A New Unique Way To Practice Free Throws And Add Pressure

This is a unique way to practice free throws.

We all know that it's nearly impossible to simulate an actual free throw that occurs during games. However, here is a great way to apply additional pressure in a practice setting.

You play 3v3, 4v4, or 5v5. However, the rules are slightly different.

Rule #1 - A made basket gives you the right to shoot free throws

When you make a basket while playing, you do NOT earn a point. However, you earn the right to shoot free throws which can earn you points.

A made two point basket earns two free throw attempts.

A made three point basket earns three free throw attempts.

Rule #2 - Stay on offense when you make one free throw

If you make one free throw, you get to stay on offense and keep the ball. It's a variation of make-it, take-it with free throws.

Rule #3 - To score points, you must make two or three free throws for each set that you shoot

After one made free throw for each set, each additional make adds one point to the team score.


1. If no free throws are made, then the team will lose possession of the ball. Offense and defense switches.

2. If only one free throw is made, then the team will maintain possession but earn zero points.

3. If a second free throw is made, then the team will maintain possession and add one point to the team score.

4. If a player shoots three free throws and makes all three, then the team will maintain possession and add two points to the team score.

Depending on your preference, you can also add a rule that a player shoots free throws when fouled on a shot attempt.

A special thanks to Sergio Masferrer for sharing the drill and idea. Sergio is a Spanish coach now residing in the Netherlands.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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brett morgan says:
1/29/2018 at 5:39:30 AM

I like the concept. Do you rotate players shooting the FTs? Otherwise there is a risk of a dominant player getting way more FT practice than others- which could be construed as replicating game day, but I'd like to have my lesser players with clutch experience in case they find themselves in such a situation.


Behnam says:
1/24/2018 at 11:56:59 AM

thanks. it is great drill


Sergio Masferrer says:
1/23/2018 at 1:41:51 PM

Thanks a lot for posting the drill :-)

Indeed, T.H.Reynolds, it slows the play down. But still, the main target of this exercise is not the game itself but practicing free throws with the intensity and pressure to score of a "real" match.

About making the free throws live, here there is a conflict, as the drill is thought to put as much pressure as possible in the shooter.

  1 person liked this.  

mww says:
1/18/2018 at 3:27:13 AM

Nice drill. Definitely something that you can throw in for a practice to change things up a bit -- especially if you go 3x3 or 4x4 which opens up a bit more scoring opportunities.

The only change I may suggest is that all missed free throws are "live" so you can work on rebounding and boxing out.

  1 person liked this.  

T. H. Reynolds says:
1/18/2018 at 3:07:23 AM

Great idea but it will slow play down too much. Play to 5 by 1’s or 10 by 2/3’sbut the game winner doesn’t count unless 2/3 free throws are made by player that made game winner.

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