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The Most Effective and Clutch Free Throw Technique

By Edited May 3, 2016 3 7

Shooting a free throw should not be that difficult, I mean it is called "free" for a reason. But often it can be the shot in basketball that comes with the most pressure and requires the most focus. When the the game is on the line, and you have the basketball, don't fear getting fouled and missing a free throw to lose the game. Instead, read these tactics so you can be comfortable in the big game scenario to hit the big free throws.

First and most important is the mental aspect. You need to believe that you are going to make the shot. By doing so, you eliminate some of the pressure and can move on to your routine. There is no worse feeling in basketball than shooting a shot and expecting to miss it.

As for the physical steps, make sure your feet are balanced and shoulder width apart. Then place your dominant hand behind the middle of the ball and make sure it is balanced, so the basketball is not falling off your hand left or right. Next, place your other hand on the side, and use that hand to balance the ball also. After these steps, take two dribbles so your free throw shot is more natural and fluid, and then place the ball at your shoulder.

Aim to shoot the basketball right over the rim. This way, your aim is straight and has the right distance, as it is neither too short or long. Lastly, bend your knees and use a little leg power, and then shoot the ball with your fingertips of your dominant hand and follow through. By following through, you give the ball a good rotation that is likely to go in the basket even if you hit the rim.

With positive thinking and having a simple routine in mind, you will be successful in blocking out distractions, including pressure, the opposing team, or crowd noise. 

As always, if you constantly practice the mental aspect and physical routine above, then you will only become more confident and better at shooting free throws.


image source: Wikipedia



Aug 11, 2014 1:53pm
Feel free to ask me any questions here. I will respond to all of the comments.
Aug 12, 2014 12:49pm
Good article. It is amazing to me how often NBA players will airball free throws.
Aug 12, 2014 12:59pm
Yes it does not make much sense given the fact that their job is to shoot basketballs everyday. The only reasonable explanation I can give is that some NBA players' hands are so big that the basketball feels so small, like a baseball, and is harder to shoot.
Aug 12, 2014 8:37pm
The mental aspect helped me. Before I read this, I never went up to the line thinking I was going to make it. How should your feet be positioned while shooting?
Aug 12, 2014 9:10pm
As mentioned in the article, your feet should be positioned shoulder width apart. Make sure your body is balanced on your feet, not leaning on your heels or toes.
Aug 13, 2014 10:26am
Thank you so much!! This will really help me at tryouts.
Nov 1, 2014 9:03pm
Just always remember that rhythm is always important in making a free throw and just what experts always says, always aim at the the back of the board.
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