How To Shoot a Free Throw

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

Get a basketball, find a hoop, and have some patience. (Get a buddy/girl to tag along so someone can rebound for you)

Step 2

Find the free throw line, if marked on the court, stand at it. If it is not marked, start underneath the hoop and pace out about 15ft.

Step 3

Practice aligning yourself up with the center of the rim, right against the marked line. (If on an indoor court, there should be a small nail driven into the wood). If outdoors, use your best judgement to align. You cannot cross this line before your shot hits the rim. (Violation)

Step 4

Next, develop a routine. Every free throw shooter has a routine. It can be short, fast, slow, you could dribble a bunch of times, or just shoot it. As long as you shoot the ball before 10 seconds, (time limit in games).

Step 5

Practice your routine, even if you're not shooting free throws! You can get a rhythm down that relaxes you

Step 6

Stay Relaxed! Whether it is a big game or just you at a park, you need to be calm while shooting your free throw

Step 7

Once you have your routine down, you should approach the free throw line with the ball in your hands

Step 8

Align yourself with the center of the rim and take a deep breath to relax your body. (If in a competitive game, take a few seconds to catch your breath)

Step 9

Execute your pre-shot routine

Step 10

Shoot the ball!! (To increase your chances of making it, shoot the ball the same way you would shoot a jump shot, jumping is optional. Caution** DO NOT CROSS THE LINE!!)

Step 11

Practice, practice, and some more practice. The best way to improve your free throw percentage is to shoot more free throws.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

You may have trouble finding a routine at first, just keep it simple until something sticks, no need to get really fancy. Also don't stress out if you miss a lot at first. It takes months and even years before players consistently begin making them

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

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This Student Author's Background

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I first started shooting free throws when I was in about 2nd or 3rd grade. At that time, they had us shooting closer than the regulation length that is used today. I practiced at least once a week on top of whenever I played around.

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