Managing Your Timeouts Wisely
Avoiding Foul Trouble
Coaching Strategies: Managing Your Timeouts Wisely
Since timeouts are used primarily for strategy purposes, they play an important role in every basketball game, and are extremely crucial at the end of a close game. Therefore, they should be anticipated and used wisely. To get maximum benefit, whenever a timeout is called, players should run to the bench, especially in the case of a 20 or 30 second timeout. Note: if a player is so tired they cannot run to the bench, they should be replaced immediately. Full timeouts should be divided into two parts with the first 30 seconds being players’ time for water, towels, etc. For the last 30 seconds of a timeout all attention goes entirely to coach. Substitutes must also be alert and pay attention to the changes and adjustments being made.
Be sure to get eye contact and every player is listening before speaking. Also, make sure only one coach is speaking at time. Too many voices during a time out can be very distracting and detrimental. During timeouts, it is common place to observe four different coaches talking to different players at the same. Since players remember very little of what is said during a timeout, keep adjustments and changes simple. 1 to 3 things at the most. In addition, do not expect them to successfully execute anything new that you have not worked on in practice.
Play Diagrams: If you are going to draw plays during a timeout, make sure all players know how to understand them and that they are clearly drawn. Do not take it for granted that they have been taught how to interpret and understand play diagrams.
Double Check Timeouts
On every timeout, be sure an assistant coach double check with the official scorer on the exact number of personal fouls on each player and time outs remaining. Official scorers are known to make mistakes. However, if caught early it can be corrected. However, if a player foul discrepancy is discovered late in the game, there is nothing much that can be done to correct it. Coming out of time out, make sure every player must knows the number of time outs remaining and team foul situation. This is extremely important at the end of a close game. Games and national titles have been lost by players taking a timeout after a team has used their last timeout.
Learn More: Timeout Strategies
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SIDE NOTE: Before TV time outs and stopping the clock the last minute after made field coaches figured out ingenious ways to stop the clock. These uncharged timeouts included: fake injury, fake lost contact lens, accidental spilled water on floor, and even the spilling of popcorn on the court by a manager. Fortunately, with the stoppage of the clock in the last minute and increase in the number of time outs, these drastic measures are no longer needed.
Playing Intelligently: Avoiding Foul Trouble
Fouling plays a critical part in the out come of the game, especially when it comes playoff time. Fouls were added to the basketball rule book to penalize; however, intelligent players and teams use fouls to their advantage. When it comes to fouling to gain a competitive edge there is no margin for error. The difference between fouls being your ally or your enemy rests on a single foul. If you analyze fouling, you will quickly see that every time you step onto the court you can count on receiving three basic fouls:
Foul #1 – You will receive at least one bad call during the game.
Foul #2 – At least one charge/block judgment call will go against you.
Foul #3 – You will use at least one foul for strategy reasons.
Therefore, if you commit just one careless or lazy foul you are in foul trouble (Foul #4). You may commit a careless foul early in the game and think it is only your first foul. However, since the other three basic fouls are definitely coming it immediately puts you in foul trouble. Once you are in foul trouble you be come a defensive liability especially in the low post area. In the low post area, you will be forced to play behind your opponent with your hands up like a “prisoner” and only hope that your opponent does not score. If your opponent is smart they will take “no prisoners” and attack you at every opportunity.
What constitutes a careless or lazy foul?
1. Reaching instead of moving your feet to establish good defensive position.
2. Reaching because you are tired and out of condition.
3. Fouling out of frustration after a bad call or play. Committing a technical foul. Since most leagues now count technical fouls toward disqualification, loss of control not only puts you in foul trouble but also creates an unforced turnover! (See “Playing Through Adversity” Article).
4. Fouling because you are too slow getting back on defense and are out of position.
5. Trying to block shots instead of taking a charge.
6. Going over the back of an opponent for a rebound instead of establishing good rebounding position.
7. Fouling a player in the act of shooting.
8. Playing defense by standing behind a player in the low post area.
9. Establishing defensive stance after your opponent has already received the ball.
10. Fouling a dribbler from the side.
11. Committing an offensive foul by driving into a crowd.
12. Creating a foul on your teammate by coming off a screen before the screen has been set.