90% from the Line DVD – Key Facts
Successful FT shooting relies just as much on mental preparation as mechanical preparation. Better Free Throws covers all aspects of the Free Throw progression from the moment you get fouled until the ball splashes through the net.
The ritual defines a great Free Throw. Coach Torbett details exactly how to construct a perfect ritual so that you can step up to the line with confidence every time.
This DVD gives you all the information you need, but to see that information translate into success in a live game requires practice and dedication. Chapters 11 and 12 gives you 8 drills to integrate into your practice sessions, but you have to supply the time and sweat.
A complete section with Hall of Famer Rick Barry, who shot 90% from the line throughout his NBA career.
1 hour, 42 minutes! – What’s on the DVD?
Better Free Throws contains 12 chapters divided into 3 sections: first, the 4 prerequisites to shooting from the line; second, the 3 steps to actually making the FT; third, practice drills and practice thoughts.
European pro footage (FIBA and ULEB) is incorporated to illustrate the video’s techniques.
Rick Barry details the mechanics behind his famously successful underhanded free throw, first in a sit down interview with Coach Torbett, then on the court with a young player. The Hall-of-Famer closed out the final 6 years of his NBA career shooting 92.5% from the line.
Like all the Better Basketball videos, Better Free Throws was written, professionally filmed, and edited with precise graphics to make learning its techniques easy and entertaining. The ultimate goal, however, is to help dedicated players reach their own goals and hopefully 90% from the stripe.
About the Video
The rising obsession with the 3-point shot and the dunk has relegated the mid-range shot, especially the Free Throw, to the background. Because of this, FT percentages throughout the various levels of the sport have taken a nosedive.
Still, a shockingly high number of games are decided by less than 5 points. What if your team shot 10% better from the line? How many more games would you win? How many more points would you score? Better Free Throws can lead you there.
Chapter 1 – Introduction
Better Basketball’s Better Free Throws is broken down into 3 sections:
First, there are 4 prerequisites to cover before the actual free throw shooting begins. Some are more in-depth than the others, but all of them are important. The prerequisites are Motivation, Realistic Expectations, Shooting Mechanics, and Alignment.
Second, with those 4 prerequisites under your belt, you’re ready to be fouled. Now, once you’re fouled, the 3 steps to actually making the FT begin. They are: Your Attitude After the Whistle, Finding the Groove, and The Pre-Shot-Ritual.
And third, the DVD finishes with Practice Drills and some miscellaneous thoughts. If you put in the time and put in the effort working with the techniques outlined in Better Free Throws, you’ll be well on your way to 90% from the line.
Chapter 2 – Ingredients for Success
Success at the Free Throw line comes at the end of a chain of events. If any of the links of the chain are weak or faulty, the probability of a successful shot is reduced dramatically. But, piece these links together cleanly and efficiently and you can become a game changer. How many more points would you average each game if you knocked down 90% of your FTs?
In Chapter 2, Coach Torbett describes all the ingredients (and their corresponding chapters) that need to come together for consistent success at the line.
Chapter 3 – Motivation
Here are some thoughts straight out of Chapter 3:
How many games has your team lost by 1 to 5 points? Let’s face it; if your team shot only 10-20% better from the free-throw line, how many of those games would you have won? Think about it, you did everything that was needed to win those games and then lost them on the free-throw line where no one’s guarding you!
Who gets to play the most at the end of a tight game? Great free throw shooters or poor free throw shooters? What a compliment from the coach and your teammates when they want the ball in your hands at the end of a tight game! Great free throw shooters get to finish games. Poor free throw shooters get to watch from the bench.
More wins AND more playing time. Do you need more motivation that that?
Chapter 4 – Realistic Expectations
You can’t go from shooting 50% from the line to 90% overnight. Free Throw shooting is a skill just like any other basketball skill – it takes time and practice for your mind and body to improve. Think back to all the time you spent in the gym shooting lay-ups or jump shots. Think back to all those dribbling drills. Now, in comparison, think back on how little time you spent practicing Free Throws. It hurts a little, doesn’t it? Hours in the gym; minutes (seconds?) on Free Throws.
MOST PLAYERS QUIT TOO SOON! And they quit because they have unrealistic expectations about how fast their free throw shooting is supposed to improve. They might practice for a few days or a few weeks and see little to no improvement at all. You must set realistic goals and expectations for your improvement.
It may take months or years to see any significant improvement. But here lies an unexpected reward: Once you begin to see improvement, it becomes addictive; it becomes a matter of pride, and you’ll become even more motivated to keep on practicing.
Chapter 5 – Shooting Mechanics
Why mechanics? Because if you can’t control the flight of the ball in terms of proper arch, the right distance and keeping the ball straight, then getting the rest of the Free Throw chain correct won’t help very much! Chapter 5 examines the best mechanics for shooting FTs.
