Tips To Make More Free Throws
21% of all points scored in a game
1 out of every 2 points scored in last 2 minutes
2 out of every 3 points scored in the last 1 minute
Tournament time is right around the corner and we all know that free throws will make the difference between winning and loosing in a majority games. The good news is that you can improve this area of scoring even at this late date. Here are some suggestions.
Tips for Improving Free Throw Success
One: SIMPLIFY – Shorten the Stroke
Eliminate as much motion as possible by shortening the shooting stroke. Start the ball higher in the shooting motion – hand flexed at the wrist and the hand just above eye level with elbow under the ball. The upper body is erect and with NO BEND at the waist. The lower body is flexed at the knees. The shooting motion is UP and OUT. Allow NO BACKWARD motion.
Test the effectiveness of this method by tracking the success of 10 shots using the old method. Then practice with 20 shots the new way. The first few shots will be short so create more power by extending up on the toes. Finish by tracking the success with 10 more attempts.
While shooting with a shortened stroke, test to see if the ball is held properly by removing the non-shooting hand. The ball should not fall. The two shooting fingers should straddle the valve stem and be directly behind the ball. Too often the two shooting fingers are off to the side and as the ball starts up, the hand rotates. The rotation creates Left/Right misses.
Two: Improve CONTROL – Hold the ball like a Golf Tee
The shooting hand should control the ball similar to a golf tee. The edges keep the ball in place. To create better control, pinch the ball SLIGHTLY with the THUMB and 5th FINGER. At the point of release, the Index, Middle, and Fourth fingers push.
Three: Build Free Throw Routine on Good Body Mechanics
The free throw routine should put the body in the best position to make the shot. We advocate Tom Amberry’s routine. With it, Tom made 2,750 free throws in a row – at age 71 – shooting with his opposite hand. (Tom is left-handed but his elbow became so painful that he had to learn how to shoot with his right.) Our video – Shooting With A Passion For Excellence – fully demonstrates Tom’s method.