Monday, November 12, 2007

Free Throw Shooting Experiments



Fox Sports Net Sports Science

A recent episode of Fox Sports Net's "Sports Science" had an interesting discussion of the "X Factors" in sports. In terms of basketball, they conducted experiments to see what affects a player shooting free throws. First they took at look at what hinders shooting more during a game; sound or sight distractions.

At 116 decibels the Sacramento Kings' Arco Arena is considered the loudest measured arena in all of basketball. A college player named Brandon shot free throws in a somewhat empty gym. At first strobe lights and crazy fans were introduced near the baseline as distractions to test sight hinderances. Then a band named Throttle played guitar and drum music at 120 decibels. Brandon shot 70% with the visual distractions. With the band playing at such a loud rate, Brandon's heart rate spiked up and his FT% fell to 6 for 10, a 30% drop from before the sound. Brandon was 70% with visual distractions, and 60% with noise distractions, a slight difference. The experiment proved that sounds may have a greater effect on an athlete's free throw shooting than visual distractions do. So those inflatable sticks you bang together have a double purpose in distracting opposing team's shooters.

The other basketball experiment shown involved coaching styles and how they may affect a player's performance. They had a collegiate player shooting free throws over and over. They had 2 coaches with very different styles standing nearby the player at the line. For one part of the experiment, they had a coach constantly praising the shooter. For the second part, they had a coach continuously riding the guy and telling him he wasn't good enough. The second style really seemed to throw the shooter off. So it's quite possible that the coaching styles of guys like Bobby Knight might hurt players, although his schools have supplied the NBA with quite a bit of talent.

Of course every individual is different. Some may be more prone to noise distraction and some more prone to sound. Chad Johnson, wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, said he'd prefer having a coach like Bobby Knight. So it all may be in the perception of the player.

Learn more about the Sports Science show on Fox Sports Net.

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1 Comments:

At 1/29/2011 1:46 PM, Blogger PJ said...

6 out of 10?

Nice sample size.

 

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