Improve Free Throw and 3-point Accuracy With Pressure
Pressure is tournament time. It is surprising how many games will be decided by one final shot – either from the field or from the free throw line. The best way to handle pressure is to practice under it. Then when the moment of truth happens, your players are ready to respond without the paralyzing affects of fear. To help prepare your team for the pressure of that last shot, here are two tips that have proven to be VERY effective.
Pressure Free Throw Game
The objective is to learn how to block out noise and distraction while attempting the shoot. The best way to do this is to concentrate on your free throw routine. Our Star Shooter Program starts by finding the valve stem and then moves to creating Vertical Alignment – line up Finger, Elbow, Knee, and Toe. When sighting the rim, don’t forget to use a slight “rhythm bounce” and fire when YOU feel ready. This is a great way to reduce pressure.
While one person is shooting, all non-shooting members of the group must scream and shout at the shooter. (No profanity). They can get close to the shooter but are not allowed to touch them or inhibit the shooting motion. They can stand in front but no closer than under the basket. They can wave their arms or do whatever.
Game Rules: Divide your team into groups of 4 or 5. Low score wins. Once you get minus 4, you can no longer shoot but you still stay with the group and distract. Each player follows the other and shoots one free throw. If player A misses their shot, they have a minus 1. If player A makes their shot, nothing happens and there is 1 in the Bank. With 1 in the Bank, player B must make the shot or have minus 2 – 1 from the Bank and 1 from their miss. If player B makes the shot, he’s off the hook and 2 are in the Bank. Player C must make it or have minus 3. The game continues until only 1 person is left from each group. Then the winners of each group can play off while the entire team screams and carries on. Yes, you can add whistles and air horns.
The objective is to learn to score while a defender is flying at you. The drill forces you to shoot at game speed and to focus on the rim. Remind the shooter to have both arms extended with the hands ready to shoot when receiving the ball – shooting hand flexed (wrinkles in the wrist) with the index finger pointing straight up. Remember, when shooting a last second shot, there is no time to pass or drive. It’s just catch and shoot.
Drill Rules: Divide players in pairs. The shooter is poised in the ready position just outside the 3 pt. line. His partner must pass the ball from inside the lane from the block or if in front, 3 feet from the basket. Once the pass is made, they follow the pass and try to block the shot. If the pass is bad, the receiver may reject the pass. Each shooter gets 3 sets of 10 attempts and tries to make as many shots in a ROW as possible. If less than 3 is achieved, the player must run a “suicide” – end line to ft. line and back, end line to mid-court and back, etc – in 30 seconds. The goal is to make 5 or more in a row. Any set of 5 in a ROW will qualify as 1 free pass for a “suicide”.