Mechanical Analysis of a Basketball Free Throw Analytical Essay by Nicky

Mechanical Analysis of a Basketball Free Throw
A discussion of the mechanics of a successful free throw in basketball.
# 149045 | 1,335 words | 3 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 21, 2011 in Sport (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper breaks down a successful basketball free throw into a series of mechanical steps. First, the paper describes the importance of this shot, then illustrates the preliminary phases that lead to the free throw. It also notes the importance of balance in making a free throw and the velocity of the ball. Additionally, the paper points out why many free throw shots are missed based on form and other factors. The paper concludes by stating that muscle memory, confidence, and habituation are all essential components of practice for the successful athlete.

From the Paper:

"The backswing begins with the ball is held stationary at waist level. The ball is raised up toward shoulder level by flexing the shoulder muscles and extending the player's body length. "Since the trunk carries approximately 50 per cent of the body weight, acceleration of the trunk upwards produces significant forces downward toward the floor " (Alexander & Way 2009). Energy should be channeled through the trunk into the ball, not forward or backward, which diverts energy ineffectually from the propulsive movement of the object as well as interferes with accuracy. "A few authors have linked quantitative and qualitative suggestions for angle of projection," of the player's coiled body before the release, with some suggesting a medium arch of 35-45o; others a low arch of 49-55o; and still others a medium arch of 55-60o," with an estimated average of 45o for all shooters across the literature on the subject (Hudson 1982, p.96). However, degree of trunk inclination has not been found to be significantly different between high, low, and medium-skilled players, and fairly idiosyncratic within a certain range."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Alexander, Marion & Dana Way. (2009). Mechanics of the free throw. Coach's Info. Retrieved June 13, 2009 at
  • Bruchu. (2008). Tim Duncan's free throw technique analyzed. Xs & Os of Basketball.
  • Hudson, Jackie L. (19842). Free throw. Originally published in: J. Terauds (Ed.), Biomechanics in Sports (pp. 95-102), Del Mar, CA: Academic Publishers. 1982. Retrieved June 2009 at

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Mechanical Analysis of a Basketball Free Throw (2011, November 21) Retrieved April 04, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Mechanical Analysis of a Basketball Free Throw" 21 November 2011. Web. 04 April. 2020. <>