Never Too Late Basketball's Tips & Tales

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A Perfectly Missed Free Throw

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on September 25, 2011

A team that is shooting a free throw while losing a game by two points with just a couple or a few seconds left in the game will usually try to miss intentionally, hoping to get the rebound and score. The one-point free throw, obviously, wouldn’t do much good. Unfortunately, these attempts at a miss usually don’t result in a secured rebound by the offensive team either. The most often used technique is to shoot the ball hard – line drive style – at the rim. The problem with this is it’s a very unnatural basketball motion: I mean when do you line drive anything in basketball, especially from the FT line? When I was an assistant at Harvard and I’d shoot free throws with the players (which was often), one thing I used to tell them was that i was going to miss and where the rebound would land. I”d say, “miss right, one-step outside the 2nd marker”. Occasionally (I’d like to think often) I’d get the ball to go to exactly the spot. But it takes practice, and practicing that is actually great for your free throw shooting and great for your shooting in general. It helps you focus and gives you a great sense of control. It’s precision shooting but if you have a great free throw shooter, that shooter should be able to tell you where the miss will go (especially if they, like me, had practiced it). Try it!

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