How To Shoot Free Throws Essay, Research Paper
How to Shoot Free Throws
One of my favorite things to do is to play basketball. The thing that I am best at in basketball is shooting free throws. I think you will enjoy shooting free throws because it will give you a good feeling when you make it, and if you are a good free throw shooter, you should be able to use the focus and confidence involved in shooting in other activities. But to tell you the truth, shooting a free throw is more complex than many people think. I am sure everyone has watched a game from the side view and thought that the free throw line looked so close that a 6′ 6″ guy could practically reach out and dunk the ball. However, many things must go right to make it, and if even one thing goes wrong or feels uncomfortable, it throws the whole shot off. So if you are interested in becoming better, or you just want to try something new, you should pay attention to these steps when shooting a free throw.
The first thing you must do is step up to the free throw line. If you are in a game, the referee will now give you the ball, but if you are alone or are just messing around, then you will start the process with the ball already in your hand. If you are on a real basketball court, there will be a little dot that indicates the center of the free throw line. However, if you are on an outside court, just imagine where the center is. If you are right-handed, you must line up your right foot with the dot, and if you are left-handed, line up your left foot. Once you have done that, you now put your other foot down in a position so your legs are shoulder width apart. You can place your feet straight across from each other, or if that feels uncomfortable, place the right foot ahead of the other one a little bit if you are right-handed, or just the opposite if you are left-handed. You are now ready for the creative part of free throw shooting.
At this point, you are able to make up your own unique routine that you should do every time before shooting a free throw. I personally dribble the ball once, spin it in my hands, dribble twice, then shoot. Try not to make the routine so difficult that you can’t remember it. Some people spend so much time making up a difficult routine that they seem to forget that what’s really important is making the basket. Like I said before, you should do this routine every time so you get into a good rhythm.
Finally, you are ready for the last and most important step in free throw shooting, the actual shot. After completing the routine, you are now ready to shoot the ball. Some experts say to focus on the front of the rim, yet others say the back of the rim. I personally recommend focusing on the back of the rim, because when you are in a game, you are usually tired when you shoot your free throws. Therefore, if your target is the back and your shot is a little short, it will still go in. Whereas, if you were aiming for the front, more than likely it would fall short. The next thing you do is bend your knees a little bit and shoot (some people prefer to stand up on their toes when they shoot, but if you are not quite strong enough to make it to the hoop, it is all right to jump if you need to). Make sure that your shooting hand is straight as you shoot. Also make sure that your opposite hand is barely touching the ball, because it is only there to guide the ball. After releasing the shot, you should try to keep your balance and stand up straight. If you lean forward, the shot might go long and you will probably fall over the line, resulting in a violation that prohibits the basket from counting. If you lean too far back, the shot will probably fall short. The most important thing is to follow through. This means that you don’t just jerk your shooting hand down right away but keep it extended until the shot goes in or bounces off the rim. A coach will refer to the extended arm as a “goose neck” because that is exactly what it looks like.
If you follow these steps carefully, you will get used to hearing “swoosh.” You can’t become a good free throw shooter overnight; it takes practice, but most of all, it takes confidence. If you get frustrated, you will never be a good free throw shooter, but if you are strong mentally and really believe you can make the shot, you have already won half the battle before you even shoot the ball. You never know if you will be on the line to win a state championship or get drawn to shoot a free throw for a million dollars. Even if you happen to miss the shot, at least you will shoot it with good technique and not make a fool of yourself in front of millions of people.