Fisher Breaks Guinness Free Throw Record

Jan. 20th, 2010 – Seneca Courier Tribune

by Clara Reinecke

Bob Fisher, Centralia, says he knew as a child that he could accomplish any feat he put his mind to; his mother said so.  “The instant my mother said it, it was a life changing moment for me,” adds Fisher.  This past week he proved he could, in fact, do whatever he sets his mind to.

Saturday, January 9, 2010, Bob, along with his team of helpers, set the world record for most successful free throws made in one minute following the criteria for the Guinness Book of World Records.  Fisher made 50 out of 59 shots taken in one minutes time – that’s nearly a shot a second! The previous record of 48 shots was held by David Bergstrom of Sweden and was accomplished on October 2, 2001.

You could say Fisher has been working towards this for quite a few years.  At either youth or high school level, he has been coaching basketball for much of the past 20 years.

In 2008 Fisher developed and produced a video “The Secrets of Shooting” that teaches his theory of the physics of perfect shooting form per individual.

He has continued to study the dynamics of staging the perfect shot.  All this led him to his goal of breaking the world record.  “People ask me ‘who do you think you are – what makes you think you know anything about shooting a basketball when you work for the government?’ I tell them that my job definitely helped me in my goal to set the record.  As a soil conservation technician, I am involved in surveying, designing and laying out conservation practices.  I simply apply that knowledge to basketball shooting.”

His efforts even led him to studying anatomy and how it pertained to shooting.  Fisher read books and did internet searches to learn more on the subject.  “I applied the same approach to physics,” states Fisher.   “I know nothing about physics other than how it pertains to basketball.” When establishing his formula, Fisher studied the works of Dr. John Fontanella, a retired physics professor who authored the book, The Physics of Basketball.  “I found the most natural movement of the wrist, strongest position of the wrist, the bucket-carrying angle of the elbow and the strongest position of the shoulder from these studies.  Once I had this information, it was simply a matter of applying basic trigonometry to determine what position worked best.”

Fisher also knew he needed to make his shot as efficient and natural as possible.  “I believe the more natural the movement, the more repeatable it is.  Shooting is as simple as A-squared plus B-squared equals C-squared.”

In September of 2009, Fisher made arrangements with USD 380 to use the Vermillion gymnasium to practice his shooting.  He began shooting an hour or two a day, experimenting with drills based on his latest research.  “I then designed a blueprint, which was customized for me.  My build is not conducive to being a great shooter, so conventional shooting instruction did not work very well for me.” Fisher adds that in each practice section he would vary his shooting technique because recent studies show that rather than learning one technique and trying to perfect it, performance is enhanced when you are able to engage more neurons in the brain.  “Looking back, I would say this was the key to my success.”

In October, Fisher contacted Guinness about the criteria for breaking the record.  “They require that I submit film, photos, a news story and any other documentation that would authenticate my record claim.  They also require at least two witnesses of outstanding character, an official referee and timekeeper and official scorers.”

Fisher and his group of more than a dozen volunteers gathered in the Valley Heights gymnasium to set about breaking the record.  On his first attempt, Fisher tied the existing record, making 48.  “I would have had 49 if I would have gotten the last shot off, but it was still on my fingertips as the horn sounded.” His second attempt he switched to a different release and had a couple of variables wrong.  “I got up more shots but I missed more.”

After taking a five minute break and making what adjustments needed to be made, Fisher slowed his pace and concentrated on accuracy.  The approach worked and Fisher succeeded at making 50 of his 59 attempts for the record.

“Bob was looking to break the record because his studies of shooting are beyond what others in the world have figured out,” says Ryan Noel, head girls’ basketball coach at Valley Heights High School.  “This season we have employed him as a shooting coach for all of our basketball teams/coaches.  He takes an individual approach because not all athletes are built the same and have the same variables that affect their shot.  He has pinpointed these variables in our athletes to perfect the motion necessary to repeatedly make baskets.”

Fisher abides by the quote ‘People may not believe what you say, but they will believe what you do’.  He looks forward to seeing his name in the 2011 Guinness Book of World Records and by accomplishing this act he says it will add to the credibility of his approach, which he has termed ‘The Multiple Method Shooting System’.

“I couldn’t have done this without my support team,” adds Fisher.  “I appreciate all their help.”

To view a video of Fisher breaking the record go to www.youtube.com and type in “Bob Fisher”.

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