4 Simple Steps to Shooting a Free Throw | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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4 Simple Steps to Shooting a Free Throw

Chau Tran and Larry Silverberg, two N.C. State engineers, have come up with some tips for making free throws.

1. The shot needs three hertz of back spin.

Shooters should launch the shot with about three hertz of back spin.
That translates to the ball making three complete back-spinning
revolutions before reaching the hoop. Back spin deadens the ball when
it bounces off the rim or backboard, the engineers assert, giving the
ball a better chance of settling through the net.

2. Aim for back of rim.

Tran and Silverberg say you should aim for the back of
the rim, leaving close to 5 centimeters — about 2 inches — between the
ball and the back of the rim. According to the simulations, aiming for
the center of the basket decreases the probabilities of a successful
shot by almost 3 percent.

3. Shot must have a 52-degree arc.

The engineers say that the ball should be launched at 52 degrees to the
horizontal. If you don't have a protractor in your jersey, that means
that the shot should, at the highest point in its arc to the basket, be
less than 2 inches below the top of the backboard.

4. Release point must be high

Free-throw shooters should also release the ball as high above the
ground as possible, without adversely affecting the consistency of the
shot; release the ball so it follows the imaginary line joining the
player and the basket; and release the ball with a smooth body motion
to get a consistent release speed.

Well if I'd known it was that easy, I wouldn't have been a 70% (69.46 to be precise) free throw shooter in college.

Is it safe to say anyone who has these calculations running through their mind at the stripe will be worse off?

(Courtesy: Ball Don't Lie)

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  • I was always taught to aim for the top of the front of the rim. Maybe I could have gone from 84% to 88%?

  • Ace-One

    Rick Barry might argue about high release point…