Underhanded Free Throw

When studying the underhanded free throw we see how it follows the S.E.D.R.S. concepts. The shot uniformity principle yet again holds true even with a under handed free throw.  Rick Barry is the most famous underhanded free thrower.  He is 4th all time in free throw percentage behind Steph Curry for his career. Rick Barry was number one at the time of his retirement.  It is believed that there are many ways to shoot a basketball but on closer examination we see what matters most is to follow a few simple concepts.



  • Underhanded free throws require a square stance.  In a one handed over handed free throw you want your shooting shoulder pointed towards the basket.  Since a underhanded free throw requires a 2 handed shot both shoulders must face the basket.  

  • Hands on the side of the basketball


  • You use 2 eyes to shoot so the motion goes through both eyes.

  • Eyes focused 11″ past the front of the rim

  • Watch the flight of the ball, watch the arc.


  • You do slightly dip the ball towards your knees from your waist. 


  • Palms Rotate towards the rim 


  • The release is below your shoulders so no real tension on them so no need to sweep or sway.

  • Because of the lower release you have good arc with no tension in the shoulders.



  • At the 3:16 mark of the clip above Rick explains how his free throw % went up when he began rotating his wrist instead of snapping it like his father had taught him.  This technique of not snapping the wrist and rotating the palm towards the rim is an important part of the S.E.D.R.S. shooting philosophy.

Shooting comes down to Alignment, Arc, and Shot Depth period end of story. The more consistent your are at those things the better shooter you will become.  How do you become better know, understand, and follow the concepts outlined in the S.E.D.R.S. shooting philosophy.