Ex-NBA sharpshooter Mark Price explains how to shoot free throws


mark-price-freethrowIf there’s anyone who could teach you how to shoot free throws it would be Mark Price. Price was one of the NBA’s best shooters during his 13-year career.

The 6 foot guard averaged 15.2 ppg and 6.7 apg in his NBA career, shooting 47 percent from the field, 40 from 3-point line and 90 percent from free throw line (led the NBA 3 times).

His career average of 90.4% from the line was the highest ever when he retired. Now in second place to Steve Nash, if Nash has a bad game, Price goes into first.

Price recently explained how to shoot freethrows, saying in particular that “good free-throw shooters shoot the same way every time, by simplifying the stroke.”

“First, it starts with where you hold the ball when you approach the line and square up to the basket. Rather than holding the ball low, the idea is to begin the free-throw routine holding the ball up higher, so there is less movement, and less room for error, before the shot commences,” Price explained.

“Then, when the shot begins, the release point is crucial,” he added.

“You want to work on releasing the ball higher, lifting the elbow so that you get more lift on the shot,” Price said. “When you don’t do that, you shoot it flat, and that’s when you have problems.”

Price went on to say that everybody can become a better shooter, despite having some flaws in technique now.

“You just start working on certain things and try to keep moving in the right direction. Look at your elbow position and and the things that go on with that,” he said.

“”I feel like 60% is mechanics. I think 20% is practice and repetitions and the last 20% is the mental component. Because you talk about the rhythm of the game,” he said.

“Every other shot in basketball is a rhythm shot, meaning it’s in the flow of the game, but not a free throw. It’s hard because the game stops and everyone is looking at you so you have to create that momentum for yourself,” he underscored.

Price also said that routine is important as doing the same thing over and over and over gives you the chance to be consistent every time you shoot.

According to Price, the secret of improving freethrow shooting is simple – practice, a lot of practice.

“I feel fortunate that my father gave me a lot of good technique. Without the right technique, you’re only going to be so good,” Price said. “The old saying is true – practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.”

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