21-in-5 free-throw drill From Winning Hoops

With everything you’re forced to squeeze into a practice, it’s tough to schedule quality time for free-throws. It’s easy to slip into a rut where you just have the players shoot a quick set of 40 foul shots to end practice.

Bill Agronin, the former women’s head coach at Niagara University in New York, offered readers one of his favorite free-throw shooting drills called the “21-in-5 foul-shooting drill.”

“This drill lets your players shoot foul shots while fatigued and under game-like pressure,” Agronin said.

21-in-5 free-throw drill

Line up your players on the baseline under a basket. Put five minutes on the scoreboard and have one player step to the foul line. He or she shoots a free throw and, if successful, attempts another one. If the shooter misses the first attempt, the entire team sprints to the opposite baseline and back. If he or she makes the first and misses the second attempt, the entire team sprints to half-court and back.

After completing the sprints, or if the shooter makes both free throws, the next player steps up to shoot. This continues until the goal of 21 made shots is achieved or the five-minute clock expires.

If the team fails to make the required number of shots and the clock expires, the players run two full-court sprints for each point under the goal. For example, if they make 15 foul shots in the five minutes, the entire team runs 10 full-court sprints.

If the players hit the goal of 21 made free throws within five minutes, keep it going. Use the remaining time to allow players who missed shots to shoot again, but this time without a penalty.

“The players shoot under the pressure of knowing that if they miss a free throw, the whole team must run,” Agronin said. “This drill has improved our team’s foul shooting and allowed us to be one of the best foul-shooting teams in our conference. It’s a great way to end practices.”