbow out rather than under ball. Results in ball traveling a curved line to the basket rather than on a straight line.
- Dropping arms immediately to waist rather than keeping them up high on follow through. Usually results in short or flat shot.
- On follow through, bringing your shooting arm across your body to the opposite side rather than keeping in line with the basket.
- Holding the ball behind the head, like a soccer pass. Hard to control and usually results in a hard sling shot.
- Poor physical Conditioning plays an important role in shooting, especially during big play-off games. You are as only as good as your legs.
- Changing your free throw routine during the season. Refine and reinforce the mechanics of your shot instead.
- Not putting ample time and effort into practicing.
Premium Members to view/print Free Throw Self-Analysis Check List – – Click Here
Free Throw Shooting a Vital Part of Every Practice or Workout.
If you want to win a championship, don’t leave free throw shooting up to chance. Over 25% of the points scored come from the free throw line. Great free throw shooters are not born. They are the result of proper mechanics and eons of practice. Since free throw shooting is a repetitive, neuromuscular skill, the more you practice, the more accurate you will become.
Practicing free throws does not have to be tiresome or tedious endeavor. In fact, on the contrary, improving your free throw shooting can be challenging and a lot of fun. Premium members see: Fun drills and competition to improve your free throw accuracy – Click Here
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