How Candy Affects Free Throws

By: Kinsey Hall

My Question

Do people shoot free throws better with gum, jolly

ranchers, sour patch kids, or nothing in their mouth?

My Hypothesis

My hypothesis before doing this was that people would either

do better shooting free throws with gum or nothing in their mouth. I decided

this because, nobody usually has jolly ranchers or sour patch kids in their mouth during

a game. When people play basketball, they usually are

chewing gum or have nothing in their mouth. This is why

my hypothesis was towards the gum or nothing in their mouth.

Then I changed it up by having each person blow a bubble before shooting a free throw.

This is why I changed my hypothesis towards nothing. I thought that people would

shoot better with nothing in their mouth other than gum, jolly ranchers,

and sour patch kids.

Background Knowledge

Some things I think will happen in this experiment:

People that are eating nothing while they shoot will

probably shoot better then with the candy in their mouth.

I also know that people that don't like the sour patch kids

and the sour jolly ranchers will try to shoot faster to get done

with that food that is in their mouth during those 10 free throws.

Procedure

I decided for my science fair project, that I was going to test 3 different kinds

of candies, and see how eating them while shooting baskets would affect their free throw percentage. First, I tested them with nothing in their mouth. Then I had them chew sour patch kids. Next they sucked on a sour jolly rancher. Last I had them chew bubble gum. Before each free throw, the person would blow a bubble with their gum while shooting the basketball. In the end, I tested 10 different people of all different ages.

Reggan Kuhlman

Reggan was the first person I tested on her free throws.

First I tested on how she did regularly with nothing in her

mouth. She had a free throw percentage of 30% with nothing

in her mouth.

Kayton Hall

Kayton started off by shooting his ten free throws with nothing in his mouth.

After he was done shooting these he had a free throw percentage of 10%.

Ashley Wolfgram

Starting off with the ten free throws with nothing in her

mouth Ashley shot and got a free throw percentage of 70%.

Katie Jo Leapley

Katie Jo shot her 10 free throws with nothing in her

mouth and got a free throw percentage of 80%.

Nicole Hansen

Nicole started off with her normal free throws.

Here she had a free throw percentage of 60%.

Erica Wolfgram

Not wasting much time I moved to the next person. My next volunteer was

Erica. She started off by shooting her 10 free throws with nothing in her mouth.

At the end of these, she had a free throw percentage of 40%.

Austin Hall

Austin started off to a good start shooting his 10 free throws

with nothing in his mouth. He had a free throw percentage of 70%.

Sydney Chapman

Sydney not yet warmed up took a chance on her first 10 free throws

only making a few. In conclusion, she had a free throw percentage of 20%.

Rubie Klausen

Not so sure if she was warmed up yet, but she started with the 10

free throws with nothing in her mouth. This led to a free throw percentage of 30%.

Jeremy Hall

Last but not least was Jeremy. He said he was going to

be a little rusty so our results showed similarity to his

comments. With nothing he shot a free throw percentage of 50%.

Conclusion

In the end, my hypothesis was incorrect, because I found out that many people did better shooting with sour patch kids in their mouth than with any of the other candies tested. It didn't make much difference between the boys and girls, and how they reacted to each of the different candies while shooting their free throws. Much of the time, the results showed a landslide difference between their normal shot without candy versus with a candy in their mouth. When tested, each participant's shot without candy seemed to be their lowest percentage. Once they put the candy in their mouth, their shooting percentages almost all increased, but were not consistent. Each candy seemed to affect the people differently, depending on whether they liked the specific candy or not.

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