Kill Free Throw Pressure With Tips From Melo and EB

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NBA superstars and free throw aficionados Carmelo Anthony and Elton Brand dish out advice on making free throws easy.

Mental Approach

Carmelo Anthony: At the end of the day, when you're shooting free throws, it's just you and the goal. You've got to block everything else out; nothing else matters.

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NBA superstars and free throw aficionados Carmelo Anthony and Elton Brand dish out advice on making free throws easy.

Mental Approach

Carmelo Anthony: At the end of the day, when you're shooting free throws, it's just you and the goal. You've got to block everything else out; nothing else matters.

Elton Brand: I know guys that have terrible percentages from the line, but in practice they make 10 or 20 in a row. But [then] they get to a game and freeze up. I think free throws are mostly muscle memory, and you have to just let your body flow.

Routine

CA: You've got 10 seconds [on the line] to do your routine, get in rhythm, and then make the shot. When I get up there, I take some deep breaths and think of nothing [else except] making the shot. I do the same thing every time: spin the ball and shoot it.

EB: Any routine that you do can help you relax because you're comfortable with it. My routine, I'd say, is take a few deep breaths, relax, get my hand formed into the proper placement [on the ball] that I like it in, bend my knees, locate the rim and then follow through and leave my hand up [in the air] until it goes through the net.

Practice

CA: I shoot free throws every day. You can never shoot enough free throws.

EB: You have to practice [your routine] over and over again. Shoot 100 to 200 a day [so] it becomes automatic. Not only is it practicing your free throws per se, but it's also practicing your jump shot form, or your short-range form, because that's the same shot that you're using; you're just not jumping.
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