Free Throw Trainer: Improve your free throw shooting

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The Free Throw Trainer will improve shot accuracy

Written By: Coach Al Heystek
The Original – Made in the USA – “Nothin’ But Net”
Free Throw Trainer ™
Invented By: Coach Al Heystek

 

 

free throw trainer

Free throws really matter, that is why I created the Free Throw Trainer! Don’t you agree? How many games are decided by a few free throws? I have seen players shot 80% from the free throw line, the game is on the line, the crowd is screaming and they miss. There are tons of basketball tips for shooting free throws, but have you ever heard of the Free Throw Trainer?

It was on the 5th of February that I watched the Miami Heat and the LA Clippers play on national TV. It featured high-flying dunks, blocks and also some incredible long-range shooting. Blake Griffin played an amazing game scoring 43 points, but his team loss to the Heat, 116-112. There are always lots of reasons teams lose, but assessing free throw misses is often overlooked as a major factor in losing games. Again, Griffin played a spectacular game, yet he missed 7 free throws. If he had made 4 out of the 7 free throws that he missed, we would have had a tie game. Make 5 of those misses and LA may have won. Free throws matter and sometimes there is a cost from throwing away free throws.

The experts say that most of a winning team’s points in the last minute usually come from the free throw line. In spite of that fact, headlines feature amazing dunks, 3 point shooting, fancy passing, which are all important parts of the game, and yet free throw shooting is frequently nothing more than an after thought in post game commentaries. Those of us who created and continue to support the Free Throw Trainer™ want to change the all-to-minor role that free throws play in the game of basketball. We press on because we are changing the game of basketball, starting with youth, by elevating shooting percentages among boys and girls. Our vision is for youth across America to have the Free Throw Trainer™ up on their driveway hoops.

Our vision is to see boys and girls shooting at the Free Throw Trainer™ until it becomes automatic to put the ball in the hoop, time after time. We also know that when a young player gets their free throw shot down, they will likely shoot well from other spots on the floor. Great free throw shooters tend to be great overall shooters. Make that all happen, and you change the way you play basketball. The Free Throw Trainer™ is very simple. It consists of a piece of flexible plastic tubing that attaches to the rim and then a 7 inch plastic yellow post with a blackened tip. The post attaches to the tubing with Velcro©. You can learn more about our Free Throw Trainer™ at freethrowtrainer.com, including how to install it safely. I have included a video tutorial for how the Free Throw Trainer will change the way you shoot free throws.

Video Tutorial on how to use the Free Throw Trainer

Using the Free Throw Trainer will help a shooter to develop the three critical components necessary to be a great shooter with locked-in muscle memory. Those three components are direction, distance and arch. Free throw experts from the National Basketball Shooters Association encouraged us to add the black tip because they found that the top of the Free Throw Trainer to be the “sweet spot”. That black tip is on all of our new Free Throw Trainers. If the ball hits the post on the black tip then it will have the direction, distance and arch necessary to go in virtually every time.

Ed Palubinskas is one of the best free throw shooters in the world. He has trained NBA players and he said the Free Throw trainer helps shooters focus and “makes you think about shooting it straight.” Distance, direction and arch – the three keys. We need to be smart about training young players and use the Free Throw Trainer. It is important for youth who are still growing and not yet able to shoot the ball easily from the free throw line to make adjustments. It is wise for younger players to shoot at a basket that is adjusted to about 8 or 9 feet and also use a smaller ball. We do not want them to develop bad habits while trying to push the ball up to a basket that is too high for them. Bad Practice doesn’t make perfect.

We know about the role of muscle memory and thus, we know how important it is to practice distance, direction and arch correctly from the very beginning. The Free Throw Trainer™ provides a guide for the shooter. We don’t encourage young players to “aim” at the Trainer, but to use it as a guide. Aiming can result in trying too hard to make it perfectly while focusing too much on the result. We want to encourage you to use the trainer to focus on the process and technique of your shooting and the outcome will take care of itself. We also encourage young players to shoot 50 or even 100 free throws before using the Trainer in order to establish a baseline percentage. This helps you to know what improvements you are making. If a player can make 50% of his or her free throws we would expect improvement over time utilizing the trainer. Shoot a few hundred more with the trainer, and your shot accuracy will improve.

The Free Throw Trainer™ can also help you to analyze your misses. Keep track of whether you are missing left or right, short or long. Talk with your parents or coach about making adjustments in your mechanics so you are more consistently hitting the Trainer. Hit the trainer in practice, and then in a game you will be able to see the Trainer on the rim with your mind’s eye. Remember, if you hit the Trainer with any part of the ball, chances are that it will go in. Use the Free Throw Trainer™ over and over, and you will be helping us to change the game of basketball. How cool is that?!




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