jump to navigation

The Sacred Free Throw Ritual August 12, 2007

Posted by Marquis Chapman in Basketball, College Basketball, NBA, Sports.

The free throw is one of the most important aspects in the game of basketball.  The free throw line, or charity stripe, gives a player an opportunity to earn free points.  There are no defenders, just the player and the basket.  Making or missing free throws can sometimes determine the outcome of the game.  They matter the most at the end of the game, and can transform an average player to a hero, or give a superstar player the label of a choker.

Any good player will tell you that it is an absolute must that you have a free throw routine.  For 10 seconds or less, you do whatever you need to do to get relaxed and make your shots.  Making a routine and doing the same thing each and every time you step to the line is key.  It should become almost like a ritual in a sense, soon becoming something a player doesn’t even have to think about.

Most players roughly do the same ritual when stepping to the free throw line. There’s usually 2 to 3 dribbles, a couple of deep breaths, a short stare at the rim, and then a shot.  Some however, create very unique free throw rituals. Former Utah Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek’s free throw ritual consisted of stepping to the line, taking a couple of dribbles, and rubbing the side of his face.  It was later discoverd that Hornacek rubbed his face as a way to say hi to his kids.

Others use a more direct approach to say hi to family members. Jason Kidd used to blow a kiss to the rim before he shot his free throws, which was a way to say hi to his wife.  I always thought that  was a little weird and would be akward for anyone esle to try, but like I said, everyone has their own unique ritual.

One of the most famous rituals belongs to Karl Malone.  As mentioned above, a player only gets a maximum of 10 seconds to do whatever it is they do and shoot the ball.  Malone would use ALL of his 10 seconds. First, Malone would twirl the ball in his hands and take a couple of dribbles. Next, he would do a really deep knee bend, and his knees would almost be touching.  Next, came the most famous part of his ritual. Malone would talk to himself for quite a while, and then shoot the ball. No one else could hear what he was saying, and he would be talking pretty fast. Malone would later tell reporters that he was just reminding himself of what to do at the free throw line.  What he said exactly whenever he talked to himself remains a mystery.

Some players are so good at shooting free throws, that they are able to stray away from their usual free throw rituals.  Take Michael Jordan for example.  During a game against the Denver Nuggets, Jordan shot a free throw with his eyes closed. This was not an All Star game or a charity event, it was a real regular season game.  And of course, he made it. 

The most important aspect of the ritual is that is has to work for the player.  You can have the best ritual in the world, but if you’re not making your free throws, there’s going to be problems.  Sticking to the basics is probably best.  I wouldn’t recommend incorporating the eyes closed thing when working on your ritual.  Leave that to the professionals.


1. K.C. - August 12, 2007

One of the most unique routines that I remember was that of Harold Minor . Cant remember if he did it when he was with the Miami Heat as a pro, but when he was at the University of Southern Califormia he used to bounce the ball real hard, then rub and massage the ball and then the kicker he would craddle the ball behind his back from his right hand to his left hand before he shot his freethrow(Minor was a lefty) Also Minor was a heck of a college player who didnt have as much sucess as a pro. never the less his freethrow style was unique. After watching thousands of high school,college, and pro basketball games I beleive technique is important but I beleive the mental aspect is so underrated. Great freethrow shooters know they are going to make every freetrow whether its the start of the game or if its 2 seconds left and the game is on the line. Great freethrow shooters have supreme confidence in there ability to make a clutch freethrow they want to have the ball more than anyone else on the floor. They dont sense that fear of failure or consequences that most players feel in those pressure situations. thus the term” Ice water in his Veins”

2. The Mixtape Monster - August 13, 2007

Is it Agent Zero who rocks the around the back twice before shooting it?

3. Marquis Chapman - August 13, 2007

Yeah, I think Arenas does do that. Jalen Rose used to not even dribble the ball at the free throw line. I’m not sure if he still does it though.

