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Free Throw

Free Throw

Author: Joel Greve

Students will understand how to shoot a free throw 

Students will understand what constitutes a shooting foul

Free throws and shooting fouls

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Developing Effective Teams

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Individual Drills

Both individual drills I’m about to share with you can be customised to the skill level of the player you’re coaching. Keep in mind when you’re reading the following drills that you can change how many points they get for a made basket and how many points they lose for a miss.

For instance, most of my players play ‘Plus 1, Minus 2’. This means that they start on 2 and must try to get to 10. If they’re on 7 and make a free throw they go to 8, but if they missed on 7, they would be on 5.

1. Swish – Break your players up into two’s on three’s at each basket. The way the drill works is the player shooting starts on 5 and the goal is to get to 10. The rules are: For every swish, the player gets 1 point. For every made basket that is not a swish, they get 0 points. And for every miss, they get -1 points.

2. Plus/Minus – Plus/Minus is similar to the ‘Swish’ free throw drill except you don’t need to swish the shot. To keep it simple, let’s say you start on 5 points and your goal is to get to 10. The rules being, if you make a shot you get 1 point, if you miss a shot you lose a point.


Team Drills 

3. Laps – This drill is best performed with 3 players at each basket. If you don’t have enough rings for that, then it will work fine with more. The only downside to that is the players won’t be as fatigued when they’re shooting their free-throws.

The drill is simple. 5 minutes on the clock (or how ever many minutes you want). The first player shoots two free-throws. If he makes both, he doesn’t run. If he misses one, he does an up-and-back sprint. And if he misses two, he runs a full lap all they way around the court.

4. In-A-Row – Split your players up into groups of about 3 at each basket. The goal of the drill is to make a certain number of shots in a row before the time expires. You can decide the amount of shots they need to make in a row depending on the age and skill level.

For his example we’ll say they need to make 5 in a row. The first shooter steps up we’ll say they make 3 and then miss the 4th. You can decide they can either just join the end of the group, or there could be a consequence for not getting 6 in a row. They might have to perform an up and back each time they miss.

5. Baseline Free-Throws – The whole team starts on the baseline. The drill involves every person on the team going to the free-throw line one-by-one and making a free-throw. But the kicker is that every time a player misses a free-throw, the ENTIRE team must perform an up-and-back.

There are different ways you can change the drill up depending on the age and skill level of your team. For a youth team, I would only ask that they make one free-throw. But for my older teams, they must make two in a row. So if they hit the first and miss the second, the team still runs and then they try again.