To App or Not to App: The Impact of Technology Infused Basketballs Generating Immediate, Auditory Feedback on Free Throw Performance

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Technological advances in sport analysis technology products provide administrators, coaches, and athletes with a dizzying array of potential resources intended to improve performance. Yet stakeholders must evaluate if the products are effective, and if they provide an acceptable return on their investment of time and money. In basketball, free throws are a prime candidate for technological analysis. The free throw is a discrete skill with a defined beginning and end point within a short time period, and is also a closed skill with a stable performance environment 36 National Coaching Conference, June 21-23, 2016 (Wrisberg, 2007). In addition, free throws are considered an important aspect of winning basketball games (LopezGutierrez & Jimenez-Torres (2013), which explains why free throws have been studied by a variety of subdisciplines of kinesiology and other fields of study for over 60 years. The purpose of this study was to measure the effectiveness of audio feedback from technology-infused basketballs on free throw performance and shot release angle variability among college-age basketball players. These technologyinfused basketballs have an internally embedded computer chip that sends real-time data to an application which notes and announces shot release angle, commonly called shot arc. Wrisberg (2007) noted that coaches should focus on one cue at a time, such as shot arc, and emphasize consistency of movement production, such as consistent shot arc, in discrete, closed skills like free throws. Previous research has shown that there are optimal shot arc angles for different heights of shooters, but to our knowledge this has not been measured with contemporary technology. It was our hypothesis that the experimental groups that received the auditory feedback on their shot arc would show greater improvements in free throw accuracy and have smaller shot arc variability than the control group who did not receive feedback. Results and implications for stakeholders will be discussed in this session.


National Coaching Conference


Seattle, WA