Mental music for better free throw shooting

Free throw shooting

Free throw shooting was something I used to be afraid of when I got to the line, now they just fall in without me thinking about it. The key to that last sentence was “without me thinking”. Most players when they stand at the free throw line have an abundance of thoughts that race through their minds. This can be very distracting and could eventually cost their team the game. Once a player is at the free-throw line he/she should be in a meditative and routine state.

All players should have a routine e.g. thought process, No. of dribbles, breathing and shooting form. Player routines should be the same at all times from practice to a game. There are some players who shoot 80%+ free throws in practice, but in the game their percentage drops. This is because their routine mentally is not the same as practice. Players know that game time free throws count towards the stat sheet vs practice where it is just reps.

Mental free throw shooting challenge

Listen to your favorite song during your warm up and shoot free throws while the song is playing through your headset. Then play the song in your head at the free throw line during practice or a game. The music playing in your head is to distract you from negative/other random thoughts, thus making you more relaxed.

Free throw shooting could be the difference between winning and losing. Most close basketball games come down to which team makes the most free-throws. Free throw shooting is more of a mental skill and should be practiced by every player regardless of position.

Players should aim at least to be a 70%+ free throw shooter:-

60-70% = OK free throw shooter (You’ll likely not play the last 5mins of a close game)

70-80% = Good free throw shooter

80%+ = Very good free throw shooter

4 free throw shooting drills

Drill 1: – Fatigue 10

In this free throw shooting drill, each player will do 10 full court layups and immediately shoot 10 free throws. The goal is to make 7 out of 10 free throws. If the player makes less than 7 then he/she has another 10 full court layups.

Drill 2: – +7/-7

In this free throw shooting drill, each player will shoot as many free throws until they reach a score of +7 or -7. When a player gets a -7 score the player has 10 full court layups.

  • If the shot is swished, he/she gets +2.
  • If a shot that is made, but not swished is +1.
  • A miss is -2.

Drill 3: – Shoot and Run

In this free throw shooting drill, each player will shoot ten free throws, 2 at a time.For every miss, the player has to sprint baseline to baseline and back.

Drill 4: – 5 in a row

In this free throw shooting drill, each player must make 5 consecutive swished free throws. If a play misses a shot his/her score zero

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