Perfecting Your Basketball Free-Throw Shot

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 74,827
    Basketball expert Arthur Jackson demonstrates how to shoot a basketball, including how to perfect your free-throw shot.

    Arthur Jackson: Hi! I am Arthur Jackson from One on One Basketball. Right now we are going to talk a little bit about free throw shooting. Form is the most important part of free throw shooting. You see a lot of people that miss a lot of shots; I often say that free throw shot is one of the easiest shots in basketball. It's only times that you don't have defense playing you. There might be a lot of pressure because people are watching, but if you have good form it should become an easy shot. We are going to talk about just in relationship to what we have talked about earlier. Today, first thing we want to do is we going to lineup our foot and center it on the basket. There is often a nail that they make the free throw shooting arc with; so we want to lineup our right foot, if right handed, on that arc on that nail, then we place our feet about shoulder width apart. Now, if I swing my arm up, again I want to have straight motion, so that as I keep my arm forward, my elbow must be tucked in. As I go through, I want to have a routine when I shoot a follow shot.

    The routine number one, helps to relax me and it also gives me a chance to get some air and concentrate on what I am trying to do and that's make the shot. I think it's very important, when you step to line one of the first things you want to do is focus on making the shot and I think it's important to be a good free throw shooter. You also have to think you are going to make that shot. If you go step to a line and you are nervous or thinking about anything around you, then a lot of times, it's not going to help you when you are going through for your form. So, we want to relax because we have been practicing a lot. We have good form. We know that were going to make the shot. We step to the line; we go through our routine, whatever that routine is, three dribble, spin the ball; get set; again, if I bring my hand up, get my right angles, I set my ball with my opposite hand coming to the ball, so I am here. Now, I am going to come up through and then drive the ball. As I am doing that with my legs and my hips, I want to drive the ball up into my shot.

    Again, so I set I had my elbow tucked in drive up and through and hold my power through. A lot of times with free throw shooting people add too much to the shot. You want to make the free throw shot as simple as possible, whether that's bending the knees or my shoulders and forwards; a lot of people I see bend over and as soon as they try to come up, they are pointing back and that changes their form. We want to make the form as simple as possible. Even with young kids if I just stick my hand behind the ball, I lineup my foot as we talked about, I'm swinging my hand; I'm just sticking my hand behind the ball and push shooting it up in then. I have more chance of making it for young kids than changing my form and rotating my body and doing a lot of crazy stuff. So, we want to make it as simple as possible with the free throw. We don't want a lot of motion because the more motion is, there are more chance there is for error. So, making the ball shot as simple as possible. Even with the young kid again, I put my hand in the center elbow behind it, push it straight up and into the basket making sure I follow-through.

    Now, as you get older, we need to drive the elbow up under it without again a lot of motion. So I simplify my motion by setting the ball, feeling comfortable, driving my elbow up and in and following through. People often ask me, what is the good way to practice free throw shooting. One of the drills I like to do is starting in a little bit close, you shoot three point shots, again working on your form, driving it up; if you make three in a row, you take a step back; one big step back, shooting three more shots; again, if you make three in a row driving it up in and then you work your way all the way back, the actual foul line. If you miss two out of three you have to take a step forward and you are working to get to the foul line; working on your form; driving it up, ball, up in into the basket. I hope that is something that will help you. Now I am with your free throw shooting, but also your shooting overall. These were all key components to becoming a good shooter. You have to concentrate on your form; you have to be disciplined about how you work on it and most importantly you have to practice. Practice is something that is essential to becoming a good shooter in basketball.