SOLIDshot teamed up with the University of Maryland men's basketball team to see just how much NCAA players' free throw percentage could improve once they started practicing with the smart sleeve. Here is what additional, in-depth information they found.
The SOLIDshot smart sleeve and app target a few different aspects of a player's shooting motion in order to give proper feedback. One of those key components that the smart sleeve focuses on is the upward extension of the player's arm.
In what is considered a "textbook shot," a player starts with the shooting arm bent at the elbow at a 90-degree angle, with the elbow pointing towards the basket. As the arm fully extends and the wrist snaps forward, it should develop upward—not outward—towards the basket. Higher placement of the shooting arm results in a high arc of the ball.
During the study conducted with the University of Maryland men's basketball team, a select number of players used the SOLIDshot sleeve as an extended coaching tool to improve their free throws. With the compiled data from the app, it also shows that SOLIDshot can help improve how consistently a player can extend their arm the proper amount upward.
We now zero in on one particular player — who is to remain anonymous due to NCAA rules — whose individual free throw percentage improved by 10%. A key with this this particular player was to track his arm height with each shot, with the goal being to get his arm higher when he released the ball. Observing his data from the SOLIDshot app, we find that this player improved on extending his arm in the proper upward motion, and then again readjusted to elevating his arm more after a dip in his stats.
This showed two things: That SOLIDshot can help players "get their arm up," and that constant use of the sleeve can help make corrections when a player hits a rough patch. It goes back to a comment made by UMD assistant coach John Auslander, that using the smart sleeve throughout a season can be beneficial. "Game to game, guys can get hot or get cold," he said. "All we have to do is put the sleeve back on. We have their numbers locked in, and we can get them improving their shot and getting it back to where it was when it was at its best."