There’s an interesting article in the New York Times today where Bob Thate, former shooting coach for the Nets, compares the tennis serve to shooting free throws in basketball:
He views free-throw shooters and servers as practitioners of essentially the same art — one more positivist than impressionist, its strokes predicated on rhythm and routine.
“There’s a great correlation,” he said Monday night from Dallas, where he was summoned by the point guard Jason Kidd to deliver a weeklong free-throw tutorial. “You’re not going up and down the court or side to side, you’re standing at the line and 10,000 people are watching you hit the ball.”
The serve and the free throw share key components: foot placement; body balance; weight shift; toss and follow through. Misses happen when players’ minds are willing but their mechanics are weak, or vice versa.