The “Free Throw Trainer” Aids in Distance, Direction, and Arc

Everyone has their own way of making their own shot from the foul line.  This slick little training device gives the foul shooter a visual target, and immediate feedback – “Did I shoot long or short, right or left? Was my arc right?”  With immediate feedback corrections can be made for distance, direction and arc.


The brain-child of inventor Al Heystek and his partner Andy Atwood, the Free Throw Trainer slips on a rim and is synched down with Velcro.  The yellow post with the red tip is the trick.  HIT THE RED TIP is the mantra as a shooter practices over and over again to develop that always-important muscle memory.


The Free Throw Trainer started out as just a yellow post standing up on the front of the rim.  Jim Schatz of the National Basketball Shooters Association suggested putting a black tip on the post, and then NCAA Head Coach Lance Loya of Mount Aloysius College in PA, suggested we change the tip to red, and so HIT THE RED TIP was born.  Coach Loya’s team was shooting a miserably low 54% percentage.  After using the Free Throw Trainer for a couple of weeks the team was shooting 82%.  An immense improvement by any measure.  Not every team can achieve that much change so quickly, or sustain it, but it documents the improvement that can happen when using the Free Throw Trainer.


HIT THE RED TIP.  Instead of trying and trying to sink the shot, a shooter is encouraged to just focus on the red tip and HIT THE RED TIP.  Stop trying, and trying to make the shot.  Practice with it long enough until you can see it in your mind’s eye.   During a game, go to the line, focus, and HIT THE RED TIP.  


Adam Filippi, currently with the Charlotte Hornets as their Director of Global Scouting, has a new book out, Free Throw Mastery,  in which the Free Throw Trainer is recommended as a practice device.  Adam’s recommendation is to focus on the RED TIP.  Hubie Brown has penned the forward to this, Adam’s second book at Shoot Like The Pros.


The Trainer is not without is challenges.  One often needs a ladder to get it up on the hoop, and after many shots, especially in really hot weather, the yellow post tends to dip down into the hoop.  That problem can be resolved by un-synching it and reversing it, but that is an admitted nuisance.  In time, another version might solve both challenges.


If you want to see the Free Throw Trainer in action go to