Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21 NIV
When you play sports people will try to cheat, to take advantage of the rules, play dirty. If their actions don’t make it to evil, you can still use this verse to handle the situation.
First, you can eliminate 75% of the problems by outworking, out hustling the opponent.
Second, you need to take advantage of what they are doing. If you are posting up, and your opponent has a grip on your shirt, show your teammates where to give you the pass. They can’t hold your shirt and reach out to steal the ball with the same hand. If they are on offense and trying to hook you with their arm while getting a lob pass, don’t jump to try to intercept the pass, but keep them occupied with trying to hook you. They have to try to catch the ball with one hand and you have a better chance to knock it away.
Third, involve your teammates. Are they trying to deny any passes to you by pushing up against you and putting a hand in your face. Work with your teammates to set screens away from the ball for you. Or set screens for you teammate who has the ball. You can use your opponent as part of the screen with the added benefit that you can sometimes get them to run into their own player.
Fourth, let the refs help you. You don’t need to talk to the ref to communicate with them. When you are lining up for the out of bounds play, tell your teammate to watch out for number 14. They like to hold your shirt or pants to keep you from being able to break. If you can laugh while you are saying it that plays well with the ref too. Show that you know this kind of thing is coming and that you will deal with it in a smart way.
Fifth, don’t be naive. You should know what people are going to do — it doesn’t mean that you do it. One of my high school coaches taught us what he thought we should do when we were saving a ball that was going out of bounds. Usually you have an opponent who is trying to intercept your throw. In that case he has his arms and legs spread trying to block all of your passing lanes. His solution: throw the ball hard at their head (it will bounce off before they can bring their arms in), or off their private area (it will either trickle out of bounds, or you will be able to get back in bounds and get the ball before they are ready to take any kind of action). I’m not saying to do this, but to know that it could happen and be ready — turn your body so they don’t have a straight shot at you.
Finally, abut 5% of the time you won’t have a solution. Use this as motivation. You need to be 5% better than your opponent to offset the advantage they get by their actions. Don’t settle for being in as good a shape as your opponent, be in better shape. Know what kinds of things they will try, and come up with a solution that will overcome it.
Nike says JUST DO IT. Just do what????
Use good to Overcome, Conquer, Defeat, Take the Offense and Overpower, Win the Victory