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I have a crazy idea just 2 weeks prior to the start of the season, let’s talk about free throw form. I have a new approach to shooting free throws that I think would be beneficial for Hashan French. It is a simple approach, but I have never seen it described or used.

I would suggest that a player should set their feet in a normal shooting stance, and potentially have one foot slightly forward for balance. Preferably, the foot on the same side as the shooting arm should be slightly forward. The player should stand with legs and upper body completely straight and fixed. The shooting arm should be extended directly upward and completely straight. The player then leans the upper body backwards, or simply flexes backwards. This flex could simply be a bowing of the entire body backwards, or a pivot substantially at the waist level. The player should stretch or reach backwards enough to generate power to send the ball to the basket. The player should then release this energy, allowing the shooting arm to proceed forward. The player should then, keeping the shooting arm straight, aim the ball in a form similar to a typical basketball shot, by curling the wrist and, partially the fingers, into the basket (from their perspective) creating spin on the ball (ie. standard follow through). The arm may need some physical power to obtain the speed and power to complete the shot, but this should not be the entirety of the shot. In short, this involves standing rigid with the arm straight above, then a stretch back and release, with follow through.

 

I think this description should cover it. This would allow a shot with less body motion, while still relying on the benefits of the raised basketball shot, including the form with a raised wrist (ie. follow through), as compared to a granny shot. This reduces the inconsistency caused by the upward and forward motion of the arm in a standard shot, as the arm requires more overall motion to generate an accurate shot, compared to the described method. For example, there is less risk than the pivoting around the knees, hips, shoulder, elbow, etc from a normal shot.

This method leads to a flatter shot. It also sends the ball to the basket softer on a more consistent basis, allowing the ball to roll around the rim, leading to a fairly high likelihood the ball will go in when the shot is slightly offline. Which, with French, would probably be an upgrade.

In general, I think this shooting approach makes more sense overall than the typical free throw shot, at least from a mechanical perspective. It is also fairly easy to get the ball to the basket, almost anyone can shoot with this approach physically.

As a final note, I think this approach would particularly help Hashn French, though that should be obvious by now. He appears to have a good follow through. I would assume his shot problems come from his arms. If I were to guess, I would say that he is probably so strong that he struggles with the fine motor adjustments needed by the arms when in free motion. The ball seems to be off on distance short and long. It even seems off left to right. He may have trouble keeping his elbow in a fixed plane to the basket as well as, you know, normal power. The method described above would take his arm muscles out of the equation. He would be able to focus on finding the right amount of stretching backward. This likely would be an easier objective.

I am done. I hope you enjoyed this description. I entreat all of you to try this at your personal hoops and upload some pics.

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Shoot a FT with the same motion as a jumper without jumping. Has’s problem in games is he tries to steer the ball in by pushing the ball. In warmups he just stands at the line flexes his arms and uses his wrists. In the game he pushes the ball as he tries to steer it into the basket. Mental. 

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53 minutes ago, slu72 said:

Shoot a FT with the same motion as a jumper without jumping. Has’s problem in games is he tries to steer the ball in by pushing the ball. In warmups he just stands at the line flexes his arms and uses his wrists. In the game he pushes the ball as he tries to steer it into the basket. Mental. 

Totally agree @slu72. It’s all in his head. He gets to the line in the game and he thinks about all the articles and tweets that have been written about his free throw shooting, the team’s free throw shooting, and he starts thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong before he shoots, and any mechanical adjustments he’s made in practice go right out the window. And with every free throw he misses, he puts more pressure on himself the next time he gets to the line and the problem just gets worse. I am, and never was, anywhere near the athlete or basketball player Has is, but 1 thing I was pretty good at was I was pretty good shooter. I had a similar issue at the line in high school (though not as dramatic).  I know everybody has their routine, 3 dribbles, deep breath, spin the ball, whatever. 1 adjustment I made to get over the mental issue is I shortened the “routine”. I got the ball, 1 dribble, and shot. That way, I didn’t have time to think about all the different moving parts of my free throw shooting and I could just shoot my shot. I have no idea if that would help Has, but it helped me a lot. 

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