Basketball Shooting Drills: Increasing Your Freethrow Accuracy
While not really an offensive basketball shooting move, free throws are very important as they still contribute points to the scoreboards. It has been proven many times over that free throws can be crucial in important games. Such fact warrants that every basketball player should be accurate from the foul line, or else end up like Shaquille O’Neal who, during his younger days in the NBA, was the target of consistent fouling to make him go to the freethrow line. His poor freethrow shooting made him a liability during tight ball games.
While it can be an easy shot for most players, especially those with a knack for midrange and 3-point shooting, a freethrow can also be the most difficult to make. Players who have low self-confidence or can be easily broken psychologically experience difficulties in making a freethrow, even if they are exceptionally good shooters during game time. Mental pressure does come into play during freethrows – crowds booing, other team players saying things for distraction, and even the gravity of situation can spell a lot on a person’s freethrow accuracy.
Apart from the usual, basic method of freethrow practice, there are several basketball shooting drills that are effective in increasing freethrow accuracy, though in general these drills and basketball shooting workouts are used to improve a player’s midrange shooting.
Basketball Shooting Drills
To The Foul Line
This drill is designed for novices who are starting to work with their freethrows. There are three different shooting spots in this drill, all places in front and straight from the basket. Position A is located just a foot in front of the basket. Position B is slightly farther away, just between Position A and the foul line. Position C is at the freethrow line.
For this particular drill, you will need two players and at least one basketball.
Player 1 will start from Position A and try to make as many shots as possible within 1 minute. Player 2 will grab the rebounds and pass them to Player 1. While shooting, coaches should emphasize the proper basketball shooting form when doing the drill. Since this is a freethrow exercise, coaches should also instill to the player that he should not jump and must remain planted on his feet.
If Player 1 is able to make 20 shots within 1 minute, he can now move on to the second spot and repeat the same procedure. If he makes another set of 20 shots within the same amount of time, he can then move to the freethrow line.
The goal of this drill is to teach basketball novices the basics of freethrow shooting and getting them accustomed to take shots without jumping. This drill also helps them to adjust their strength when shooting near or far from the basket. By gradually moving them away from the basket, they get more and more proficient with not just their freethrow shooting, but overall shooting skills in general.
But accuracy is only half of the equation as a player must also be tough mentally to block out any distractions. Teaching kids some useful tips like having a mantra or a habit to help them relax before taking a freethrow shot improves the players’ chance of making the shot.