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Need help with the CFA Basketball throw.

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by anothercandidate, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. anothercandidate

    anothercandidate 5-Year Member

    Aug 1, 2010
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    I can do well on all the rest of the CFA (in fact, at this point I think I can even max out on pushups), but I'm afraid the basketball throw will keep me out. At the SLS, I beat the average on pushups, situps, the run, got the average on the pullups, and was only .1 second behind the shuttle run. But i got 47 ft on the basketball throw, so I failed the whole thing. It's not like I'm really out of shape or anything, I can do the other stuff... I just can't do a good job of throwing a stupid basketball and right now that's the biggest threat that could keep me out of West Point.

    Is there any kind of advice for thowing it? Some kind of trick? I've been practicing in my backyard but not really improving, only getting in the 45ish range. I talked to another candidate who passed the CFA and he said he got a passing 55, which you think would be a simple enough improvement but I just can't throw the stupid basketball like I need to. Any help?
  2. abeastlybeast

    abeastlybeast USMA Class of 2015 5-Year Member

    Apr 6, 2010
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    I had trouble with the basketball as well. Don't worry, with practice you can and will improve your throw. I actually increased my throw by about 20 feet with practice. Here is my technique:

    From the kneeling position, grasp the basketball with your hand, and try to almost 'cup' the basketball by curling your hand inwards towards your forearm. This should rest the basketball on your forearm and secure it in your hand simultaneously.

    When it's time to throw, keep your posture as straight and tall as possible. Slowly bend backwards, like you're attempting to touch your back to your feet. At the same time, twist your body as much as you can (if you're throwing righty, twist so that your right shoulder moves backwards; opposite for lefty). Pretend like you are a catapult; you're wanting to throw the basketball at the most effective angle (not too high so that it travels far enough, not too low so that it doesn't hit the ground prematurely).

    When in position, twist your body and use your body's momentum while throwing the ball. Almost attempt to throw the ball with your entire upper body. You may even have to yell out to get more power (sometimes I would go "ARGHH" when I threw it to release all power I could, sometimes it helped haha). The throw should almost start like a side-arm throw. Hold the ball down near the ground. When you release, throw like a catapult and bring your arm around so that you're throwing like a baseball. The ball should come over top your head and be thrown into the air like a catapult launches a rock.

    If you have any further questions on my form, let me know. This technique really helped me improve my throw. When I took the CFA I managed to throw the ball 67 feet. Even though this is the average, I practiced with a basketball that was smaller than the regulation size. 67 feet was an improvement compared to my first few throws.

    Good luck!
  3. freedomtruck

    freedomtruck 5-Year Member

    Mar 26, 2010
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    ^What beast said.

    When you start off, it's almost an underhand throw. When you move your torso forward and twist your body to generate throwing power, your arm should naturally switch to an overhand throw.

    Don't bend your elbow when you throw. Use the full length of the arm.

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