Chronicle – The Mind in Basketball: A Risky Free Throw Practice

Per month, basketball europe A new column brings you a real master class on one of the most important, but often neglected aspects: the mind. Last month, we demystified the practice of meditation. Today, let’s take a look at the importance of the mind in technical terms: the free throw.

Saturday 25 June 2022. Elie Okubo becomes French Champion with ASVEL and MVP in the finals. The little story in the big story: The France international, who had a 91% free-throw success of the season on home soil, failed to kill the match with 1.8 seconds to play after a draw in a foul. Before this free throw, Bordelet’s players were 3/3 ahead of the penalty line. Once that free throw was missed, he finished in overtime at 1/5, including four missed throws in a row. In a room that overcame his cause but boiling, where tension prevailed and the stakes were high, the mind played a dominant role. Fortunately for Elijah, he and his colleagues have found other resources necessary to go after three curds in a crazy endgame…

This story is far from a personal attack on Eli Okubo, the massive player we are lucky enough to be able to admire in the French championship, but it is a concrete example of what can happen in all basketball halls. When a player goes to the free-throw line, Even with conditions less stressful than those of Astroballe in Game Five of the LNB Finals. So how do you control your emotions in this exercise?

Eli Okubo (c) Infinity Nine Media

How to prepare to become an excellent free throw shooter?

1. It may sound silly (or obvious) but working on your technique is step one: we all have a different gesture, find the technique that works for you keeping these key principles in mind: maintain balance, have good coordination in the lower upper body, and hit At the center of the basket, use a fairly high trajectory (with the arm raised until 11 o’clock), and keep hitting your wrist until the ball enters the circle. Repeat, repeat, repeat until you feel comfortable and confident.

2. Choose a routine that you like: How do you take the ball in your hand, how many dribble you need to do, where do you place your feet, what breath to use, and where do you look at the circle (in front, in the middle, behind)? No matter what routine you decide to follow, it should be the same every time you hit a free throw. Whether you’re in the hangar, on your own, or in front of thousands of spectators, your photo session should be the same. This will help you gain confidence and not be influenced by everything that is going on around you.

3. Raise your standards: Don’t just score but try to put on “strings” (an exercise that Steve Curry also does at 3 points). Even when you hit the circle, you will have more chances to score thanks to your higher standards.

4. Imagine: close your eyes and imagine yourself on the free-throw line, feel the ball by touch, by smell, imagine putting foot after foot on your directions, sensations going through your body with your heartbeat and after excitement, listen to the sounds of the room around you and repeat your gesture as you worked on it in detail . You can do this exercise whenever you have a few minutes to yourself.

5. Learn to love those times. Going to the free-throw line should leave you feeling cheerful and satisfied. You can tell yourself that you get a gift and it’s easy to score a free throw; You may also want to penalize/punish the opposing team. Whatever you look at, it should be a way to help you live up to the standards you set for yourself. The opposite would be to feel fear (of losing the free throw) and doubt. But if we start thinking about what will happen if we miss the free throw, we are more likely to miss it.

6. Maintain your focus/focus by executing your technique perfectly. Once you’ve repeated the previous steps to the point where you are comfortable with each step, there will be nothing to get in the way of your pursuit of success. You’ll be more focused than ever and you’ll know why you go to the free-throw line: scoring and nothing else.

Kronkel – The brain in basketball
Episode 1 – The Basics of Mental Preparation
Episode 2 – Meditation, the mysterious instrument of performance

In career, the same player may possess varying percentages of free throws. When you start, you learn to find standards. Then when you get older, it’s not always easy to have the same standards as if you knew your body better. Changing the height of the basket or changing the size of the ball can affect this percentage of free throws. When you’re having problems outside of basketball, family, or feelings in particular, it’s not always easy to find the resources to focus and be consistent in efficiency…

In short, no one is perfect, Eli Okubo proved to us: best player in the finals, 91% success in free throws, 3/3 in this game before falling 1/5 in the most important game of the season, at the crucial moments. On the same weekend, our French 3×3 teams also encountered similar situations when going to the line in hot weather. World champions for girls and a bronze medal for boys.

Are you more of a baker or builder?

Thus, the work that everyone can do is prepare to live in their situations. Our brain doesn’t differentiate between what we imagine and what we’re really experiencing, so get creative and train yourself to live through the craziest situations. When you’re on the line and the game is in your hands, you’ll be more ready than ever to find your way to success.

We can even say up front that we will no longer see Eli Okubo chain a negative streak after losing a free throw… because champions always learn from their experiences and always keep moving forward.

Nico Borgide
Mental Performance Coach – Certified Sports Performance Hypnosis – Government Basketball Certificate 1
Such as. : 06 28 18 40 29

Photo: FIBA, Basketball Europe Editorial

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