A note about playing time

Hey Coaches,

If you've ever had to deal with players (or parents) complaining about playing time, you're certainly not alone. During my 16-year career, I've learned that no matter what you do, it's virtually impossible to please everyone.

And while players will often try to blame their coaches, the truth is that they actually have a lot more control over their playing time than they realize. That's the message I'd like to share with you in today's article. Maybe you'll get some ideas from it about how to approach these conversations, or maybe you'll even want to share it with your players/parents-whatever is most useful to you!

Either way, I hope you enjoy the article below:

Here is the hard truth about playing time...

You need to stop blaming your coach.

If you're not playing as much as you'd like, you need to focus on one thing that you can control...

You simply need to focus on getting better!

The excuses that you're not playing are simply irrelevant...

It doesn't matter if politics are at play. It doesn't matter if the coach is more familiar with other players. Coming up with excuses may make you feel better, but it's not going to help you with your objective.

Coaches are a different breed...

Coaches are some of the most competitive people on the planet!

If you can clearly show that you will impact winning, the coach will go out of their way to get you more playing time.

You should put all of your energy and time into getting better physically and mentally!!! That's the only thing that will truly benefit you over the long run. That means you need to...

  • Ask your coach what they want from you to help the team win.
  • Ask the coach how you could get more playing time.
  • Ask the coach what kind of shots you should take.
  • Work relentlessly on your skills - Put in more time than everybody else.
  • Work on your mentality - Analyze the mental approach of the greatest players.
  • Study the game and watch videos to raise your IQ.

When it comes to playing...

  • Sprint the floor - Try to be the first one down the court on offense and the first one back on defense.
  • Dive on the floor after loose balls.
  • Be hyper-alert and hyper-focused on defense - Never take a second off.
  • Always communicate clearly and loudly.
  • Take shots that are expected of you - Don't try to take shots your teammates wouldn't expect you to take. You can impact the game without taking one shot.
  • Be a great teammate on the floor and on the bench no matter the situation.

That will give you the best chance to get more playing time!

And What If You Don't Get More Playing Time?

There is a chance that you won't get more playing time even when you've done everything right from the preparation standpoint... and that's okay. There's nothing wrong with that at all.

It's just important that you become the best possible version of you!

Even if you're a senior and you're not getting playing time, you can still be a big reason that your team succeeds.

  • Bring energy to practice and to games even if it's from the bench. Energy is contagious!
  • Teach the younger players how to play. Communicate with them in practice and in games.
  • All teams need great practice players. If you compete at a high level in practice, you will make your team better. Challenge your best players in drills. Make them compete at a high level!

These types of players can be differentiators with championship teams.

If you did everything to the best of your abilities and were the best teammate you possibly could've been, you have a great future beyond basketball...

This means you will have more success beyond the basketball court. You will be part of championship organizations in the most important venue... The Real World!

Let us know what you think. You can also share your thoughts for the article posted on the website here.


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