4. tsos20 - August 13, 2007

A free throw is different than any other shot. It’s almost like bowling, the same shot every time with no defense. Like a pitcher throwing a pitch. A free throw is more mental than physical. Women are just as capable as men.

The rituals are to get comfortable mentally. To get “in the zone”. 3 point shots would improve if players could take their time and perform rituals; but defense prevents it.
The Sultan on Sports


5. KD's Shimmy - OKCTalk - January 22, 2009

[…] Re: KD’s Shimmy Free Throw Rituals […]

6. Talking to Toddlers - July 7, 2013

Here are four facts you must understand if you are ever going to effectively deal with the terrible twos or children behavior problems.

7. http://www.furnitureofdalton.com/ForumRetrieve.aspx?ForumID=2803&TopicID=1517584&NoTemplate=False - September 8, 2014

It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this fantastic blog!
I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS
feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group.
Chat soon!

8. cuisimaz.blogspot.com - October 5, 2014

The centrifugal action of these juicers makes them apt for juicing
out from almost every fruit oor vegetable except
for some leafy vegetables or wheat grass.
Smoothie Makers are basically like your standard kitchen food processor,
but manufactured to make the best quality smoothies easily
and quickly without the need for different utensils and appliances.

It is nice having basically three different sized cups for the chopper.

9. Waka - June 3, 2015

The best ritual in the world wouldn’t help Andre Drummond to become a better free throw shooter, lol. Or maybe his ritual is missing those free throws?
As for Karl Malone: I think he once stated that he constantly reminded himself to concentrate on the free throw. He sucked at free throws earlier in his career and a mental coach asked him what he was thinking about when taking those shots. Malone responded with “the game, the points, the next play” and the coach replied: “See? You are thinking too much. Just think about the free throw you are going to take and nothing else”.

10. bandar bola sbobet - June 20, 2015

I alike your expressive style of writing, observe it up fop.

11. radiant skin cream - July 12, 2015

I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

12. Tempat Wisata Di Indonesia - August 5, 2015

This article presents clear idea designed for the new visitors of blogging, that truly
how to do blogging.

13. plataformas de emissão online - August 6, 2015

Its not my first time to visit this website, i am browsing this web page
dailly and get nice facts from here all the time.

14. model rambut - August 9, 2015

Its not my first time to pay a visit this site, i am browsing this web page dailly and get pleasant information from here everyday.

15. Patios Wolverhampton - August 15, 2015

Simply wish to say your article is as astounding.

The clarity to your put up is just nice and
i could suppose you are a professional on this subject. Well together with your permission let
me to take hold of your RSS feed to keep up to date with approaching post.

Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

16. wenerolog - August 18, 2015

Thankfulness to my father who informed me about this weblog, this blog is actually remarkable.

17. dining room table with china cabinet - August 21, 2015

We enjoyed our cruise on the inspiration so much we gave our young adult kids the
choice of Christmas presents or a cruise to Mexico.
Fringed ends or bold decorative patterns are some of the unusual featured embellishments.
The secluded setting offers a back-to-nature retreat far from the maddening city crowds, yet within 20-minutes of Middlebury, VT’s restaurants,
shops and the college.

18. angel.co - August 22, 2015

Hey there are using WordPress for your site platform?I’m new to the blog world but I’m
trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any html
coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

19. работа в киеве вакансии - August 22, 2015

excellent points altogether, you simply gained
a emblem new reader. What could you recommend in regards to your post that you just made some days in the past?
Any positive?

20. boruto naruto movie - August 23, 2015

boruto naruto movie

The Sacred Free Throw Ritual | All Talk Sports

21. avis machine à pain kenwood bm450 - August 24, 2015

Cherche notice lit parapluie tex baby de chez carrefour
avec bassinet merci pour votre aide.

22. bokashi composting - August 27, 2015

I used to be able to find good advice from your blg articles.

