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Aaron England, Timothy Brusseau, Ryan Burns, Dirk Koester, Maria Newton, Matthew Thiese, and Benjamin Chase

an adolescent population by examining the differences in MR structures of the basketball free throw (FT) between experienced and less skilled adolescent male PE students. Methods Participants To maximize the likelihood of selecting two groups (skilled and less skilled) that varied in experience and

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Logan T. Markwell, Andrew J. Strick, and Jared M. Porter

(NBA) in the United States once the postponed season restarted following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown ( Cohen & Robinson, 2020 ). Specifically, it was suggested that NBA players’ free throw accuracy was greater once the season restarted, following the COVID-19 induced delay, compared with previous

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Luca Filipas, Davide Ferioli, Giuseppe Banfi, Antonio La Torre, and Jacopo Antonino Vitale

Basketball is a physically demanding team sport 1 requiring a high degree of technical skills during both offensive and defensive situations. 2 , 3 A free throw (FT) is a technical element of basketball resulting from a single foul penalty during game evolution. FTs are commonly shot from the FT

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Amy Gooding and Frank L. Gardner

Seventeen (17) members of three NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams completed measures of mindfulness and sport-related anxiety to examine the relationship between mindfulness, preshot routine, trait arousal, and basketball free throw shooting percentage. It was hypothesized that (a) mindfulness scores would predict game free throw shooting percentage, (b) practice free throw percentage (indicative of basic skill) would predict game free throw percentage, and (c) consistency in the length of prefree throw routine would predict game free throw percentage. Results indicate that levels of mindfulness significantly predict game free throw percentage and that practice free throw percentage also predicts game free throw percentage. Length and/or consistency of preshot routine were not predictive. Although not proposed as a hypothesis, a statistically significant relationship was also found between an athlete’s year in school (which reflects competitive basketball experience) and game free throw percentage. Together, these results clearly suggest that the combination of mindfulness, skill (practice free throw percentage), and competitive experience (year in school) all contribute to the prediction of competitive free throw percentage and that these variables are more central to successful free throw percentage at this level of competition than length/consistency of one’s preshot routine.

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Victoria Goosey-Tolfrey, Daniel Butterworth, and Calvin Morriss

Three-dimensional kinematic data were obtained from 15 male wheelchair basketball players performing a successful free throw. Players were divided into two groups, according to their International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) classification (Group 1: 2-2.5 point players and Group 2: 4-4.5 point players). The angle of release of the ball was 58 for both groups. Group 2 released the ball from a significantly greater height than Group 1 (1.57 – 0.12m v 1.78 – 0.17m; p < .05). Although nonsignificant, the following trends were found: Group 1 showed greater ball release speeds and generated greater angular velocity of the wrist at release while Group 2 generated greater shoulder flexion angular velocity at release. In conclusion, players from different IWBF classes tend to rely on different kinematic strategies to produce successful release conditions.

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Shawnee K. Harle and Joan N. Vickers

University basketball players (Team A) received quiet eye (QE) training over two seasons of league play, compared to two control teams (Team B and Team C), who competed at the top of the same league but did not receive similar training. QE was defined as the player’s final fixation on the hoop or backboard prior to the shooting action. In Season 1, Team A improved significantly, Pre to Post, in experimental accuracy, QE duration, and relative shot timing but did not transfer these improvements to league play during the season. At the conclusion of Season 2, Team A improved their free throw shooting accuracy by 22.62% to 76.66%, more than Team A (66.18%) or B (74.05%). The results highlight the importance of training a sustained duration of QE on a single location on the hoop prior to the execution of the shooting action. Theoretical and applied implications of training QE are discussed, and recommendations are made for future research and training.

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Craig A. Wrisberg and Mark H. Anshel

This study examined the relative effectiveness of various cognitive techniques on the basketball free throw shooting performance of young athletes. Forty boys (ages 10.2–12.4 years) who were subjectively rated as good free throw shooters by staff members at a 6-week summer sports camp were randomly assigned to one of four training conditions. All initially performed 20 baseline trials of the free throw shot with a 45-sec intershot interval. After the last baseline trial the boys in each group received instructions and practiced their respective preshot techniques. The next day they received a second instructional period followed by a series of 10 free throws. During the last 15 seconds of the 45-sec intershot interval on these trials, subjects engaged in their respective preshot activity. An analysis of covariance was used to determine group differences in free throw percentage during the test trials, with free throw percentage during baseline trials used as the covariate. The results suggested that mental imagery combined with arousal adjustment is a useful preshot cognitive strategy that young athletes may use to enhance their free throw shooting performance.

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J. Ted Miller and Edward McAuley

Though improved performance as a result of goal setting has been reported in organizational psychology studies, little research in sport settings has demonstrated these effects. This study was designed to examine the effects of a goalsetting training program on basketball free-throw performance, perceptions of success, and self-efficacy. Eighteen undergraduate students were matched by free-throw shooting ability, then randomly assigned to either goal-training (GT) or no-goal-training (NT) groups for a period of 5 weeks. Although the GT group reported significantly higher perceptions of success and self-efficacy than did the NT group, no significant differences between groups were revealed for free-throw accuracy. Correlational data suggested a stronger relationship between self-efficacy and free-throw performance for the GT group than for the NT group. Discussed are factors that contribute to the discrepancies between results found in sport related investigations of goal setting and those obtained from studies conducted in business and laboratory environments.

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Mark R. Wilson, Samuel J. Vine, and Greg Wood

The aim of this study was to test the predictions of attentional control theory using the quiet eye period as an objective measure of attentional control. Ten basketball players took free throws in two counterbalanced experimental conditions designed to manipulate the anxiety they experienced. Point of gaze was measured using an ASL Mobile Eye tracker and fixations including the quiet eye were determined using frame-by-frame analysis. The manipulation of anxiety resulted in significant reductions in the duration of the quiet eye period and free throw success rate, thus supporting the predictions of attentional control theory. Anxiety impaired goal-directed attentional control (quiet eye period) at the expense of stimulus-driven control (more fixations of shorter duration to various targets). The findings suggest that attentional control theory may be a useful theoretical framework for examining the relationship between anxiety and performance in visuomotor sport skills.

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Craig A. Wrisberg and Richard L. Pein

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between preperformance behavior and performance accuracy within the context of a competitive sporting event. Data were collected during varsity and intramural basketball games at a NCAA Division I university. The measures included length of the preshot interval and the number of free throws attempted and made by each player. From these data, the mean and within-subject standard deviation of preshot interval scores and free throw percentages were derived, and pairwise correlations among the measures were calculated. One-way MANOVA tests were performed to determine whether selected individual-difference and situational variables significantly influenced any of the measures. Of primary importance was the finding of a significant negative correlation between standard deviation of preshot interval and free throw percentage, indicating that higher percentage shooters maintained a higher level of temporal consistency in executing their preshot routines than did lower percentage shooters. Implications for the use of preshot interval data in research and intervention by sport psychology consultants are discussed.