Measure Your Success By Your Effort

Footwork Makes You Smarter

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

There Is a Reason There Is a Nail At The FT Line - Part 1 of 4

Building Your Shot From The Ground Up – Part 1

Watching March Madness how many times have I seen a player at the FT line fall back? Where are they going? Stick your feet and get the task done. There is a reason they call them free, and there is a reason there is a nail at the Free Throw line. Maybe some of these players should drive the nail through their shoe.
How important are Free Throws? Check out these stats.
• 67 % of all points scored in the last minute by the winning team are at the free throw line
• 35% of points scored in the last 5 minutes are at the FT line
• 25 % of all points scored in a game are from the FT line
Still need convincing? If you are not working on your Free Throws, you just won’t improve much. Here is the break down of Free Throw averages from high school to NBA.
• 66% high school
• 68% college
• 71% NBA
Still need convincing. Did you see Duke beat Baylor? That happened at the Free Throw Line.

For this exercise we will concentrate on shooting from the Free Throw Line. It’s the only time in basketball you get to shoot the ball uncontested from the same place each time. So stand in the same place each time! Coaches this is the best place to help correct your players shots. Correct only 1 or 2 things at a time. Have your players concentrate on those things for 5 shots or so each and then move to the next player. Make the loop back and if they have corrected the things you had them change on the first set of corrections, add a new correction. This takes time, but well worth it. From experience, you can correct the bulk of a player’s mechanics by correcting their footwork. I’ve seen players with their feet pointed in the same direction but not at the hoop, making all sorts of compensations in their upper body including:
• Tilting their head
• Powering through one foot more than the other
• Crossing their body with the ball
• Bringing the ball back to the crown of their head and giving it the catapult action.
So let us start building the shot from the floor up. Stay tuned for Parts 2 - 4

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