Effective shooting drills will simulate game situations, and shooting
foul shots in a game is a high pressure situation. So, once you have taught players
to shoot foul shots, and they have been practicing free throws for a week or two in the preseason and have become
comfortable at exercising good Foul Shot Technique, add in a drill every now and again that requires them to shoot free throws under pressure. The more conditioned they become to shooting under pressure, the better prepared they will be for shooting in basketball games.
I like to choose one of the following drills to end practice with on a regular basis - at least 2-3 times a week. Since these drills have the risk of sprinting built in, and you don't want players exhausted in the middle of practice, I run these drills at the end. The other advantage to doing this at the end of practice is that foul shots tend to be most crucial at the end of the game, when players are mostly spent - so they should be prepared to shoot in that situation.
So at the end of practice, I often run one of these drills:
Each player will take two foul shots. If:
Generally, I'll do the first drill if I'm pressed for time, and the second drill if I have 10 minutes or so at the end of the practice.
I have the entire team run when one player misses a shot in these drills. If a player is truly trying to make his foul shots, practicing and honestly attempting to improve, the team will know this and should be supportive. I've never had an instance where any of my players were truly upset about having to run suicides because a teammate missed an honest attempt at a free throw.
And it's a team game - if one team member succeeds or fails, the entire team succeeds or fails.
Incorporate these shooting drills into your practices. The foul shot is one of the most important shots in the game of basketball - help your players become good shooters.
"We're shooting 100 percent - 60 percent from the field and 40 percent from the free-throw line."
- Norm Stewart
Try UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg's video package of drills