In the world of basketball, a free throw can become an opportunity for a team to flip a game. Although shooting a free throw only grants a point to the team, it’s still a point for the team. It isn’t enough to have players that excel in ball handling and dunking. It’s also great to train players to shoot free throws to secure a competition win.
A free throw is the only skill that an offensive player has complete control over. There is no movement to counteract, no reaction to defend, and no adjustment to the range. However, there are still some players who fail to land the ball into the ring. Free throw shooting should be consistent. But what factors affect how players shoot a free throw? And how do you train for it?
1. Basketball Court
Most players do not think the basketball court. However, it serves as a visual cue for players to perfect a free throw shot. Most inlaid wood basketball courts have a dot right in the middle of the foul line. The dot serves as a reference point which the installers use to measure distances from the center of the court.
The dot tells the players where to stand. Although some players like to stand with their shooting foot, others like to straddle the dot. Players sometimes stand three feet to the side of the dot. But there isn’t a specific placement to use the dot. However, make sure to use the visual cue to your advantage.
2. The Routine
The shooting routine also plays a massive role in landing a successful foul shot. It depends on every player—some will dribble the ball a few times, others kiss it for good luck. Every action you would do before shooting the ball is called a routine.
Routines aren’t gimmicks. They are done to adjust the uniqueness of the situation, ensuring it makes the same shot all the time. Think about the changes that take place during a free throw. In-game, all your senses are heightened to match the energy of the game. But during a free throw, it is only you, the ball, and the ring. Therefore, routines help players relax and focus on acing a free point.
Free throws are challenging to shoot because everyone is watching you take a point. However, despite the added pressure on the players, it’s essential to clear your mind before shooting. The goal is to make your actions during a free throw as natural as possible. Shooting should be done as a reflex, not something that you have to think about.
A champion’s mindset is also essential. It is essential to understand that all shots are the same and carry their intrinsic value as a player. Every free throw, counted as a score or not, is all the same. Therefore, a foul shot during the early game shouldn’t stress you out like a bad shot before the game ends. Instead, you should treat every free throw as an important and crucial point that you need to secure for your team.
Some coaches try and introduce aspects to help players shoot in “pressure” situations. However, that kind of thinking only simulates game situations with game concerns and thought partners. It does necessarily benefit players in learning how to shoot well.
Treat free throws as an important shot—even if it’s only one point, it’s still something that may help your team win the game. Through practice and mind conditioning, every player should learn how to ace the free point during the game.
Quality Hoops is a basketball hoop manufacturer in Guthrie, OK. As a company, we believe in the power of practice and training in the comfort of your own home. If you want to support a family member’s passion for hoops, get them a wall-mounted basketball hoop today. Order now and enjoy free shipping on all orders over $50.