Washington, Nov 8 (ANI): Want to shoot the perfect free throw in basketball? Well, two North Carolina State University engineers have come forward to help you beat the likes of Shaquille O'Neal and Ben Wallace.
Drs. Chau Tran and Larry Silverberg, mechanical and aerospace engineers at NC State, have figured out the best way to shoot a free throw.
To get a swish rather than a brick, you need the best possible conditions for releasing the basketball from your hand, said the study authors.
The engineers used hundreds of thousands of three-dimensional computer simulations of basketball free-throw trajectories to arrive at their conclusions.
After running the simulations, they gave a number of major recommendations to improve free throw shooting.
First, the engineers say that shooters should launch the shot with about three hertz of backspin, which means that the ball should make three complete backspinning revolutions before reaching the hoop.
The engineers explained that backspin deadens the ball when it bounces off the rim or backboard, giving the ball a better chance of settling through the net.
Tran and Silverberg say that one should aim the ball for the back of the rim , leaving close to 5 centimeters - about 2 inches - between the ball and the back of the rim.
According to the simulations, aiming for the centre of the basket decreases the probabilities of a successful shot by almost 3 percent.
The engineers say that the ball should be launched at 52 degrees to the horizontal, i.e., the shot should, at the highest point in its arc to the basket, be less than 2 inches below the top of the backboard.
Free-throw shooters should also release the ball as high above the ground as possible, without adversely affecting the consistency of the shot; release the ball so it follows the imaginary line joining the player and the basket; and release the ball with a smooth body motion to get a consistent release speed.
"Our recommendations might make even the worst free-throw shooters - you know who you are, Shaquille O'Neal and Ben Wallace - break 60 percent from the free-throw line. A little bit of physics and a lot of practice can make everyone a better shooter from the free-throw line," said Silverberg. (ANI)