Basketball Shooting: Improve Free Throw Accuracy By Improving Mechanics.

Basketball Shooting: Improve Free Throw Accuracy By Improving Mechanics


Bobby Knight – “Too many coaches use free throws as a ‘break’ during their practice. Coaches must make demands with consequences. We must MAKE our players focus.”

Ryan and I have been attending the Nike Coaches Clinics this Spring and Bobby Knight has been a featured speaker at each one. When he made this statement I had all I could do to keep from standing up and applauding.  Coaches often “demand” that their players follow specific rules – rebound a certain way; when to go over or under screens; how and when to screen; defend the post; etc. But when it comes to shooting, they allow their players to do whatever comes “natural”


Here are some points coaches should watch for while standing UNDER the basket:


Approaching the line:

  • The shooting foot should be forward with weight equal on both feet. Head in front of the feet.
  • Body is bent at the waist.
  • Straddle the valve stem with the two shooting fingers start with the stem on the high point of the ball.
  • Pick a spot on the middle of the rim – front or back. (It’s for Left / Right accuracy – NOT distance.)
  • The body should bounce slightly to reduce stress, create balance and rhythm.


  • Wear The SHOOTING STRAP. Make sure it is tight enough.
  • Vertical Alignment – Index Finger, Elbow, Knee, Toe (of the shoe) – all in a vertical plane.



  • IF a DEMAND is not met, give a CONSEQUENCE – run, push-ups, sit-ups – EVERY TIME!!!!!!!!!
  • Make two shots in a ROW.
  • If the first shot isn’t made = give a CONSEQUENCE.
  • Make the first and miss second = consequence is LESS than if first shot is missed.


“If the coach doesn’t demand it, IT won’t happen!”