Tips to Staying Cool on Court
and Avoiding Fouls
It’s any player’s biggest fear. The game is coming down to the final minutes and the scores are locked, you’ve played in the zone the whole game but suddenly you’re down to your last foul. Your opponents know this and will continue to drive to the basket through you. It seems like there’s little you can do to stop them without a whistle blowing in your ear and you being sent to the bench for the rest of the game. Ideally, a player wants to save as many fouls as they can for the last quarter, as you want to remain aggressive on defense and your coach may want to foul strategically. Here are some tips to keep you out of foul trouble throughout the game and to use in your basketball training.
Guarding Perimeter Shooters
It is important to stay disciplined when defending an outside shot. Focus on keeping the ball in front of you, not the player. Improving your lateral quickness will also help in defending perimeter shooters.
It is also important to keep your feet flat when a player shoots or fakes. Perimeter shooters are usually good at making free-throws, so it’s best to close out the shooter without flying in on them to avoid the foul.
When defending a player in the post, you should use your chest while keeping your arms and elbows out in view of the ref. It is also advisable to keep your feet flat on the ground, even when the defender is shooting. Once you jump, the offensive player can very easily draw a foul. As well as this, once you’re in the air, you aren’t boxing out and rebounding.
Again, keeping the ball in front of you and sagging into gaps to prevent penetration will help you avoid getting a foul call.
Defending a Drive
One of the most common causes of a foul is a player reaching out to grab an opponent once they’ve beaten them on the dribble. This is a natural reaction, and it takes a disciplined player to control it. Concentrate on a part of the offensive player’s body that they can’t fake with, such as their neck.
Incorporate these techniques into your next basketball training session, and ask your coach for more drills and methods.