help needed with basketball throw!!

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by supergirl, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. supergirl

    supergirl Member

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    my son is scoring well on all parts of his CFA except the basketball throw. he is scoring around 45. he is not a ball player. his sport of choice has been swimming for many years. any suggestions on improving this quickly? the cfa is the only part of his application missing and we hesitate to send it in with such a low score on one part. if you fail one section do you fail the whole thing?
     
  2. Spanky58ggpt

    Spanky58ggpt Member

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    I remember seeing several posts on this and the USNA forum concerning practice techniques for improving the basketball throw. Most of them, as I recall suggested a technique similar to what track and field throwers use. I suggest you do a search on the forums and have you son talk to track and field coach at his school. DS got advice from track coach and improved his CFA significantly over scores from SLS(USMA). He also had a workout partner and I think the competitive streak shone through for both of them when it came time for CFA. As with anything, practice, practice,practice.:guns6:
     
  3. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot

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    Technique over strength at this point

    In order to get quick improvement, the technique needs to be improved right away. My son's coach who administered the test (and who had given the test many times in the past) told my son to swing the ball more from the side rather than overhand. While doing so, the back twists (or rather untwists). At the same time, the thrower's bottom should be near his heels at the start of the throw, and end up with the bottom moved away from the heels (i.e. kind of a catapult action.) The combination of the twist and catapult needs to be practiced, but it is a technique that might help. On top of that, continue to work on strength (but don't overuse.) I think the best strength trick for throwing is tossing a baseball back and forth at increasing distances. (Pitchers do "long toss" to strengthen and loosen up their arm) However, because you are close to completing the test, do not over do the strength training and end up with an injury!
     
  4. mom14

    mom14 Member

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    Our son had never really been a ball player either and had some trouble with the basketball throw. He worked with the baseball coach to get some tips, which helped. We also bought a weighted medicine ball type thing that he practiced with. We found that he required a lot of warm up starting with the medicine ball and moving to the basketball and refining technique. He improved from under 50 feet to about 77 feet. Work with some of the technique tips above to find what works for you. We found that the twist of the hip was a key. Good luck, it is a strange test!
     
  5. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    I’m a HUGE (not size wise, I mean I play it a lot)baseball player, so I may be able to help. I also coach kids who have no idea what so ever how to throw.

    First to get more power USE YOUR LEGS! Almost none of the power is generated in the arm its just an extension of the rest of your body (longer an object is the faster it spins!)

    Next use rotation in your body to generate more speed, notice when any pitcher or QB throws a ball at first they have shoulders pointing at the target, so your chest is perpendicular to it.

    And have a long follow through in your motion, you don’t want to be slowing down your motion before you let go of the ball!

    Finally do not stay upright the whole time at the start of the motion you should be leaning back slightly, and when you finish you should be way forward. Look at this video, at about 4 seconds in his body is at a “T”. The bottom of the “T” is his left leg, the back of the “T” is his right leg, and the front is his torso, and arm. Now I’m not saying pitch the basketball, I am saying try to use some of the mechanics that are used in pitching and incorporate them into the basketball throw.

    Mechanics are the only quick way to improve distance.

    One last piece of advice is USE LEGS I cant emphasize that enough! So many people don’t use legs enough, even people playing for years!

    Hope I helped! :thumb:
    Feel free to PM me and I can go in much more detail.
     
  6. mom14

    mom14 Member

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    The problem is that you have to be on your knees and you can not stagger them. They must be on a line perpendicular to the direction you are throwing. So legs are effectively taken out of the equation.
     
  7. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    Thanks for that! didn’t know about that before :shake:

    In that case still use your legs! When playing a catcher sometimes (rarely but it DOES happen so it’s a good skill to know) you need to throw from your knees. one good technique is to lean back so your butt in on your heels, then when you are like that twist your shoulders so they are as close to perpendicular to your legs as possible. When in that position lift yourself off your heels and get all your energy going forward as possible. and throw the ball when you are as forward as possible.

    Once again feel free to pm me. I could potentially provide a video if I can find a way to get it on the site. If there is anything wrong with that approach to throwing it tell me! :thumb:
     
  8. supergirl

    supergirl Member

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    thanks for the advice. found some other threads with suggestions too. we will keep practicing. by the time all of this process is done i will feel like i am applying to the academy too!!! do they take 44 year old women??
     
  9. Spanky58ggpt

    Spanky58ggpt Member

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    They do not for fear that they may overrun and take command!:shake:

    JK They actually realize the value of the support structure provided.:thumb:
     
  10. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Look on http://www.military.com/military-fitness/fitness-test-prep/service-academy-cfa for more info.
     
  11. dtkdarnoc

    dtkdarnoc Member

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    Grippy

    One thing which helped was using a basketball which was more grippy. This was his weakest event. Kid would sometimes lose it during the throw. Ball has to be regulation sized, but make sure he can get a decent grip on it.

    Also, son went from an average of about 55 in practice to about 66 during test. Adrenaline helps! Remember, this will be the LAST time he ever has to do this - it just doesn't come up much at the Academy.
     
  12. supergirl

    supergirl Member

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    update

    update - son retook CFA 2+ weeks ago. hit mean or above on everything but basketball throw was 55ft. his ALO told him to send it in. he added 11ft in 10days. what really helped was a session with a football coach who also coached field events for track. had my son seperate his legs. he was kneeling with them close together. and taught him to use/think with the non throwing arm. had him twist back hold ball with both hands take non throwing arm off and bring to sky, throw bb along that trajectory as non throwing arm "rips a hole in the sky, then elbows the person behind you". we saw an immediate jump in his results. practiced technique until day before test along with throwing a 4lb med ball for strength. was hitting right around 50ft; rested one day then threw 55ft. he also needed to warm up the throwing arm more than he was. if we had more time he probably could've achieved farther but practicing for the test was getting in the way of swim practices. very hard to butterfly after days of pushups/pullups and the last thing he needed was to injure a shoulder. thanks for the advice.
     

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