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LeBron James’ Free Throws

I write a lot about free throws and the way that players approach free throws. Many players miss free throws because of their approach, especially the way they pick up the ball and start their shots. LeBron James used to be a streaky free throw shooter who shot worse than one would expect for a player with his talents because his free throw shooting approach led to inconsistencies.

The video below is hard to see clearly, but he spins the ball wit his left hand and he brings his right hand to the ball. He sets on his left hip, so his right hand is at an angle to the basket rather than a straight line to his target. This approach led to inconsistent shooting.

However, if you watch James shoot now, he makes an effort to start the ball at his right hip with his fingers pointed straight at the basket. He sets at his right hip, takes a breath and shoots. This keeps his shooting motion in one straight line and improves his technique.

It is a fairly simple change, but one that many players are unwilling to make, especially if they are reasonably successful with their normal technique.

However, players who want to be great are not happy with 70% free throw shooting. They want to be 90% free throw shooters and are willing to work extra hard to make it happen.

James and his shooting coach Chris Jent obviously set out to make the change and the results are evident.

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