By the way, on this same video, Rick Barry who shot 90% from the line in his NBA career, gives a very different lesson on mechanics. He achieved Free Throw greatness (2nd all time in FT%) by shooting underhanded. Check out his section to draw your own conclusions. Maybe you are the perfect player to keep the Underhanded Free Throw alive.
Chapter 6 – Alignment
There are 3 components to a made shot: keep it straight (alignment); proper arc; the right distance. If the FT is not properly aligned, then you must have all 3 components correct to make the shot. You must keep it straight instinctively AND have the proper arc and the right distance.
On the other hand, if you can properly align your shot-line with the dead center, then you can “miss” a little with your arc and your distance and the FT still has a high percentage chance of going in. Chapter 6 of Better Free Throws describes just how to do that.
Chapter 7 – After-the-Whistle Attitude
There are hundreds of distractions when you are standing at the Free Throw line; the game situation (down by 1 with no time left on the clock and 2 shots); the fans cheering for or against you; your coach yelling instructions.
If any one of those potential distractions causes you to lose focus, the Free Throw mechanics you worked so hard to develop will quickly deteriorate. In a way that is different from shooting within the flow of the game, Free Throws require precise target shooting and thus require precise mental preparation.
Chapter 7 gives you the tools to block out the distractions, maintain a strong mental position, and allow your trained mechanics and muscle memory to take control.
Chapter 8 – Finding the Groove
Baseball players are allowed to take practice swings when they are on the deck. Golfers will find their groove with several practice swings whether it’s a drive or a putt or anything in between. Football field goal kickers are allowed to practice using a net on the sideline before taking the field. But basketball players step up to the Free Throw line and have to take their FTs cold, without a single practice shot!
In Chapter 8, Coach Torbett details exactly how great Free Throw shooters get around this problem, getting into the grove of their shot in the toughest situations so that they can knock down even their very first FT every time.
Chapter 9 – Why a Pre-shot Ritual?
Why bother with a ritual? Because a ritual will make you feel like you’ve made the shot before you take the shot. And this infusion of confidence, relaxation, and feeling of preparedness is crucial for success.
Imagine the ritual as the combination to a combination lock; there are an exact number of steps in a pre-defined order that will ultimately lead to successfully opening the lock. If Free Throw shooting is the lock and the ritual is the combination, then Chapter 9 is that little piece of paper that you wrote the combination on. It tells you exactly how to build your ritual, step by step, effectively and precisely. Granted, that was a complex analogy, but it works.
Chapter 10 – The Ritual Free Throw
Chapter 10 is where all the pieces from the previous 9 chapters fit together to create the perfect Free Throw shooting progression. Coach Torbett demonstrates this progression from mental development to mechanics with a variety of players so that it is easy to understand and thus, easy to learn.
With the Free Throw chain fully realized, all that is left is to move on to the third section of Better Free Throws, putting it into practice.
Chapter 11 – Practice Comments
Great free throw shooters are built in the off-season on their own time. If you expect your coach to take out a huge chunk of practice time for your free throws, then you’re being irresponsible. Do you expect your coach to make you a great shooter or great ball-handler during the season? The coach can afford a little time during practice for basketball skill development, enough to serve as a reminder, but that’s about it and that’s not enough to become a great free throw shooter.
If you truly want to be on the floor in end game scenarios, increase your overall value to the team, and ultimately win more games, then take what you’ve learned in Chapters 1-10, get in the gym, grab a basketball, and practice. Chapter 12 will show you how.
Chapter 12 – Drills and Reasons Why
There are tons of Free Throw shooting drills available to choose from: Chapter 12 gives you 8 effective drills as well as the WHY behind how these drills directly transfer to in-game success.
Measure the free throw line distance along the baseline and create a free throw angle where there is no backboard. Why shoot from this angle? Because without a backboard, you are forced to concentrate on the target. It seems as though judging the distance properly becomes your central focus without a backboard behind the rim.
Chapter 13 – Conclusion
If you play basketball, you’re going to get fouled. It’s just part of the game. So don’t go to the free throw line hoping to make a shot; go there prepared. Follow the steps in this video and with time and repetition, you’ll not only become a better FT shooter, you may become the best. Records are made to be broken and this one’s waiting on you.
About Rick Barry
Rick Barry’s list of basketball accomplishments cannot be summed up in a concise list, but below are a few of his highlights as they relate to Free Throws:
In his interview with Coach Torbett, he explains how he achieved all of his Free Throw records, while shooting underhanded. Following his interview, Rick Barry takes to the court to teach the mechanics of his underhanded method. He even details how to break the shot down so that even youth players can learn it.