How to Change Free Throw Shooting Mechanics

For me, the 2008 Presidential elections which did not end nearly soon enough, you too may have switched off of the thousands of political ads and political ‘hoopla,’ (pun intended) all of which promise something better than we had before. Basically “Change”. This happened to be the one ‘keyword’ that fueled Obama’s campaign and promise to “Change” America. Fair enough.

At least 50% of the country took the bait and believe some change is necessary because things were not going well in the political and economic arenas. Great. This is a good analogy for this article on free throw shooting. If you or perhaps a team you are coaching or following is not shooting well then doesn’t it make sense that something needs to ‘change’ There is a constant need for change because we are unhappy with the status quo.

Change is inevitable. Change is scary. Change is progress. “Only perfection, once realized does not require change, but the journey to reach perfection, requires change.” In reference to free throw shooting, with the right knowledge perfection is attainable, but mentally challenging to maintain.

Changing physical or mechanical behavior or already grooved mechanical skills, can stir up emotions like resentment, fear, anxiety, depression, insecurity anger, etc. There are many of us that flat out feel safe in our comfort zone, and don’t want to trek beyond it’s borders.

By perfection I am referring to shooting free throws in lots of 100. This gives you an exact percentage and a measurement by which to judge yourself. For me, it takes about 7-8 minutes to make 100 consecutive without any fanfare. A simple task only made possible by utilizing the perfect knowledge I have accumulated over the years, and information I am compelled to share with the rest of the world that hovers around the average percentage of mid sixties to low seventies.

If you can’t make 95% of your free throws then changes are necessary.  yalla shoot It is not wise to make the same mistakes over and over again. Missing a free throw is simply a matter of flawed physical and scientific principles. Recognizing the problems is where the challenge lies. When you are sick or afflicted in some way you generally visit a specialist or medical practitioner. What’s the deal doc? Fix me.

Of course the shooter must first recognize what level of change is necessary. If one is complacent with 70% from the free throw line then any change is irrelevant. But to the purist and perfectionist (you know who you are), who is never satisfied with mediocrity (70% or below) there exists a constant urge that seeks self-improvement. And this urge actually transcends all facets of life.

The problem here is that common knowledge says the more you practice the better you become. This statement is not necessarily true. If this is the case then all basketball players should be perfect by now. Heck that’s all they do, is practice their free throw shooting. When it involves accuracy, and a flying object, then a whole lot of skills need to be learned, applied and mastered. Anyone can throw a ball at a hoop and make a few baskets. But how many players can make almost everything they shoot. Here lies the million dollar question.

We all just naturally develop our own “comfort zone”. If we don’t learn or even understand the effectiveness or ‘degree of efficiency’ of our comfort zone then we won’t understand what flaws to correct. The comfort zone naturally resists physical or mental changes until the mental attitude changes and recognizes the mechanical flaws and decides to act upon them, or at least slowly bring about some level of ‘change’.

This is why many players make excuses to try and resist. Losers make excuses, winners make promises and commitments. Everyone knows this saying. They hang on to their feeling of control (however flawed). They fear losing that comfortable feeling, even though they know their action is wrong. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I just believe that people won’t change if it is not important to them. Its just great to know that free throw shooting is important to all players.

 

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