We have all found ourselves in the Center position, feeling pretty comfortable, only to have the ball skipped across the court. In an instant we find ourselves “underneath” a contested match up, but with a pretty good open look.

We get nervous because even if we cannot see our lead official coming across the lane we can some how fell them rotating and it dawns on us that now we are the new lead and if there is a turn over we are screwed because we are underneath the match up.

So what do we do? We go around the match up to get on top of the play and for a second or so we straight line ourselves. It is easy enough to get straightlined, without purposely doing it to ourselves.

But, it is only for a second, you say and nothing is going to happen and then I will be in a better position to cover the play if there is a turnover.

Faulty thinking because the basketball gods know what you are doing.

Someday soon, when you purposely straight line yourself, there will be a three point shot taken with a possible foul on the play and you will have no clue.

Or, just as you straight line yourself there will be a steal with a possible foul on the strip and you will not have a clue.

Or, there will be a three point shot where the shooter has her foot either on the line or near the line and you will have no clue.

Or, just as you straight line yourself, there will be an elbow play that gets the defenders chin, or does it?

The point is stay underneath the play, hold your ground, keep your open look until that match up goes away, all the time knowing that if there is a turnover, you will have to get on your horse and ride like Roy Rogers.

Pre-game this ‘underneath’ situation. The old trail, now the new center should recognize that you are caught underneath the play and not be in a big hurry to get to the new Center position knowing that she may have to be the “temporary lead” in case of a turnover. She will cover your butt on the other end line until you can get there.

In the short clip below we see an extremely athletic and talented young official who finds herself underneath a play, feels her lead come across, gets nervous and walks behind the match up, momentarily closing herself to the play, Nothing happens this time, but those basketball gods are watching and next time…….

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