Free throws obviously have a big impact on the game's final score. Making them can seal the deal. Missing them can allow an opponent to creep back, especially late in the second half.
Although only one person at a time shoots free throws, success at the line is a team effort. Why? Because in most cases, the team that attacks the basket and gets to the free throw line more often has a greater chance of winning. (Read Making It to the Pros With Candace Parker.)
Consequently, shooting free throws is not only about an individual player scoring points, but also about putting your team in a favorable position to win. Teams should be visiting the line at least 20 times per game, regardless of their level of competition.
Here are two women's basketball free throw drills, courtesy of Kansas Basketball Academy Foundation. Both drills simulate game pressure and situations when shooting free throws.
Use this drill towards the end of practice when players are tired. Run it for at least two sets.
Players: 2 to 6
Equipment: basketballs, timer
This drill is more effective midway through practice to simulate the third quarter sluggishness that teams experience from time to time.
Players: at least 3
Equipment: basketballs, stopwatch, whistle