If you’re trying to stand out and be more effective as a basketball player, learning how to draw more fouls is a no brainer.
Here are four tips to help you take advantage of your opponents and get them in foul trouble.
Attack the basket
Don’t get me wrong… this doesn’t mean that by attacking the basket you are guaranteed to get a foul call.
But, what it does mean is that your chances of getting fouled are much higher.
The majority of fouls are called through players attacking the basket… and for good reason.
When so close to the hoop, it’s much more difficult to prevent the offense from scoring without illegal contact.
Some players may shy away from physical contact and driving to the hoop to score.
However, by doing that you miss out not only on a chance to draw more fouls, but also easy points at the free throw line.
Take advantage of defenders’ momentum
By being aware of your opponent’s momentum and taking advantage of it, you can draw fouls and get and-one buckets as you attack the basket.
This is a skill that will make you a huge threat on offense.
The classic example:
If a defender is chasing you as you jump to finish with a layup, decelerate so that their momentum causes them to bump into you.
Even though you have partially caused this, the foul is still on them as the defensive player.
Another way to do this is by using a pump fake, since this can cause a defender to jump towards you.
As this happens, jump into them and shoot as they are on their way down to draw contact and get the referee to call a foul.
Be careful though.
The further away from the basket you try to use this pump fake trick, the less likely the ref is to reward you and call a foul.
(It usually works best at a close distance to the basket)
Protect the ball as much as possible
Try to get in the habit of keeping the ball protected at all times.
This will help you to draw more fouls in a less direct way over the course of a game.
Although you aren’t actively doing something to lure your defender into a foul, this is still a great tendency to practice.
As defenders swipe at the ball, they’ll hack at you and make illegal contact. (This also prevents you from turning the ball over)
Here are three ways to make a habit of keeping the ball protected when playing basketball:
- Whenever holding the ball with two hands, keep a firm grip on it
- Protect the ball when dribbling by using your non-dribbling hand to shield from attempts to swipe the ball
- Put you body in between your defender and the ball when under pressure
Draw fouls when YOU are the defender
As a lockdown defender, your focus is usually on trying to prevent your opponent from scoring without fouling.
However, YOU can also draw an offensive foul on your opponent as a defender.
When defending a player driving to the basket (especially if they are particularly aggressive), shuffle your feet to quickly cut them off and “beat them to the spot”.
If you do this correctly, absorbing the contact with your body (not blocking them with your hands), the referee will call a ‘charging foul’ on the offensive player.
It’s often safest to fall on the floor after this to help take the impact, which can also help to “sell the foul” to the ref.
If the ref believes you haven’t shuffled your feet quick enough and didn’t establish your position, they won’t call a foul.
Even worse, they might call a “blocking foul” on you.
Absorbing contact with your body is always great defense, but only fall over and try to “sell the foul” if you are sure that you should get the call.
And… if all this is getting confusing, here’s a visual demonstration of NBA player Marcus Smart drawing offensive fouls:
Rather than trying to do all of these things at once, give each skill the attention it deserves and focus on them one at a time.
With practice, you’ll be able to draw more fouls on the court at each opportunity, making you a big problem for opponents.