Although I’m always looking to improve my dunk skills I’ve recently been taking a look at other areas of basketball, where I could stand to make some improvements. So, lately I’ve been doing a lot of work on my free throw, because extra scoring power always counts.
So I’ve been trying out a number of different tips, tricks and techniques which I’ll share with you now.
The Importance Of Stance
Getting a good position and stance is vital, when it comes to scoring from the free throw line. I’ve learnt that the best way to set yourself up is to place the leg, which matches your lead throwing arm, slightly forward. So, if you’re right handed, place your right leg slightly further ahead than your left.
Also, you need to make sure that the leg you are placing forward is lined up with the goal. This seems to really help with accuracy, as your arm is roughly in the same position that way.
Getting A Pre-Shot Routine
I’ve found that it really helps to get a consistent routine going, before I take a free throw. This is something which you use to get yourself mentally prepared and in the zone. Bouncing on your feet or doing a quick dribble, before taking your shot, becomes part of the process and it lets you center yourself for the shot.
Taking a moment to prepare yourself, mentally and physically, is totally fine. So, you should take advantage of this, to make sure you deliver your most accurate shot. Getting a good routine together, which you stick to, will help you to focus. If there’s noise or other distractions, these processes will take your mind off them.
Getting that pre-shot routine together will help you to develop your confidence, but nothing causes more mistakes than a negative attitude. That’s why I think it’s important to practice free throws, the more you do it, the more you hit. This makes it easier to stay confident, in more difficult situations.
It’s harder to stay calm and confident when you’re right at the end of a game, or if the score’s really tight. All it takes is a moment’s lost confidence or concentration, to set off a chain reaction, for the rest of the game.
I’ve seen it from professionals and I know I’ve done it myself many times. Whenever things are tough, and they haven’t gone my way, I’ve failed to follow through with my shot. If your arm stops short, during the shot, the chances of you making it are slim.
It’s usually a confidence thing, in my experience. If you start to doubt your judgment, you’re more likely to stop the throw short. So, make sure you complete your throwing motion, in full, every time.
Working On It
Unless you’ve got a free throw success rate of 100% in any circumstances, you can always improve your performance. This is one of the things I find quite satisfying. Knowing that I keep getting better is a powerful feeling.
Apart from the importance of improving accuracy and confidence, which go hand in hand, I didn’t want to have a million dollar dunk and a dollar store free throw- and now I don’t!