- COACHES STEP-BY-STEP FREE THROW TRAINING -
THIS IS BRAIN TRAINING!!! WE ARE TRAINING BRAINS TO SHOOT
MENTAL TRAINING FOR FREE THROW SHOOTING
A college coach having team free throw shooting percentage problems asked me for this step-by-step instruction guide. The team is now enjoying a free throw shooting percentage they once thought impossible.
Step 1. Coaches, have your team click here and read this How To Shoot A Free Throw Shooting Pamphlet before undertaking the following steps.
Step 2. Coaches, go over the free throw shooting pamphlet with players and answer any and all questions specific to the pamphlet.
a. Your players should understand at this point that they’re going to be completely utilizing all their previous shooting mechanics training. They've all had enough shooting mechanics training to last a life time; this brain training process allows them to finally take FULL advantage of all that training. They will be learning to shoot without thinking. Thinking while shooting is a bad thing.
b. Tell your players, “When you focus on that hook on the far side of the rim that gives your conscious mind a task to perform. Then recalling the HOOK you saw through the magnifier is actually engaging your imagination and engaging your imagination always triggers a feel good sensation☺ Once your imagination has been engaged it will continue the shot for you. Follow-through with your eyes keeping them on the HOOK until the ball goes through the hoop."
c. Tell your players, “Humans are defined by rituals. What ritual we are creating?
-- The belief you have of your potential to attain an extremely high shooting percentage because you’re taking the action of focusing on and then imagining a magnified HOOK on the far side of the rim☺
-- As you experience positive shooting results, your belief becomes a certainty in your potential for an extremely high shooting percentage.
-- Your certainty reinforces your determination to focus on that hook☺
-- Your determination produces even better results which make you even more certain that when you focus on the magnified HOOK ☺ you will get further positive results creating even more certainty that your ritual works.
-- Now you are determined to refine your ritual, and your ritual feeds upon itself!"
Step 3. Send a player up a ladder with large magnifying glass, ask about player's favorite color. (Some rims have two hooks in the back as opposed to one hook in the center. If your players are shooting at one of those rims they need to decide NOW which hook they are going to focus on, left or right. Either is fine, just pick one and stick to it. Players should center themselves on their hook at the free throw line.)
a. Direct your player to study the back [target] hook using the magnifying glass for 15 to 30 seconds.
1) Say, "See how the hook sort of forms a bull’s eye? See the bull’s eye? See that big giant bull’s eye?"
b. Now direct the player to look off into the distance and recall the magnified HOOK. "See it." (this is a statement, if there is no ? it is a statement.)
1) If yes say, "The same size as it looked under the magnifying glass. If yes; “That feels real good. Now, change it's color to (favorite color), just change its color to (favorite color)." You will see it in her face if she can see it. It's kind of a surprised look, an a-ha moment. Reinforce - "See the GIANT (favorite color) hook. That feels real good.”
2) If no say, "Study the hook some more, you'll be able to imagine it, no problem." After again studying the hook through the magnifying glass have the player look off into distance and recall that large HOOK. Ask if she sees it.
3) If yes say, "That feels real good. Change it's color to (favorite color), just change it's color to (favorite color)." You will see it in her face when she can see it. It's a surprised look; an a-ha moment.
4) Now say, "Close your eyes and see it." AS SOON AS SHE CLOSES HER EYES Immediately Say! "Open your eyes NOW! Never imagine that hook with your eyes closed! Always imagine it with your eyes open, always! Always with your eyes open, always! Understand?"
5) "Now, look off in the distance again and recall that magnified HOOK. Now turn it (favorite color). That feels real good. Do this imagination exercise often, everyday.”
Step 4. Have player shoot a few opposite side lay ups, focusing specifically at the upper outside corner of the box, the very tip of the corner of the box, following through with her eyes by keeping them focused on the upper outside corner of the box until the ball goes through the hoop. (Always warm up and dynamic stretch before playing basketball. Begin all shooting sessions with the ‘Warming-Up’ section before attempting other shots.)
