Analysis of the Free-Throw Shot

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  • Topic: Muscles of the upper limb, Wrist, Ulna
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  • Published : October 8, 1999
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Analysis of the Free-Throw Shot

When deciding about a movement to study, I thought about many, and very few interested me. Then I decided to choose something that was very important to me. Shooting the basketball, and more specifically the technique in performing a free throw. I thought by looking more closely at the details of a movement I have been doing since a small child. I thought possibly I could learn something that would give me an advantage in my shot.

The application of this particular movement is for shooting a free-throw, which is a stand still uncontested shot. There are a few rules that go with shooting a free-throw, such as you have to be behind the fifteen foot line, called the free-throw line, and you can't cross that until after the ball makes contact with the rim.

When performing this skill you should also be aware of the other factors that could influence your accuracy in performing the free-throw. The rim is fifteen feet from the free-throw line on center. Also you should be aware of the fact you can fit three basketballs through the rim at the same time if placed together. Also the rim is ten feet high from the floor, meaning you have to make sure win shooting the ball, that the angle is higher than ten feet at its peak so then on its decent to the basket it will have a chance to go in. If you don't get it higher than ten feet it has no chance to go in. When you start talking all these angle's and trajectories, you can begin to understand why some people are accurate and some are not. Shooting free-throws is not a thing of chance or luck. It is something that takes repetition. To be a good free-throw shooter you need to have a repetitive action, not something that changes every time. Since the conditions are predictable it is very easy to become a good repetitive free-throw shooter.

If you would be unsure about the correct movements, it would be beneficial to study the movements of someone who is one of the best at what you were studying. The best of our time would be Mark Price of the NBA. He has a career free-throw average over ninety percent, which by free-throw standards is very good. To give you an idea of how well that is, you need to examine the averages. If a person was to shoot over seventy percent for the year, they would be considered a decent free-throw shooter. Someone over eighty percent is considered good. So if you are able to shoot ninety percent over a career spanning more than ten years, you are considered one of the best ever. Everyone has there own personal technique or procedure leading up to the actual shot. Probably the most common routines would be to stay off the free- throw lime until referee is ready for you, and then step up to the line and receive the ball. Once you step to the line and receive the ball you want to get in a comfortable position with your feet shoulder width apart, and your dominant side foot slightly in front of your other. Balance is key to shooting because you want to end your shot on the balls of your feet, and if you are not balanced you will fall forward and the shot will not count. Then you want to take a deep breath and relax. Some people will bounce ball one time or five the ten, it is all personalized. Then you want to focus on rim, bend at the knees and deliver the ball. This would be the sequence that is most commonly followed. By following the same sequence every time you begin to develop a rhythm and that is what you want. You need to find what is comfortable and stick with it. Along with this sequence of events leading to the shot, you want to be aware of proper shooting technique. Proper shooting technique would be to rest the ball on the fingertips of your hand. You do not want the ball resting in your palm. Control of the shot comes from the fingers. You want to use your non dominant hand as support on the side to the ball. This hand has nothing to do with the...
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