The Art Of The Free Throw

Josh Childress, Atlanta Hawks

The Shot:
Video

The Free Throw:
Josh Childress, aka "Chill" to Hawk teammates and a second-year swingman, goes through a very distinct process when shooting free throws. "First, I squeeze the ball to get rid of any moisture," said Childress. "I want the ball to be completely comfortable in my hands." After the squeeze Childress spins the ball, almost like a magician shuffling a deck of cards, in his left hand and takes a second or two to catch his breath. "Chances are if you are at the free throw line you have just made a play," says Chill. "So you will probably need a moment or two to calm down a little bit and refocus." Once he catches his breath, he takes two dribbles, bending on both, and lets it fly.

The Ritual:
Shooting free throws is more about feel than any other part of the game, says Childress. "I shoot at least 25 free throws a day," he says, "but the biggest thing is to be comfortable up there. It's the same routine every time, the same footwork. I've been shooting free throws the same way for a long time, so I don't think about my mechanics when I am at the stripe. I just try to get a good feel when I get up there, do my routine, and try to put the ball through the net."

The Others:
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