10 Tips on Getting Your Players to Take Charging Fouls

Imagine one of your players is in great position for helpside defense. Then, he slides over to play help defense on a player driving to the hoop. He/she beats the offensive player to the spot and is in great defensive position. You're ready to jump up and applaud your player for playing great help defense. But instead of letting the offensive player run him/her over and take a charge, he/she reaches in or bumps the offensive player and is called for a foul. I don't know about you, but that drives me crazy!!!

In this article, we will provide you with some great tips to teach your players on how to take a charge. We will also provide a few drills to work on.

Here are the Tips:

Tip #1 - The defensive player should have his feet shoulder width apart and planted on the ground. They should never leave their feet or reach!

Tip #2 - The player should not be leaning forward or backwards, he should be standing straight up. It is important not to fall backwards before the offensive player runs into you.

Tip #3 - When taking the charge, make sure to be square to the offensive player.

Tip #4 -The defensive player should be set. It's optimal to have the player already set before the offensive player arrives. It's also very important not to get there too early. Otherwise, the offensive player will have time to recognize this and slide around the help.

Tip #5 - As the offensive player runs into the defensive player, it is important to let the ref know about it. He/she should let out a loud "UH!!!' to get the referees attention.

Tip #6 - Although, it is important to "sell" a charge, you do not want to flop. You will be more likely to get a foul called on you. You still want to have a good body control when falling to the ground.

Tip #7 - When falling to the ground, try to teach your players to land on their butt. An injury is more likely to occur when they land on their back and shoulders.

Tip #8 - Make sure that your players do NOT stick out their elbows, they will get called for a foul.

Tip #9 - Remember, a charge is a judgment call made by the referee. If you have a player in foul trouble, it is sometimes good to have them avoid taking a charge.

Tip #10 - Practice! Practice! Practice! If you want your players to take a charging foul, make sure to cover this at least every other practice. In one of my first years of coaching, I always told the players to take a charge, but never practiced it. Guess what! We took about two charges in twenty games, and I'm pretty sure the players didn't even mean to.

In this newsletter, we are attaching two drills that will help. I highly recommend that you do NOT progress to Drill # 2 until you are satisfied with the way they perform Drill # 1.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...


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Jesse says:
10/31/2016 at 11:42:19 AM

This is such an overemphasized "skill". Coaches should teach positioning, making the wall, and forcing offensive players to make tough shots. Charge drills can be used to teach how to be more aggressive and confidence that they can absorb the contact.

More and more flopping is happening at the lower levels, for 50/50 play or benefit that happens maybe in 1% of gameplay. You can still draw an offensive foul without yelling unhappy or falling on the floor. Most offensive fouls are hooking calls, push offs, or moving screens.

  2 replies  

Michael Rice says:
11/13/2016 at 2:00:18 AM

I once saw a middle school girl, a post player, hustle back on a turnover and take a charge.

It was a one on one situation with a guard, she had no chance to contain.

Her team was up 1 with under 30 seconds to go. The shot went in, but was waved off due to the charge.

it's not over emphasized. Charge drills are used for exactly what you say they can be used for.

Being in position is the point.

The article speaks against flopping. It's a lot harder to get the call without going to the floor.

I see more, far more, charging/blocking calls at lower levels than hooking or push offs....besides, why not be good at something you can be good at, regardless of how often it happens?

Imagine how many more could be taken if people practiced it.

Often, I see players not even attempt it or do so horribly..


Jeff Haefner says:
11/13/2016 at 11:35:54 AM

I think charges are similar to having a great shot blocker in the lane. Your enforcer might only get a few blocks each game. But how many shots do they alter and cause players to miss?

I think charges have a similar effect. Actually I know they do because I have seen it many times. After getting called for a couple charges, offensive teams become tentative and think twice about driving in fear of getting another call against them. Their offense literally changes because of this and they become less aggressive settling for outside shots.

If you're team is great at taking charges it really can be a game changer for you. For less talented teams it can be an equalizer. One charge can completely change the momentum of a game.

Now I'm not saying it's worth it for all coaches. It's one of those decision we all have to decide whether it's worth the time invested. Because it does take considerable practice time and I think it's something you either fully commit to or you don't (and focus on your time on other areas).


John says:
1/17/2015 at 9:40:37 PM

Really good tips! I tested my wife, a coach, on her practices and she runs hers like you do.


cobby barson says:
12/27/2014 at 10:49:30 AM

cuul tips to help thse of us who want to improve upon our game.


Coach Finney says:
3/10/2014 at 1:46:31 AM

I think before anyone uses these tips they better teach the proper way to fall to the floor. Taking a charge can be very dangerous to both players and more so if you do it wrong.
1 good stance knees bent
2 protect your groin
3 take the hit square the the chest
4 as you go down butt hits the floor first and attempt to roll butt back then shoulders
5 MOST important TUCK your chin to your chest
6 slap the floor
Practice on gym mat or soft surface first.


Coach Cortez says:
3/1/2013 at 5:43:00 PM

I love this info. I find myself yelling to a player at least three times a game to take a charge but I can't remember the last time we practiced taking charges. Thanks for the tips. I will be sure to make it priority going forward.


claudee says:
2/10/2012 at 1:43:15 AM

this is what i was looking for:):):):)


Kaity says:
6/3/2011 at 1:37:12 PM

This is a very good website. It helps alot!


jennifer says:
11/30/2009 at 9:10:34 AM

i like this:)



carmen says:
11/30/2009 at 9:09:59 AM

i love this website


bob says:
11/7/2009 at 2:27:15 AM



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