23. gaming mousepads - September 2, 2015

I seriously love yoour blog.. Excellent colors & theme.
Did you build this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping
to create my own site and wouhld like to find out where you got
this from or what the theme is called. Cheers!

24. corredor de inmuebles certificado - October 3, 2015

No collections agency would go after something that old. Because there are more properties available for
renting than ever before and there are more potential tenants looking for homes than ever before.
SPR Buildtech Launched Residential Apartments – SPR Imperial
Estate at Sector 82 Faridabad.

25. comment devenir riche rapidement - October 10, 2015

Howdy! This bllog post could nott be writtten any better!
Going through this post reminds me of my previokus roommate!
He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly
will send this article too him. Fairly certain he’ll
have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

26. best preferable house - October 16, 2015

Youu are so awesome! I ԁon’t think I’ve read through something like that befօre.
So grat to find somebody with a ffew uniquе thoughts օn this topic.
Really.. thanks for sstarting this up. This website iss something that iѕ requireԀ onn the web, someone with a bit of

27. www.thailandenjoy.com - October 21, 2015

Good information. Lucky me I ran across your site by chance (stumbleupon).
I’ve book-marked it for later!

28. IT services - October 29, 2015

I always spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s articles or reviews all the time
along with a cup of coffee.

29. DermaFi - November 15, 2015

It’s truly very difficult in this full of activity life to listen news on TV, thus I simply use internet for that purpose,
and obtain the most up-to-date news.

30. muaythai-sport.com - November 26, 2015

I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

31. payroll portal orange county - November 28, 2015

I pay a visit daily some blogs and sites to read articles, except this weblog provides quality based posts.

32. farouk chi ceramic irons - December 9, 2015

That is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.

Simple but very precise info… Thanks for sharing this one.

A must read article!

33. Www.talad-pra.com - December 14, 2015

What i do not realize is in reality how you’re now not actually much more neatly-preferred than you might be now.
You are so intelligent. You know therefore considerably when it comes to this subject, made
me in my view consider it from a lot of numerous angles.
Its like men and women are not interested except it’s
something to accomplish with Girll gaga! Your own stuffs excellent.
At all times handle it up!

34. watch free - December 25, 2015

I constantly spent my half an hour to read this web site’s content daily along with a mug oof

35. Rencontre adultère - December 28, 2015

When some one searches for his vital thing, so he/she desires to be available that in detail, so that thing is
maintained over here.

36. wireless speakers for surround sound - January 10, 2016

It’s actually a great and useful piece of info. I’m happy that you just shared this useful information with
us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

37. Biomelt Dietrich bonhoeffer - January 12, 2016

Hiya very nice site!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful ..
I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also?
I’m happy to seek out numerous helpful information here within the put up,
we’d like work out more strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing.
. . . . .

38. Rideau métallique Paris - January 18, 2017

I am actually delighted to read this webpage posts which contains plenty of useful data,
thanks for providing these information.

39. muaythai2014 - May 23, 2017

I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a
blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and let me
tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that
too few people are speaking intelligently about.
I am very happy I found this in my hunt for something relating
to this.

40. Andrew - August 1, 2018

Great post!

41. kw4c - January 9, 2019

In recent times, the demand of such courses is one the high because learners find varied types of attractive facilities for
making their dream come true. The place with its natural scenic beauty, clear waters and the
serene surroundings generally is a paradise and captivates the visitors using its
charm. In his late years, when Matisse got sick again and was expected to lie around the bed
as a consequence of duodenal carcinoma and gallbladder disease, he picked the scissors and craved for the arts of paper clips just
like a child. Here

42. Hair Extensions - September 8, 2019

Hair Extensions

The Sacred Free Throw Ritual | All Talk Sports

43. click here - September 12, 2019

click here

The Sacred Free Throw Ritual | All Talk Sports

44. bo ga 999 - January 18, 2020

Hi there colleagues, how is all, and what you want to say about
this piece of writing, in my view its in fact remarkable in support of me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: