Why Big Men Can’t Shoot Free Throws

Free throw shooting is a crucial part to winning games and it often determines 5-6 wins for a team during a season.

The problem is that a high percentage of big men simply can’t make free throws. They are bricklayers and at Pro Shot we are tired of the excuses. We don’t want to hear them no more.

Guards are not supposed to miss free throws. Coaches get mad at guards that miss from the charity stripe. But often times coaches, parents and fans exempt big men from making their free throws.

We have heard the excuses. “He has big hands.” “He has big limbs.” It has gotten to the point that the NBA is having to change rules to protect these poor shooters. The “Hack a Shaq” is no longer.

NBA–PLEASE quit protecting these players. Maybe they should be exposed and maybe if they don’t want to be intentionally fouled, they should get into a gym and practice their free-throws. Maybe they should focus on changing their free throw mechanics.

I have actually heard coaches utter, “My big men don’t need to make free throws. They need to play defense and get rebounds.” If I have heard this before, don’t you believe these players have heard this before? Of course.

We need to teach our big players that free throw shooting is important and quit making excuses. At Pro Shot, we truly believe the main reason why big men aren’t better shooters is that many coaches don’t make them responsible for their actions.

When a coach gets a big man on the roster he/she is delighted simply because there are so few of them. Let’s face it–there are millions upon millions of guards in this world, but few big men. When some coaches get the “golden child”, they have a tendency of giving them some slack when it comes to free throw shooting. Recently, I had an AAU coach tell me, “That’s not his job (the big man) to make free throws. That’s what my guards do.”

Coaches must believe that big men can and should make free throws. We also believe the problem is getting worse and not better.

When I grew up in the 70’s, all players were supposed to make free throws. With the age of the internet and cable television, we have been beseeched by watching big men shoot bricks night after night. Every big kid watching sees the struggles of DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard. They get used to it and they start believing, “If it’s okay for that player to miss, then it’s ok if I miss.”

From an early age, coaches must explain to “Bigs” that missing free throws is unacceptable. They must be taught quality shooting form and that making your free throws is FREE points. Sometimes players forget this.