The Swish Free Throw
SWISH 3 NOW AVAILABLE
My new video on the "Swish Free Throw" is now available for order.
The result of over 350 hours and four years of work, Swish 3 is now available to simplify the skill of shooting Free Throws. I discovered three new Distinctions that help define and describe the humble Free Throw, where you START with the ball, the FIRST MOVE as the leg action begins, and ZONES. The "Inertia Effect" has become a big part of my coaching (Newton's First Law of Motion). Get this video and see your Free Throw shooting improve very quickly. This video lists for $34.95 and is available as a single item or as part of three "packages."
WHY SO DIFFICULT?
Why is the Free Throw so difficult for so many players?
What is there about this rather short, simple, unguarded shot that baffles so many players? Is it the pressure? Does technique matter, or is it mostly mental? Is it that the shot is so obviously documented that your successes or failures over time are exposed for the world to see? Is it that the whole game stops and focuses just on “you,” thus increasing the pressure? Is there too much thinking as you go to shoot?
What if you could stroke it such that your performance was a thing of beauty, adding to your image, rather than a failure, sometimes a pathetic failure (can you say “Air Ball?”)?
The Free Throw line is 15 feet from the backboard, and the center of the rim is just 13’ 9” from the line (due to the radius of the rim being 9” and the bracket that fastens the rim to the backboard places the inside point of the rim exactly 6” from the backboard. (9” + 6” = 15” short of 15 feet)
This is a shot that has no one guarding you and you have 10 seconds to prepare yourself to shoot. You’re restricted to stay behind the line until the ball reaches the rim. It’s a constant action that can be practiced and rehearsed so you do the same body motions each time, thus variables are reduced and, hopefully, minimized.
GENERAL SUGGESTIONS AS TO THINGS TO DO
It's the techinique! It's the techinique!
First, let me say I feel the main problem is technique. It does matter how you stand, how you align the ball, how you connect with leg and body energy, how you set and release the ball! The discovery of Inertia as applied to a basketball shot a few years ago is a critical factor in accuracy and a little extra power. Unconditional concentration and trust in oneself are critical in any precise endeavor, of course, but the other "mental" aspects (confidence, belief in oneself, visualizing success, willing the ball to go in, etc.) are dependent on results and will rise and fall with performance. Of course, if you doubt yourself, failure is probably in your future. But the action is so simple, the target so big, it doesn't take much to start making shots and then your mental state will fall in line. It's hard for your mind to say you're not a good shooter (no "confidence") if you've just made 5 or 10 in a row and know what you did to make that happen. Doubt will disappear when you can make shots with ease!
Also, start with legs straight, not bent. That allows you to do a strong down-and-up action to power and stabilize the shot. If you start from a crouch, you lose all or most of the "down" energy that enhances power and alignment. All you have left is the "up" energy. Try it both ways and you be the judge.
WHICH MUSCLES TO USE
We want to minimize the involvement of small muscles and maximize the action of the bigger muscles, especially those of the strong, stabilizing lower and middle body.
WHEN TO SHOOT
SETTING OF THE BALL
VARY ARCH TO CONTROL DISTANCE
So, work on getting a great technique and then practicing it until you trust it. When you see you can shoot well with great technique, then the mental game will start to be won and thoughts will diminish. Then you can become more “present” and “in the moment,” meaning you feel your body as you shoot. This is where great performance resides, and you won’t need a sports psychologist or some “pre-shot routine” to try to calm your mind. You’ll just go to the line and do your thing and the ball will find the bottom of the net. What pressure?
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