Playing time - A basketball balancing act

Year after year, playing time is one of the top issues on the minds of players (and their families).

Whether it is justified or not, many players find themselves not getting the time on the court they desire. There are situations in which it comes down to coach oversights, preferences, or bias. Almost always though, a player can increase their playing time by stepping up their game.

I don’t complain about playing time. My job is to play so well the coach can’t sit me.
— Shane Battier

All of the practice and effort that goes into basketball comes together in games, so that is why it can be so frustrating to not get many minutes - if any at all. No-matter the reason for limited minutes, the frustration is understandable.

That being said, many of your minutes are truly up to you. A coach controls substitutions, but you control your abilities. In a game situation, a coach’s mind is going 100 miles per hour. Many of their decisions are based on split-second instinct. They go to players and schemes that they are comfortable with and make sense in specific situations.

During your time on the court, time in practice, and even time off the court, present your best self to your coach. Get noticed by your play and demeanor - this will place you more prominently in your coach’s mind. Naturally, this will pay off when those split-second decisions happen in games.

The best thing you can do to increase playing time is simple - step up your game. Just practicing with your team is not going to separate you from the pack. The most improvement often happens in the offseason.

Not only getting up shots, but going through basketball specific workouts like those offered by The Basketball Movement are the kind of thing that separates a team’s best players from the rest.

It can be tough to dig yourself out of the hole that is the bench, so it will take patience and determination. Overcoming adversity is something else that helps to separate the strongest from the pack, however. It is a challenge worth taking on if you are serious about getting more minutes.

Parents - It can be tough to accept sometimes, but this isn’t your battle. Coaching decisions are not yours to make and you must understand that you have blind spots when it comes to your own boys and girls. If coaching actions seem abusive in any way, it is of course time to step up. With issues such as playing time however, just support your children and be willing to help them in any way possible.

As mentioned, The Basketball Movement is a tremendous resource in the Midwest for scenarios just like these. If a player is serious about improving in a hurry, The Basketball Movement is the perfect place to start at any level of the game.

Remember you can contact us anytime here!