Free throws are essential for every basketball team especially if you are down by some points and looking to come back. It is a free shot given by the referees for some reasons. Every basketball player is trying to improve their free throw shooting for better percentage and accuracy on the foul line.
Why Basketball players are good in free throws? Basketball players are good at free throws because they are used to it, and they play many games where they given an attempt to shoot free throws many times. Also, they practice shooting most of the time when they are on the court.
Professional basketball players have workout routines, and they are trained to be disciplined enough to follow and be consistent with their routine that is why they play better than an average basketball player.
However, some basketball players are bad at shooting free throws. This scenario happened usually in big basketball leagues like the NBA. Quite shocking right? The NBA is a trusted and well-known basketball league in the world, but still, there are many players there who are struggling on shooting free throws.
What Is Free Throw In Basketball?
In basketball, free throws are unopposed attempts in the foul line to score points. The line is located at the end of the restricted area in the basketball court. Free throws are granted, commonly, after a foul by the defensive team while one of the offensive players is in a shooting motion. However, there are other reasons why free throws happen in basketball.
Why Do Free Throws Happen In Basketball?
Below are the different reasons how and why free throws happen in a basketball game:
1. When A Player Was Fouled In Shooting Motion
This is the common reason why free throws can happen in a basketball game. A free throw might occur when the defensive basketball team fouled one player from the offensive team while in the shooting motion.
The quantity of free throws granted depends on where the fouled player executed the shot attempt. If he was fouled outside the three-point line while in the shooting motion, the referees will grant the fouled player three free throws. If the player was fouled inside the arc, the referees give him two free throws only.
2. During Penalty Situation
The team who is in the penalty situation cannot give a foul on the opposing team unless they wanted to give the opposing team some points. Each basketball team is given a foul quota in every quarter, which means each team is given a set of numbers of fouls they can commit without granting the opposing team a free throws. If the team reaches or exceeds the quota, every next foul they make will give their opposing team a chance at the charity line.
Each basketball league has different regulations of penalty. They have different numbers of foul limits.
3. Technical Free Throws
A technical foul is given to a basketball coach or basketball player who shows unsportsmanlike conduct or violations. The referees are the ones who assessed if a foul was a technical foul. If it was proven that it was a technical foul, the opposing team will be awarded free throws. The penalty for technical fouls depends on the basketball league.
4. After A Flagrant Foul
Lastly, the flagrant foul. A flagrant foul in basketball is unnecessary physical contact of a player to its opposing player. If the player fouled his opposing player extremely aggressively, or if it is intentional, the referees will give the fouled player a free throw. The player who committed the flagrant foul can be ejected from the game depending on the severity of the foul.
What Is And-One?
You often hear NBA players shout “and-one” after releasing the ball for a shot. Referees granted the and-one to a player who was fouled in shooting motion and managed to sink in the shot. For example, if a player was fouled outside the arc while in shooting motion and that player sunk in the three-point attempt, then the player will be given one free throw, which can result in four-points play.
Basketball referees granted players with only one free throw during an and-one situation.
Why Are Centers Bad In Free Throws?
To be honest with you, not all centers in basketball are bad at shooting free throws. But most of them have a low free throw percentage.
Most centers in basketball are bad at shooting free throws because they tend to focus on their inside shooting abilities. They are also more focused on improving their defense and rebounding.
Centers are more focused on improving their inside shooting because they are tall, and they believe that it is easier for them to shoot inside. They don’t need to practice shooting in a distance like the small basketball players.
Why Do NBA Players Miss Free Throws?
It is quite surprising to see an NBA player miss a free throw attempt because they have been shooting hoops every day of their life. Their bodies are also robust, and it is easy for them to throw the ball. That is why it is quite shocking to see them miss a free throw.
Why do NBA players miss free throws? There are two reasons why NBA players miss free throws. The first reason is because they probably are in a high-pressure situation, which makes them nervous and lost their focus. The second reason is because they are tired and they lack some energy, that is why some NBA players miss their clutch free-throws.
Let me explain to you what those two reasons meant.
The first reason why some NBA players miss free throws is because they are under high pressure. If you go into an NBA arena, you will see lots of people watching the ball game. NBA players feel pressured if they are not in their home arena because many crowds yell some words that make them uncomfortable. NBA players can also be pressured and can potentially miss a free throw during a close game in the final minutes of the game.
The second reason why NBA players miss free throws is that they are tired. The duration of one NBA game is 48 minutes (not including overtime). NBA players might feel exhausted when they reach the fourth period that causes them to miss some free throws. Maybe some of them had jet lag because of the flights or some of them worked out from the gym a day before the game.
How To Improve Free Throw Shooting?
Let me give you some exercises below to improve your free throw shooting. These exercises are proven and used by professional basketball leagues.
1. The 21 Drill
This basketball drill will help to improve your free throw shooting, inside shooting, and outside shooting. You can play it with your friends, and this basketball drill can consist of two players or more players.
How to execute:
- Start from the three-point line and try to attempt three points. If the shot goes in, then you add two points to your score.
- After that, move into the free-throw shot and attempt one free throw shot. If the ball goes in, then add one point to your score.
- Then go inside the paint and attempt to shoot an inside shot. If the ball goes in, then add another one point to your score.
- After the ball is released and touches the rim, make sure to rebound the ball quickly before it bounces two times. If the ball bounces two times, the score won’t be counted if it sank in, and the ball possession goes to the other player.
- The first one to reach 21 points will be the winner.
2. 50/50 Drill
This basketball drill aims to improve your overall free throw shooting. It can be exhausting because all you need is to make 50 straight free throws without any miss attempts.
How to execute:
- Go into the free-throw line.
- Shoot 50 attempts and make sure that all 50 attempts will sink in
- If you missed at least one shot, you have to go back from the start
3. One Miss One Push Up
This basketball free-throw drill is one of the effective ways to improve your free throw shots. All you have to do is to convert the missed free throws into push-ups.
How to execute:
- Go into the free-throw line.
- You have 20 free throw shot attempts.
- Shoot all the 20 free throws.
- Count your missed shots and convert them into push-ups. If you missed five shots then do five push-ups.
Free throws are indeed essential in every basketball game, and every basketball player is required to improve their free throw shooting skills. If you can’t miss from the foul line, then you can be unstoppable, and it will give more advantage to your basketball team.
These NBA players are the inspiration of every aspiring basketball players around the world. They try to copy every move these NBA players make. One thing that these young players should not adapt from the NBA players is their lack of consistency in shooting free throws.
Why do you think basketball players are good at shooting free throws? Who is your favorite NBA player who has a low free throw percentage? Comment your answers in the comments section below!