Step 5. One step back towards half-court and shoot a few at the same spot. Following through with her eyes by keeping them focused on the upper outside corner of the box until the ball goes through the hoop.
Step 6. Move over in front of rim and bank in a few aiming specifically at the middle of the top line of the box; follow-through with her eyes by keeping them focused on her target until the ball goes through the hoop.
Step 7. One more step back and say, "locate the metal hook on the far side of the rim. While your eyes are focused on that hook, recall the image of the MAGNIGIED HOOK, the HOOK you saw under the magnifying glass. Shoot the ball when you see the MAGNIFIED HOOK in your mind. If you don't see it, don't shoot. There's no hurry here, we're training the brain to shoot. Rushing this specific process is not good. If you miss, that's OK, but refrain from adjusting your shot, adjust only your focus. Shoot the ball only when you see the magnified hook. If you don't see it, don't shoot.
Follow-through by keeping your eyes on the hook until the ball goes through the rim."
Step 8. Shoot about 20, taking time to see the MAGNIGIED HOOK before each shot. If the player cannot see the magnified hook [this has never happened, but I feel like I must include this] we start all over again with 'Step 3.' After making ten in a row step back one step and go through the exact same routine... shoot about 20. “We are training your brain, refrain from adjusting your shot, adjust only your focus; shoot the ball when you see the MAGNIGIED HOOK. If you don't see it, don't shoot. With your eyes on the HOOK [your target] at the far side of the rim, recall the MAGNIGIED HOOK in your mind. No MAGNIGIED HOOK - NO SHOT!!!
Follow-through by keeping your eyes on the MAGNIGIED HOOK until the ball goes through the rim." After making ten in a row step back again.
Step 9. Continue this process until two steps before reaching the free throw line. Reaching the free throw line too soon can have counter productive results. No ten in a row? Move in a step. After 10 in a row take one step back. If a player misses a shot, SHE SHOULD REFRAIN FROM ADJUSTING HER SHOT. SHE NEEDS ONLY TO ADJUST HER FOCUS!!! Her brain will adjust her shot.
This is BRAIN TRAINING!!! We are TRAINING HER BRAIN TO SHOOT.
At this point players should shoot hundreds of shots from three feet to no further out than ten to tweleve feet from all around the basket, for two consecutive days, replicating this routine. This gives the players time to install this ‘Imagineering’ process with a high degree of positive reinforcement with an extremely high percentage of made shots. On the third day players work their way out to the free throw line.
Step 10. Standing on the free throw line imagination takes a twist. We refocus on the 'bull’s eye' adding favorite color to the magnified bull’s eye! Now the player does not shoot unless she sees a large, favorite color bull’s eye. All basketball players need a free throw shooting routine. As your players develop theirs, or if they already have an established routine, include as the very first and the very last thing before going into their shooting motion, zooming-in on that HOOK on the far side of the rim, their, FAVORITE COLOR, BULL’S-EYE.
“WHEN THAT GIANT (FAVORITE COLOR) BULL’S-EYE, FILLS YOUR MIND ☺ THEN, AND ONLY THEN, SHOULD YOU FLOW INTO YOUR FREE THROW SHOOTING MOTION. Follow-through with your eyes keeping them on the (FAVORITE COLOR) BULL’S-EYE until the ball goes through the hoop.”
Step 11. Your players will have such success with this process that they will immediately want to apply it to three point shooting. But players should be moving out to the three point line only by one step at a time/one day at a time only after two days of shooting no further out than the free throw line. Until players are extremely strong, launching 3s is different mechanics than all other shots. Players need to allow their minds and bodies to slowly integrate launching from shooting. The target is always the MAGNIGIED HOOK on the far side of the rim☺
Always follow-through by keeping their eyes on the magnified hook ☺ until the ball goes through the hoop.
Step 12. Videoing and then studying those videos of your shooting sessions is one of the greatest shooting tools you have. While viewing their videos players are engaging their minds through a perspective it does not have on it's own. That input grows their brain's decision making ability exponentially.
Imagining you are good cannot make you good (if that worked I'd be flying around like Superman). You want to be a GREAT shooter? Train your body, then train your brain to use your body.