Take It From Me: Helping Your Child Perfect their Free Throw (Guest Post)

April 17, 2014

Helping Your Child Perfect their Free Throw (Guest Post)

Learning to throw a free-throw can be very frustrating for new basketball players. After all, this is a skill that even Shaq was never able to perfect. Fortunately, there are a variety of suggestions that can help your child perfect their technique if they are ever fouled during a game. Here are some ways that you can help them learn.

Teach Them to Filter Everything Out

Standing at the foul line can be very intimidating. The entire game stops and your child will be the only one anybody is paying attention to. They may be nervous that people are going to come down on them if they miss, especially towards the end of the game when the score is very close. They may also be nervous that everyone is paying attention to them.
The pressure is certainly understandable. However, you will need to teach your child to filter these concerns out.

Work on the Mechanics

Perfecting a free-throw is going to be a learning curve. However, your child will learn much more quickly if you help them learn the fundamentals. Here are some basics that you will want to teach them.

Learn the Right Posture
Your child will need a strong base and a good posture to shoot a free-throw. Here are some tips that they should practice:
  • Their legs should always be shoulder width apart
  • They should lean forward slightly
  • Feet should be pointed straightforward
  • Elbows should be bent at a right angle
Your child will be surprised by how much difference the right posture can make. Make sure that they have it down before working on anything else. The player in this video follows the process very well, so you may want to encourage them to watch it.

Throwing the Ball
After your child has perfected their stance, they are ready to learn how to throw the ball. Here are some things that they will need to do:
  • Remove tension from the wrists by shaking them lightly
  • Gain a good grip on the ball with their fingertips
  • Cock the ball to the side of their head
  • Keep the body limber while making the shot towards the center of the basket
You may want to encourage them to follow the steps in this video from USA Basketball. The basics are pretty straightforward, but it will probably take a while for them to get them down. The biggest challenge is figuring out how force they need to throw the ball with. They will probably need to make adjustments to accommodate for their height.

Make Sure that they Get Plenty of Practice

Learning how to make a free-throw takes a lot of time and practice. You will need to make sure that they have the opportunity to get plenty of practice. It may be a good idea to get them a membership at the local YMCA or gym. You can also purchase a professionally installed stadium glass basketball hoop for your house. You should encourage them to practice every day to perfect their skills.

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