Shooting foul shots or free throws is a unique skill and is hard to master. Many players have problems perfecting their foul shot and would prefer to shoot from any other spot inside or outside of the key rather than take a shot at the free throw line. The technique of the foul shot itself combined with the pressure of making the shot is enough to cause you to make a mistake.
If you prepare yourself mentally, foul shots will be an easy shot for you to make. There is no defensive player in front of you to counter the shot; the shot is effectively the same over and over again. Good free throw shooters do the same thing every time they shoot.
Perfecting your foul shot will make a huge difference to your game. A lot of players come straight from a game and say ‘we could have won if only we made our foul shots’. Foul shots make all the difference and it is important to master this skill.
A few things to remember when taking a foul shot are to balance yourself at the free throw line, keep your feet shoulder width apart and parallel to one another. You must also point both feet and and square your upper body toward the basket. Position your feet just behind the line. If you tend to jump while taking the shot step one foot behind the line so that you do not jump over when you take the shot and the shot is considered a violation.
You must hold the ball using your non shooting arm to cradle and support it lightly. Place your middle three fingers on the seams of the ball and use your thumb and palm for support. Keep your shooting arm straight and the elbow of your other arm in.
Aim the shot, try to aim for the backboard box above the rim. If you hit the centre of that box properly the ball will hit and fall through the net perfectly. It is important that you remember to bend your knees. The strength from your legs will propel the shot.
Shoot in one motion and remember to follow through with your shot. Remember, a foul shot can be the shot that determines whether your team wins or looses.