Shooting from a Chair: Leadup Drill for 3-Pt. Shooting and Free Throw
By Hal Wissel

Shooting from a chair fosters consistency in lifting the ball to the basket and extending the elbow completely on the follow-through. It is the single best lead-up drill for developing 3-point shooting and free throw shooting. Shooting from a chair helps you learn how to center yourself both mentally and physically. When you are physically centered, you are in a state of readiness; your muscles relax and you breathe a little deeper and more slowly than usual. When you are physically centered it helps you become mentally centered. You become more alert, focused and confident. Centering allows you to raise your center of gravity and transfer your force from back to shoulders to follow-through. This helps you generate full power for your shot. Start about nine feet from the basket with your shooting hand facing the front of the rim while keeping your elbow in as far as your flexibility allows. Your shooting hand is above your shoulder between your ear and shoulder. Use your non-shooting hand to place the ball in your shooting hand. Do not reach for the ball with your shooting hand. The index finger of your shooting hand should be at the ball’s midpoint. Before shooting visualize a successful shot with good form. Keep your shoulders front on the shot. Lift the ball to the basket rather than throw it.
     Say your personalized key words with confidence and rhythm from the start of the shot to the release of the ball. Emphasize the last word for force. The recommended last word is “Through!” Use feedback from the feel of the shot and its distance, direction, and reaction on the rim. If the shot was short, emphasize the key word “Through!” To increase distance, use a sequential buildup of force using the key words “Back-front-through!”
     Start nine feet from the backboard. When you are able to make five in a row, move the chair back to the second spot, one giant step to 12 feet from the backboard. After making five in a row from the second spot, move to fifteen feet from the backboard or free-throw distance. Continue the drill, moving the chair back one giant step after making five in a row from each longer distance until you are shooting from the 3-point range.

Shooting from a Chair:  Lead-Up Drill for 3-Pt. Shooting and Free Throw