To say last year was a bad year at the line for Andre Drummond would be an understatement. He was worst in the league at 35 percent last season, which was down from his career average of 38 percent. People claim that he is bad because he does not practice them enough, which isn't true, and it is a too-simple way to look at the issue of free throw shooting.
There are people out there who would love to see Andre Drummond shoot his free throws underhanded. It worked for Rick Barry, so why wouldn't it work for Andre Drummond?
There's a mental block that comes with people who are bad at shooting free throws, and shooting underhanded is not going to get rid of that mental block. In order to overcome that mental block, Andre Drummond is looking at a unique technology to help.
According to Keith Langlois, Andre Drummond is using virtual reality to help with his free throws.
"I’ve been doing it three times every week. I have a system (at the team’s Auburn Hills practice facility) and I have one at my house, too," Drummond said. "So every day after practice, I’ll go home or watch it here."
The system that Andre Drummond is using is called STRIVR, and it was co-founded by a former Stanford placekicker, Derek Belch.
Andre Drummond puts on this virtual reality headset, and he watches only free throws that he made last season. He can look at these shots through a first-person perspective or a third-person perspective. By seeing only makes, Andre is able to see the form that he used for those shots and try and replicate it on a consistent basis.
"They’re all makes, obviously, so it’s constantly watching myself shoot the same shot, over and over again, and now while I’m out there it’s second nature. I know I’m not going to be able to make every shot and that’s one thing I really had to tell myself. But the more I shoot the same shot, the better chance of making it."
While it is not known if any other NBA teams use this system, there are five NFL teams and nine college teams that use this technology.
We obviously won't be able to see any results until the season starts back up, but one thing to keep in mind is that this is not going to make Andre Drummond a 70 percent free throw shooter. Andre knows that, but as long as there is some improvement, the use of this technology could be considered a success.
"I’ve found something that keeps me calm," he said. "Even if I do miss a shot, I found something to keep me calm and not get myself rattled. Once I missed one, I’d tense up and I’d miss the next one, too. So I found a peace within myself. Even if I do miss a shot, I’m going to be comfortable to get back up there and shoot the same shot again. Make or miss, I’m not going to be frustrated but move on to the next play."
What are your thoughts DBB? Do you like this idea? Do you think it will work?