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How to Shoot a Free Throw

Are you afraid to shoot free throws with the game on the line? Don't sweat it, we've got tips on how you can improve from the charity stripe!

What is It?

A free throw is a shot in basketball that a player gets after they are fouled. It is a direct and unguarded shot from 15-feet away from the hoop. You get two free throws if your shot does not go in the hoop after the foul. If your shot does go in after you are fouled then the basket counts and you are awarded one free throw. Also, if a player gets a technical foul (a foul for bad behavior), then a player on the other team is given one free throw.

The Importance

The ability to hit free throws is one of the most important skills to have as a basketball player. A foul shot can determine the outcome of a game. Although it seems like a simple shot, it can be the hardest because of all the pressure. In order to step to the line with confidence, you must have the proper technique and good concentration. Even some of the most skilled NBA players, like Shaquille O'Neal, struggle with free throws. A good free throw shooter hits more than 75 percent of his shots. Shaq shoots in the 50 percent range, so that is why he is on the bench at the end of games because opposing teams will just intentially put him on the line.

Steps

  • Get your body in position. If you are right handed, your right foot should be lined up with the rim. Your shoulders should be square and you should feel balanced - being off balanced will affect your control.
  • Make sure to keep your eyes on the front of the rim before you shot and while you shoot.
  • Keep your shooting arm parallel to the rim when you shoot the ball.
  • Bend your knees! The strength of your shot should come from your legs rather than your arms.
  • Shoot the ball off your finger tips. If you are using your palm, your shot will be flat and not get good arc.
  • Make sure to follow through with your shot! This will help you get arc, rotation, and consistency.

Tips

  • It is important you concentrate. Block out all the factors and just focus on your [KWLINK]technique[/KWLINK] and making the shot.
  • Get into a routine. Take a few dribbles or take a deep breath - whatever makes you feel comfortable before you take the shot. Make sure to stick to the same routine everytime. A routine helps program your body and mind and that will help with your consistency.
  • Don't think too much. Even if you are in a slump, approach the line with the same routine and believing that you will make the shot.
  • Practice makes perfect! Repetition is the key to success in shooting free throws. Even the best NBA shooters, put up 100 free throws a day. The more you shoot, the more comfortable and confident you will become!

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