Basketball Rebounder

Free-Throw Tips From Rick Barry

A must-have skill for any basketball player, pro and hobby players alike, is having a great free-throw shot. Players can practice this shot for hours on end and still not be where they want to be. Some of the greatest players in basketball history have close to 90% accuracy on this shot. To get to this point, players need to have a technique that is their own and be confident in what they are doing. Old school basketball lovers may recognize the name Rick Barry, who threw his free-throw shots “granny style”. A tool for any player nowadays is the ProShot Return, equipment with a net that surrounds the backboard and a return which sends the ball back to the shooter. Rick Barry didn’t have this piece of equipment, but if you want to practice your own technique, add this to your practice routine and you will be sure to be on your way to a more refined free-throw technique.

Tips From Rick Barry

“If you’re shooting 80 percent or better, great. If you can’t shoot 80 percent, you’re not a good free-throw shooter, that simple.” Says Rick Barry. Don’t be discouraged though. Barry encourages basketball players to try out shooting the ball underhanded to increase their percentage.


Take every shot exactly the same as the one before. Routine is Barry’s rule, and there are no exceptions to this rule. When you are placed in a free-throw situation you have to be able to focus on the shot, and not the situation. Don’t worry about the score of the game or what player is going to grab the ball after you shoot it, think about the routine that you have perfected. The shooter’s palms shouldn’t be underneath the ball, which is what one may think with an underhanded style. Barry says your hands need to be big enough to cover the ball properly and that your thumbs should be even.

Arms and Hands

During the majority of a game, a player’s arms are up in an unnatural position, playing defense, shooting and rebounding. When you get to the free-throw line, you arms are in a relaxed, neutral position, so your arms don’t tighten or tense up. From this stance, Barry makes a little cock of his wrist and then swings his arms towards the basket. When his arms are parallel to the floor, he rolls his hands together. The power you put behind swinging your arms, Barry says, is what you have to practice.

This technique, once you know the mechanics of it, comes down to just practicing it over and over. Routine, practice, and confidence are the key tools that Barry says one needs to become a great free-throw shooter. With these tips from the Hall of Famer, Rick Barry, and with the help of the ProShot Return, you can be on your way to having an 80 percent accuracy free-throw shot. The underhand style may not fit for you, but find your own technique and get a better basketball shooting form with practice and help from ProShot Return.