Shooting Free Throws

December 4, 2013
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I know every basketball coach thinks he practices free throws more than he practices anything else.  From watching most games, something isn’t working!  Either coaches are not practicing free throws long enough or the players certainly are not listening to what is being instructed.  Anyone playing basketball beyond eighth grade should be able to hit 7 out of 10 free throws.  So far this year I have seen college teams shoot less than 50% for a game, and high school teams sometimes struggle to hit 33% of their free throws.  In the old days kids would shoot and shoot and shoot at home.  Because most outdoor basket space was limited, they spent a lot of time practicing free throws.  Everyone had a free throw line marked on their home court.  Today they do little playing outdoors, and when they are in the gym they want to do two things:  dunk the ball and shoot three’s.  You now have players who actually shoot better from the field than they do from the free throw line because that is where all of their extra shooting takes place.  If you can find me a kid who shoots 100 free throws a day on his own, I’ll show you a very high percentage free throw shooter.  A friend of mine said it best when he stated “free throws are FREE and should be gift points”.  However, when you seldom–if ever–practice them, no wonder we see 40% free throw shooting.

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