Do’s & Don’ts




  • Proper Basketball Shooting Mechanics at the Free Throw line starts as soon as you get fouled and are walking to the free throw line.

  • Develop a go to sentence, a chant, or mantra that you repeat silently to yourself before and during your shot.  Examples would be My shot is smooth and consistent, I live for these moments, or I came to this team to be in moments like this. The thought must be positive and focused not on a result or the future.     

  • Visualize from your perspective a dotted line similar to the game Angry birds with the perfect 45 degree arc & trajectory striking through basket 11″ past the front of the rim.

  • Then try to make the ball follow the dot line Angry Birds screen shot while repeating your go to sentence.



  • Do follow the S.E.D.R.S. shooting philosophy

  •  Shooting Hand on the Side of the ball. 

  • Alignment: Shooting Foot at the Nail, feet no greater than shoulder width apart slightly turned.  (Squared is OK Nash & Mark Price use a squared stance but….) We want your feet turned because of alignment and UNIFORMITY

  • Shoulder & hip aligned to the center of the rim

  • Take 2 or more practice free throws with out the ball before each free throw attempt.

  • You do this for 2 reasons

  • 1st by taking the practice free throw your able to draw out the muscle mechanics from your long term memory and place it into your short term memory.

  • 2nd to increase your percentage makes by 5%

  • You typically shoot 5% points higher on attempt 2 than your 1st attempt.


  • Take 3 dribbles while targeting 11″ from the front of the rim.  You want 3 dribbles because each dribble represents 1 second concentration at the rim. You want to concentrate 3 or more seconds before you shoot.

  • After your 3 dribbles take a deep breath exhale and shoot in one motion.

  • 3 field crop rotation, your mind is a field and even though we treat are shooting mechanics like a machine, the mind is not.  Saying the same go to sentence weak-ins your concentration over time. You need to rotate your focus like rotating crops. Have 3 go to sentences  and 3 visualization techniques you cycle through. This will help you maintain a higher level of focus over a longer duration.

  • No need to dip the ball after dribbling 3 times since your in your dip when dribbling.

  • Ball on the Palm of your hand

  • Shoulders lean slightly back

  • Elbow locks wrist flops 4 fingers down 

  • One motion shots, no stopping in your shooting motion.

  • Eyes Follow the flight of the ball

  • By your eyes following the flight of the ball it will naturally pull your shoulders back allowing for better arc.

    Noah Basketball Shot arc scoring zone diagram

  • Do have a shooting arc between 42-48 degrees with 45 being ideal Noah Basketball optimal arc trajectories diagram

  • Do practice with a ball that can track your shooting arc

  • Do practice a certain amount of free throws with your eyes closed.

  • Closing your eyes develops touch and feel to your shot. It also allows you to determine how fundamentally sound your mechanics are. When you shoot with your eyes closed your shot should be straight missing long or short only. Never left or right. If your missing to the left or right you have a flaw that needs to be addressed in your shooting mechanics.

  • Remember where the bicep goes so does the ball.  

  • Do make adjustments to short and long shots

  • Shots are short release is to late get the ball out of your hands faster half a second or so.

  • Shots are long release is to early release the ball quicker half a second or so.

  • Do practice free throws randomly with a emphasis on the 1st throw attempt.

  • Do practice underhanded free throws. (they help with your regular free throws)

  • Do incorporate the upper body relaxation you have in your underhanded free throws with your normal free throw attempts.

  • Do incorporate the simplicity and smoothness of your underhanded free throws with your normal free throw attempts.


  • Don’t practice by shooting multiple free throws in a rowLos Angles Lakers Practice free throw chart

  • Don’t have your feet more than shoulder width apart.

  • Don’t stop in your shooting motion

  • Don’t have your shooting hand behind the ball. It creates a upright wrist placement. This creates strain on the wrist and is highly discouraged in most work & office settings. An upright wrist placement can lead to wrist strain and Carpal Tunnel syndrome. 

    Wrong Shooting Hand Placement

  • If it is wrong to have a upright wrist while typing due to Carpal Tunnel why would it be the preferred hand placement for shooting a basketball. YOUR SHOOTING HAND SHOULD BE ON THE SIDE OF THE BALL NOT BEHIND IT IN A UPRIGHT POSITION! 

  • Don’t focus on the rim for less than 3 seconds

  • Don’t stare ONLY at the back of the rim

  • Don’t lean forward

  • Don’t have the ball off your palm and only on the fingers & finger pads

  • Don’t think about the outcome of your free throw attempt

  • Don’t have a shooting arc above 48 degrees or Below 42 degrees 

    Noah Basketball Bad shooting arc diagram



Special Thanks Too


icebox sports performance improvement logo




94fifty logo




Noah Basketball logo




Tom Nordland Swish Method

Paul Hoover Pro Shot Shooting System

Brian McCormick Fake Fundamentals Volume 2



The Inner Game of Tennis book cover