Become a Free Throw Mastery Student Member

Jim Schatz

In 2009 Jim “Makevery” Schatz organized and founded the National Basketball Shooters Association, with a group of free throw mastery experts.  Jim’s background was professional sports, having been an open tennis player, then switching racket sports at age 29, to playing, teaching and coaching on the NRC professional racquetball tour.

Jim also founded the Southern California Racquetball Association, and set up, organized, and directed all the junior events during his era, in San Diego County, Orange County and Los Angeles county. When he retired from racquetball at age 37, he closed down his racquetball pro shop at the Beverly Hills Family Fitness to help his sick father in his window tinting business.

Jim is known to be a very good athlete, and he is an excellent teacher and coach, in a few sports, specializing in youth development.  He played baseball in his youth, and in high school, he was a top junior bowler, at 16 averaging 185, in the Bay Area Junior Traveling Bowling league.  In 1968 he was on the Santa Monica City College 6 man volleyball team that won the college title that year.  That team had half of our USA Olympic team, and was coached by Olympic player/coach, Legend Mike O’Hara.

After retiring from racquetball, age 37, Jim focused full time on his father’s window tinting business, established in 1958.  Later, after being away from sports for several years, he got the urge to compete, teach and coach again.  It was a matter of choosing a sport.  Jim said, “I always wanted to learn how to play basketball properly, so I decided to take basketball shooting instruction from the best shooting coach I could find locally.”  That coach was Kenny Kroft, who was known as UCLA / NBA scorer, Don McLean’s developmental coach, since Don was a kid.

After working on basketball shooting for 2 years, and only on about 10 things, which Ken repeated over and over again, Jim then wanted to teach basketball shooting.  He asked Kenny to teach him basketball dribbling and ball handling drills, but he didn’t teach that, so Ken set Jim up with the top guy teaching ball handling in the area.  Jim was beginning to see that you could specialize in one area in the sport of basketball.  What would that be?

Next, now at age 46, Jim found a book titled Free Throw, 7 Steps To Success by Dr. Tom Amberry.  Dr. Tom had just set a new Guinness record, making 2,750 free throws in a row, ending on a make, and he was accessible, living a short distance away in Long Beach.  Jim set up a lesson, and the rest is now history.  The most important thing Dr. Tom taught is to keep accurate records of each practice session, shoot in 25 shot sets, and always end your practices on a make.

  • Dr. Tom became Jim’s practice partner for the next 7 years, until Dr. Tom couldn’t shoot any more at age 87. Then Dr. Tom introduced Jim to Fred Newman, who had earned 5 basketball shooting Guinness records. Then Fred Newman became Jim’s practice partner for the next 6 years, until he passed away at 76. During this practice period, Fred and Jim developed the competition format used today by the NBSA, which allows for a ranking system. We qualify for the championship final rounds, which are head to head, alternating shots, first to make 25, in the age division competitions, then it is single elimination, until we have a champion.
  • In 2009, Jim wrote his first free throw Instructional book, titled “The Guide To Free Throw Mastery”, which still is unpublished. He used that book to introduce himself to the basketball community and to the experts in his free throw mastery field, to organize and start the National Basketball Shooters Association. The idea was to get all the experts together, and for us to exchange all our teaching tools, and literature. I wanted us all on the same page, as a free throw mastery team.
  • At that time, when the NBSA was started, there were about 6 pages on the free throw mastery subject, in a chapter, in an old, out of print book, written by Bill Sharman. There was also Dr. Tom’s, 120 page book, entirely on free throw mastery, and there was a dissertation for his doctorate, by Dr. Jim Poteet, which taught the mental side of shooting. That was it. Since then we have added 5 more books, and 2 more are being written today. All of these expert free throw mastery instructional books can be purchased here, at our new website.