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Free throw shooting: The effect of practice and visualization on free throw shooting percentages

10 May 2004


This study describes and evaluates the effect of practice and visualization on free throw shooting percentages of thirteen high school , varsity level, girls' basketball players. The performance was objectively assessed through statistical compilation and analysis of percentages over a four phase study period, lasting the length of the nearly four month season. Each of the four training methods lasted three weeks. The study started with the players not practicing or using any visual training. The players had daily practice during the second phase. During the third phase, the players had visualization, but no physical practice of the free throw. The athletes used both daily practice and visualization during the fourth and final phase. The purpose of this qualitative study was to answer the following research questions: 1) What are some strategies that can be employed with female high school basketball players to improve their free throw percentage? 2) How does daily practice affect free throw shooting percentage? 3) How do various visualization techniques affect free throw shooting percentage? 4) How does a combination of practice and visualization affect free throw shooting percentage? 5) What is the athlete's perception of various techniques? This study took place in a large rural high school located in the Pacific Northwest. The participants in this study were female varsity basketball players ranging from 15-18 years of age. Information was gathered through a variety of methodological approaches including observations, interviews and physical testing. Statistics from games will not be used for analysis of this study because of the varying levels of playing time and shot attempts. To protect the participants' right to privacy and anonymity, numbers were used to represent the different athletes.


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