Lack of playing time can be one of the most frustrating things a player can experience in basketball.
It can not only affect a player's confidence but even his overall love of the game.
In this article, I will be going over things you can do to improve your playing time.
1. Be A Great Teammate
This is by far one of the most overlooked parts of the game of basketball that players just seem to forget about.
If you can be a guy who continues to support his team despite not playing a lot, then that is something that separates you from 95% of other players who ride the bench.
So just remember even if you are riding the bench still being a good teammate might be your best bet to get into the game.
2. Show Out At Practice
You gotta realize that at this point practice is your best friend. Because each and every practice gives you the ability to show your coach reasons why you should be playing more.
You almost have to treat every practice like a tryout or a game in its self.
3. Out Work Everyone
There is no greater way of showing your coach your desire to play than doing the little things other players simply are not willing to do.
At the end of the day coaches want to win and put players on the floor they have trust in. By working hard and hustling you then show your coach he can trust you to make the right plays for your team when it matters the most.
Examples Of Hustle Plays
- Diving For Lose Balls
- Running when the whistle blows
- Playing at game speed during drills
- Staying Low In A Defensive Stance
4. Understanding The Coaches System
There is nothing more frustrating to a coach than a player who cannot remember plays or a player who cannot run their system the way they want it to be done.
Again I keep reiterating this but the simple truth of the matter is a coach will only play players he feels like he can trust.
By knowing this you can then take the proper steps required in order to understand and perform your coaches systems and plays perfectly.
For example, if your coach is a defensive coach who likes ball pressure, then it would be a good idea to learn and perfect your defensive abilities.
5. Communicate With Your Coach
At the end of the day coaches are not phycic and can often have a hard time reading what a player might be feeling.
That is why it is your job as a player to take initiative and ask the coach why you might not be playing much.
This can be great for two main reasons. One reason is that it shows your coach that you care and want to be part of the team. Secondly, it is a great opportunity for you to take any feedback your coach gives you and work on that.
Pro Tip: When frasing your question about playing time make sure you faise it in a way that makes it seem like you want to help your coach and your team, and not in a way where it seems like your pouting and frustrated.
A great way to do this would be by asking it like this.
Hey Coach I was wondering if there is anything I can do to contribute to this team more than the current role I am in?
6. Be Coachable
Being coachable basically means being a player that coaches can give contrustave feedback too, and a player who will listen to that and make the necessary adjustments required.
This is easily one of the best ways to earn respect and trust from your coach. Remeber this, most coaches at the end of the day just want to help players be the best person and player they can be, and by being coachable you are basically allowing them to do so.
By earning this type of trust and respect it will make it all the more likely that your coach will give you more minutes on the floor.
7. Being Reliable
Every coach wants a player that can consistently be their for them and there team. Again a lot of time playing time comes down to trust and there is no better way for a coach to trust you then by being reliable.
Examples of Being A Reliable Player
-Showing up to practice and games early
- Being eligible
While easier said than done nothing will ruin your chances of playing more then having a bad attitude about your current rotation on the roster.
If you are a player that visibly shows your anger and frustration on the bench then it will make it that much easier for your coach to justify your current roster spot.
On the other hand, if you are a player who continues to have a great attitude despite being on the wrong end of playing time it will definitely give you the best chance of playing more, and can even help your teammates side with you and help you get more playing time.
Now I am not saying this is full proof because, to be honest, it still might not get you the result you are looking for but what this does do is give you the best shot.
Examples of having a good attitude
- Celebrating Your Teammates Success
- Being engaged in the practice
- Helping your teammates out
Pro Tip: I know how hard this can be especially if you feel like you deserve more playing time, but having a bad attitude not only affects your team but you as well.
9. Doing The Little Things
The little things in basketball are something most players are simply not willing to do and even if they do it they give it half effort.
The little things are something that can separate you from your teammates and give you that edge and hopefully more playing time in the process.
Examples Of Doing The Little Things
- Diving For Loose Balls
- Taking Charges
- Communicating And Talking On Defense
Leadership is an important quality and something coaches are always looking for in a player.
When being a leader do not mistake this with being a tyrant who just yells at his teammates.
Leaders are players who lead by example, encourage, and motivate their teammates to do better and be their best.
At the end of the day, a lot of your playing time on the court has to do with your overall ability as a player compared to your teammates.
If you really want to be a player who plays a lot on a good team then you have to put in the work to become a better basketball player as a whole.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What do you do If your child is getting an unfair amount of playing time?
Answer: The first thing I would recommend to any parent experiencing this is to slow down and try to take an objective look at the situation as a whole.
The second step you have to do is to make sure your child talks to the coach about this before you do. This ensures your child is independent and makes the whole situation go better as a whole.
Thirdly, is you must encourage your child to still give it their all and make the best out of this situation. Remember as important as sports might seem its real importance is the lessons it can teach us later on in life.
And encouraging your child to have a good attitude about it will not only make them a better player but even a better person overall.
Pro Tip: This also does not mean you need to be a pushover but be a person who can make the best out of any situation.
Question: How do you go about telling your coach you want more playing time in basketball?
Answer: The best thing I would recommend is by asking your coach in the most respectful way possible.
You also want to make sure you form your questions or concerns in a way that will come across as you wanting whats best for the team.
For example, you could form a question like this " Hey coach I noticed my minutes have gone down recently is there anything I can do to help the team out."
Or you could ask with some like " Hey coach I noticed I have not been playing much this season is there anything I can do to earn more minutes from you, and could you give me advice on what I might need to work on.
Pro Tip: Another thing I recommend to players who want to talk to their coach is making sure they do so in a private setting. This shows your coach respect and causes less drama between your team.
Most hoopers at one point or another know the terrible feeling of riding the bench. But as you can see there still are some steps and tools you can take to give you the best opportunities to get more minutes on your team.
Thank you for reading and as always keep hooping my friends.