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Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Back in 2003 I flew to Columbus, Ohio to spend a couple of days with Coach Jim Foster. He was kind enough to open his program up and spend time with me discussing a variety of topics. I have always had a great deal of respect for Coach Foster back from his days at St. Joe's through his time where we competed against each other during his tenure at Vanderbilt. This is the last of those notes:

Post players must have mentality that it is good to be hit...don't fade...greet the contact -- neutralize it.

Coach Foster likes to make a lot of visual references to his players and team.

Coach Foster: "Don't assume they understand."

OSU teaches inside foot to baseline as the pivot foot...believe this benefits cutting.

Coach Foster will have 1 post player work with the a group of guard during individual work for the benefit of improving footwork...OSU does individual work for about 15 minutes in the middle of practice.

Coach Foster: "The 15 foot, high post jump shot is our best shot.  We practice it and we value it.  It's a big part of our game.  Kids understand 15 foot jumpers."

Baby Hook is a "big deal" at OSU...want hip facing baseline with toe pointing tot he sideline for proper release...also good position to set up the Up and Under Move.

Will drill shooting Baby Hooks without jumping...concentrate on body positioning, release point and jumping...make 10 each side and then 10 from the middle facing both sides.

Coach Foster might come out on November 3 and say, "Let's get read for Purdue" to create some intensity and focus for the practice.

Coach Foster: "You can't wait until the morning of the Tennessee game to get ready to win."

If team is not focusing well in practice, Coach Foster might say something like "We're not preparing to play Ohio University at home -- we getting ready to play Purdue on the road."

Teaching progression is important -- commit to footwork.

Coach Foster emphasizes that all his drills "back into each other" -- there is carryover into all of them with regard to his philosophy.

Coach Foster likes to use "timeouts" for breaks in practice...players must sprint to the bench...there they can sit and get a drink...he may talk to them during the break or may not.

In February when he wants to go short, Coach Foster will tell his team: "I need to get a good hour of practice out of you today.  We can that in an hour or two and half hours -- it's up to you."

Rebounding: Coach Foster wants to make contact on blockout...a great rebounder can then release for the rebound...a non-rebounder needs to maintain contact (don't let your man get the rebound).

Coach Foster: "The best players play slowly then their quick."

Coach Foster: "Great players make the game easy."

Coach Foster: "From October to April the team improves -- from May to October the individual improves."

Foster on working on your shot:  "Don't shoot for the sake of shooting, shoot for the sake of competing."