100 Free Throws In a Row

by Kenny Eller on October 21, 2010

There are a couple of ways to always find a place for yourself on on any court in the World.  It really comes down to being efficient in some avenue of the game.  That can be playmaking, scoring, defending, or shooting.

Of the four just named, shooting is the easiest one for any player to control.  Strike that last comment about being easy, because it’s really not easy.  It takes a lot of hard work, but you don’t have to be quick, or be able to jump out of the building to be able to shoot.  Thus, anyone can learn to be a great shooter.

Foundation

Shooting when stripped down, is fairly basic.  Like most things, it begins with a foundation.  Without a solid foundation, it is difficult to become great at anything.  Shooting is the same way.

The foundation of shooting is form.  Correct form is very important for consistency.  Every great shooter is consistent.

Mix form with hard work and in no time, anyone can become a better shooter, if not a great shooter.

Hard Work

Define hard work I hear you asking.  This is what we did with my brother as he was coming up as a player.

When my brother, Bobby (six years younger than me), was ending his seventh grade year in middle school, I took him to the high school coach and had the coach look at my brother’s basketball shooting form.

Why the high school coach?  Because he needed to hear it from someone other than his older brother.

So that day, form was corrected and his job that night was to go home and practice that form.

1,000 shots that night was the directive given by the coach.

So we went home to our outdoor court and stood by the rim and I rebounded 1,000 shots from about 3-4 feet away from the basket for my brother.  At the time Bobby wasn’t strong enough to shoot properly from a further distance, but that would come later as he grew.

For the summer basketball league we made an agreement that besides trying to win a game, Bobby would take no 3-pointers in any game.   We did this strictly based upon strength.   He wasn’t able to keep correct form when shooting 3-pointers at the time, so the choice was made to eliminate them.  This was tough for him at first, but he bought in because the goal was to be a better player.

My brother was always quick.  Always a scorer.  We played tons of games of one-on-one growing up, so creating shots was in his blood. During those recreation league days he would average +25 points per game and sprinkle in +40 point games on occasion.

As he grew and began working out with weights, he got stronger.   Once he was able to keep correct form, the 3 pointer was put back in his game.

The summer between his freshman and sophomore years of high school he would take between 3,000-4,000 jumpers a week.   Not set shots…jumpers.

Results from Hard Work

The results were phenomenal.

Moving around the 3 point line he would routinely make over 40 of 50 shots.  Quickly too, one after the other.  Game time speed was key.

The 100 Free Throws in a row goal

On the free throw line it was even better.

He made a goal of making 100 free throws in a row.   Every day he would incorporate shooting free throws into the end of his shooting work.  Many times he would get 51, 63, 77, etc and then have one miss.

He stayed with it.

By the time the summer was over he not only achieved his goal of 100 free throws in a row, he made 159.

159 straight.

He was automatic.  It all began with a solid foundation, coupled with a lot of hard work.

So I know what it takes to become a great shooter.

A lot of people know what it takes.  The problem is it’s NOT EASY TO SHOOT 3,000-4,000 JUMPERS IN A WEEK. That’s 600-800 a day, 5 days a week.

If you haven’t shot lately, go shoot 100 or so, it will wear you out.

2010-2011 Basketball Shooting Goal:

Starting today, my goal is to make 100 free throws in a row before this time next year (10/21/2011).   I will take you along on my progress, right from the start, including some upcoming video posts.

It will most likely be a bumpy ride, as it’s been over 12 years since those days of shooting and rebounding every day, but shooting is like riding a bicycle.  Once you can do it, it comes back fairly quickly.

The Why?

I mentioned to my brother that I was writing about his shooting feats from back in the day and his first question was, why 100?

Why would I care about making 100 free throws in a row at this point?

The answer is simple and complex.

The easy answer is I’ve never done it and would love to say that I have.

The more in depth answer is I want to push myself mentally.

When Michael Jordan hands me the ball and says, “Ball in,” I want to be thinking everything is going in.  I want to be prepared.

I don’t plan on standing at the free throw line of course when we play, but shooting free throws allows me to work on form and technique.   The foundation.

Join Me!!!

Would anyone else like to join with me on the road to 100?

If so, put your name below in the comments section and let’s do it together!

100 I know sounds BIG, but in order to become better you MUST think BIG.   Even if you fall short of the goal, and you won’t if you dedicate yourself, you will become a much better shooter.

Day one begins now.  Have fun!

I will begin keeping a running total of the number of free throws I’ve made in a row on the right side column, starting today.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Shane Turk October 21, 2010 at 9:01 am

Sounds fun Kenny, I’m in! Bobby making 154 is crazy, the most I ever made in a row was 33 :-) Hoops tonight?

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Kenny Eller Kenny Eller October 21, 2010 at 9:16 am

Awesome Shane! It should be a fun ride!

Yeah Bobby made 159. It was crazy!

No hoops tonight as I have something I have to do, but I’d like to tomorrow.

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Shane Turk October 21, 2010 at 9:20 am

Let me know about tomorrow, I may be able to play if we start early enough.

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Kenny Eller Kenny Eller October 21, 2010 at 11:43 am

Great! Will do!

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Charissa October 21, 2010 at 9:54 am

Great article!! It takes hard work to be great and a lot of folks are not willing to put in the time or effort! Good luck on your road to 100!

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Kenny Eller Kenny Eller October 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Very true! Does this mean you will rebound for me?? 😉

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Nate October 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Great goal! When playing in college I would shoot 100-200 free throws every day. My best ever was 99 out of 100, with 74 consecutive before a miss. I still wish I had worked harder to get to that 100 in a row mark! I’d join the challenge with you but I don’t really have consistent access to a gym right now.

You can do it, no doubt.

Very cool post man and I’m looking forward to following your progress with this.

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Kenny Eller Kenny Eller October 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Thanks Nate! Wow, that’s awesome that you made 99 of 100 and 74 in a row!

Yeah, I don’t have regular access to a gym either, which means I’ll be going after this on a double rim outdoors 😀

Thanks again for the support! I can’t wait to get out and get some shooting in!

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Dave October 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Kenny,

Would it make sense for a guy like me who never played ball and who has hit 40, to try this challenge too? You know I don’t know a thing about basketball but love reading your articles! Let me know what you think…

Dave

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Kenny Eller Kenny Eller October 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Dave! Thanks for the kind words man! Means a lot!

As far as the challenge goes, why not? If any part of you wants to try…TRY!

I can show you everything needed to make 100, if you’d like to come out sometime and shoot with me. The rest will be up to you! 😀

Let me know if you’re in!

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Mark Powers January 26, 2011 at 12:41 am

He hit 159?! The same brother that’s hardcore about his pushups, I assume? I know you can hit your goal, dude- I’m rooting for ya! . . . from over here on the bench :)

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Kenny Eller Kenny Eller January 26, 2011 at 8:28 am

Yeah, 159 and yes, my one and only brother (who is still pumping out at least 300 push-ups a day). :-)

Thanks for the support! I appreciate it!!

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Maxwell March 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I’ll do it! i’m a huge bball player and i’ll write back when i make my 100 in a row!
Thanks for the inspiration

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Kenny Eller Kenny Eller March 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Awesome Maxwell! Thanks for stopping by and best of luck on the road to 100! Keep me updated with your progress.

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