Saturday , Sep , 28 , 2013 Paul Eide

How To Shoot Free Throws – Insights From Mark Price

During his 12-year career, Price shot 90% or above from the free throw line seven times.
 
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: One of the purest shooters in NBA history breaks it down for you.
 
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His career average of 90.4% from the line was the highest ever when he retired. Now in second place to Steve Nash, if Nash has a bad game, Price goes into first.
 
So, what does it take to be a good free throw shooter? Price recently explained in this interview.
 
"Good free-throw shooters shoot the same way every time," Price said. "What you want to do is simplify the stroke." 
 
First, it starts with where you hold the ball when you approach the line and square up to the basket. Rather than holding the ball low, the idea is to begin the free-throw routine holding the ball up higher, so there is less movement, and less room for error, before the shot commences. Then, when the shot begins, the release point is crucial, Price said. 
 
"You want to work on releasing the ball higher, lifting the elbow so that you get more lift on the shot," Price said. "When you don't do that, you shoot it flat, and that's when you have problems."
 
“Everybody can become a better shooter,” Price said. “Even if you've got some flaws in your technique right now. You just start working on certain things and try to keep moving in the right direction. Look at your elbow position and and the things that go on with that."

"I feel like 60% is mechanics. I think 20% is practice and repetitions and the last 20% is the mental component. Because you talk about the rhythm of the game. Every other shot in basketball is a rhythm shot, meaning it's in the flow of the game, but not a free throw. It's hard because the game stops and everyone is looking at you so you have to create that momentum for yourself. And a routine is the other big part of that. Doing the same thing over and over and over gives you the chance to be consistent every time you shoot."

So, what's the secret to shooting 90% from the free throw line?
 
"A lot of practice, a lot of practice," Price said with a satisfied smile. "I feel fortunate that my father gave me a lot of good technique. Without the right technique, you're only going to be so good. "The old saying is true — practice doesn't make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect."

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