February 5, 2020 at 7:38 pm #175954
One of my favorite competitive shooting drills is a Free throw Ladder. Very similar to the shooting ladder that TJ presented at the fall clinic in Dallas but obviously with free throws. We number the players on the team from 1 to 15 (or your bottom number ). We run this ladder all year long. To set the initial ladder, we collect data for about two weeks on individual free throw percentages. I put the players on the ladder from the lowest percentage shooter down to the highest shooting percentage at the bottom. I started this after my first year of coaching, I found the lesser shooters would really focus and work hard to maintain their spots or advance up the ladder. The better shooters had to maintain focus and concentrate to move up the ladder. The by product is that everyone improved as free throw shooters.
The Ladder can ran several different ways:
-We put the two competing at the same goal and they rebound for each other. We shoot 10 free throws for that spot, two and rotate, helps to make it more game like with the anticipation of free throws coming and made shots needed to stay on pace or get ahead. Most makes out of 10 gets the spot, a tie and no spots are exchanged. I still chart their free throw information. Usually we have two or three rounds, at the end of the rounds we celebrate who is at the top of the free throw ladder
-The basic way is that the person at the bottom can challenge someone no more then two spots above them.
ex. 12 can challenge spots 11 or 10. 12 wins gets that spot. If 12 challenges 10, 11 has to challenge 9 because they can only challenge two spots above them. Depending on numbers one might have to say odd spots can challenge today or even spots, anything to make sure every gets the opportunity to advance up the ladder.
-To change things up after the ladder has been going for awhile; I have had an upside down day. 12 challenges 1, 11 challenges 2, etc… or and even can only challenge an even spot or an odd can only challenge another odd spot. Anything you can think of to add variety.
I have found this a great way to add competition and pressure to free throw shooting. The players really enjoy and look forward to the free throw ladder.