These were the words of advice I received from my friend, Ned, on Saturday morning. I was chatting on the computer from my bed and I was expressing my new objectives as a post guard, down low on the key.
“I’m really focusing on getting the rebound and maintaining a really good grip on it. My team complains about how I lose the ball easily. I’m thinking of sleeping with a basketball in my arms actually.”
“Sounds good,” Ned responded, “And don’t forget that you can box OUT, but you can also box IN. When you go up for the rebound, you can give your opponent a little nudge to throw them off as well.”
I brought these tips to my game against Virrey del Pino on Saturday, at Sahores Club.
In the first quarter, I picked up two fouls in the key, even though I felt that my arms had been up.
During half time, Cate explained: “The reason you picked up the fouls was because you didn’t have your hands ALL the way up. You also weren’t standing completely still.”
I’ve been learning a lot about fouling lately. I’m beginning to understand that those five allowed fouls in a game can be used on purpose within the game’s context.
“There are certain situations where you have to foul,” Oso explained to me after game, in the car.
“If someone is coming at you with some speed and are going to go for the layup…you foul them! But hard!”
Drawing the foul is a risk; your opponent goes to the free throw line and has two other possible points. But, if you block the initial point and they miss free throws, it’s all good. Oso also pointed out that fouling bring out your presence on the court and can provoke fear.
“If you are going to foul…do it well enough so they remember it the next time.”
I’m learning about these court idiosyncrasies and how I want to use them in my own game.
However, at the end of the Virrey del Pino game, I realized that I’d forgot to use Ned’s nudge though. Next time.