How to Improve Your Free Throw Percentage

Mar 23, 12

When it comes to shooting free throws, most anybody can become a superstar. If you are limited in your skill set, then free throws are a wonderful way to even the playing field a bit. The reason for this is because anybody can become a good free throw shooter with the right training and practice. (Despite appearances where Shaquille is concerned) You can improve your free throw percentage by leaps and bounds if you are willing to put in the work. That is a known fact. Take it step by step and you will be shooting better free throws before you know what happened.

Set a schedule to practice

The primary way you can improve your free throw percentage is to set a practice time aside for your free throw practice and stick to it every single day. Repetition is the key to becoming a solid free throw shooter, so spend plenty of time shooting them. Work on your form and rotation, but find a form and stick with it. Constantly changing things up will destroy a good shooter quicker than anything. Find what works for you and shoot free throws every single day on a schedule. 100 per day is a great method to get accelerated results.

Learn about rotation

Most free throw shooters have no idea about rotation. If the ball is rotating back towards you, then you have a good rotation. If the ball is rotating from bottom to top, then you likely need to bring your elbow in and keep it there during the shot. If you are getting side to side rotation, you have a similar problem and need to work on where you place your hands. Keep that elbow in and use your non-shooting hand as a guide rather than a shooting hand assistant. It should serve only as a guide. Good rotation can improve your shot from anywhere on the floor, but especially at the free throw line.

Find a form and stick to it

When you are learning to shoot free throws, you simply have to find a process and stick to it. This means to walk up to the line the same way, dribble the ball the same number of times, place your hands in the same spot on the ball and shoot the same way every time. All of these things are vital and the routine must stay the same to get that perfect vibe at the line. If you do this enough times, you will notice that you don’t have to think about it when you shoot free throws. It is natural and flows from your fingertips.

Watch the pros

The truly great free throw shooters all look the same at the line when they actually deliver the ball. They may have different pre-shot routines, but they all shoot the ball the same way. Their elbows are in tight, and the ball has perfect rotation to the rim. Spend some time watching the best free throw shooters. Tape them and rewind the tape over and over. Look at every part of their shot and break it down. That will be in your mind the next time you step to the stripe and it will help you. The best players offer the best opportunities to learn. Take advantage of that.


Rodney Southern is a longtime online writer that runs several online venues including and His first novel is right around the corner, but his first love is still online copy.