Monday, September 3, 2012

Foul for Profit: Teaching Players How to Use Fouls Properly

If you were one of the millions clued to a TV or attending a college football game this weekend you more than likely saw an Offensive Lineman get called for holding or saw a Defensive back get a Defensive Pass Interference called against them. What I guarantee that you didn't see was an Assistant Coach or a stat keeper yelling to the Head Coach, "He's got two" and see the Head Coach pull that player for the rest of the half. Welcome to the world of a Basketball Coach.

An Offensive Lineman can get a holding penalty and never have to leave the field until his Coach has decided he can't stand it anymore. Basketball and Soccer are the only sports where a normal penalty can cause the player to not be allowed to participate. (I didn't want to include soccer because they flop way too much to actually tell if they were really fouled or not but I figured there is at least one soccer fan that reads this.)

There are too many factors that factor into fouls in a basketball game. The one you can't control or play without are the officials. We've all seen it. An Official will get temperamental and take or lose control of a game. They kick calls. They get defensive because you call them out about kicking a call and blow another one. The whole time this is going on Players are the ones being penalized. If a Football official misses a holding or makes a mistake on a holding call unless it is on a scoring play its a redo. A basketball player kicks a call and that player just got put at a disadvantage.

As a Coach you have to teach your kids how and when to foul. Use fouls don't lose them. Here are 3 emphasises we place on how and when we foul. My philosophy on fouls is to (1) stop an easy 2 or (2) block/charge situation and the Official misses the call. Any other foul is unacceptable.

#1 Only 1 Touch-Foul per game
We've all seen it. You are playing your rival. Crowd is packed. Ball is tipped, your team is on defense and your best player gets a hand check call fifteen seconds into the game just so the Officials can "set the tone". The worst thing to your team is to get another hand-check called, especially the same player. ADAPT! Why waste another team foul on the same foul? If I stick my hand in hot water and scream "Man, that's hot!" are you going to say "Let me try" and walk over and dip your hand. If you answered yes or probably stop reading now. During practice sessions have a "touch foul session" and a "NBA (no babies allowed) session. Teach your players to be able to defend both ways.

#2 Nothing Easy
Teach your players to take pride in never allowing a easy basket. If we have a breakdown defensively and our opponent has a chance for an easy two we are going to challenge it. Teach your players to foul and stop the ball from getting to the rim without getting an intentional foul called. Teaching Point: Watch your Player's facial expression when fouling. If they are gritting their teeth or look mad that is the first tip off to an official. Fouling is business, nothing else. (Sidenote: Why is it called an intentional foul when 99% of fouls are intentional?) We use the DeMatha Finishing Drill taught to me by Alan Stein that Coach Mike Jones uses at DeMatha High School. Bonus Action: Work on Finishing with contact

#3 Block/Charge
My defensive philosophy is Drive=Deck. If our opponent drives, someone is on the deck, preferably both of us ending in a charge call. This is something you have to instill into your Defensive DNA. This is not a hard call for officials to make if the defender is early. The slower the defender to get into position, the odds of a block call against you go up. This mentality will change your opponents offensive mentality as well. (More on this in my Defensive DNA post later this week)

#And+1 Soft, Stupid, Selfish
Lazy, Cheap, Soft: However you want to label it but a dumb foul is selfish. It is false hustle. It puts teammates at a disadvantage to make up for selfishness. It will destroy your defensive plan.

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1 comment:

  1. It's one way to use a foul for personal reasons, another when you're helping out your team. At the end of the day, teamwork really gets you through the game.