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Five tips for more playing time from your basketball coach

by | Nov 19, 2020

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Game day comes, you’re all hyped up and then…

You don’t get as much playing time as you’d like.

It can be a deflating feeling.

Whether at tryouts to make the team, or you just want more playing time…

Here are five tips to help you out.

Tip #1: Effort

It’s pretty much a law of basketball

Coaches hate laziness.

Make sure you’re not slacking whenever your on the court.

Whether it’s in drills, or in a game situation, coaches will take notice of the players putting in the effort.

For example:

  • Boxing out for rebounds
  • Executing drills according to instructions
  • Running back on defense in transition

If it’s your stamina that’s holding you back, you’ll have to make endurance training a focus.

Tip #2: Confidence

Often, players will be far too reserved with their play in training.

Here’s what I mean:

You could hit the open three, but you don’t want to call for the ball.

You could make a move to drive to the basket, but instead you pass the ball as soon as you get it.

Obviously don’t go overboard, you should still be a team player. (we’ll get onto that)

But even so, confidence is key.

The more you train and work on your skills, the more confidence should increase.

But at the end of the day, when it’s time to play, you must always find a way to trust in your ability.

basketball tryouts tips to get more playing time

Tip #3: Stand out for the right reasons

There are two types of scenarios where you’ll grab your coach’s attention.

For doing good things that stand out, or doing bad things that stand out.

Your aim is to cut out as many of the bad things as you can:

  • Don’t be the player who frequently loses the ball
  • Cut out any laziness in your game
  • Don’t be the player who always gets scored on

You also want to add things to your game that make you stand out for good reasons:

  • Be the hardest worker on the floor
  • Become the best at something: shooting, dribbling, athleticism, etc.

Tip #4: Defense

Playing lockdown defense is a great way to get more playing time.

When the game is close, coaches will sub out players who are a liability on defense.

You don’t want that to be you…

If you struggle to defend well, here are some defense drills to help you out.

That way, you’ll be in the game competing when it matters most.

Tip #5: Be a good teammate

Being a team player is another way to get you more playing time from your coach.

It also just makes you a better player in general… it’s a team game.

But… what exactly is “being a good teammate”?

In short, it’s simple.

Make your teammates’ life easier and your opponent’s life harder.

In addition to this definition, here’s a few things:

  • If your teammate is open and you’re not, make the pass
  • Don’t sulk or be negative when things get tough, have a positive mindset and make sure any criticism is constructive
  • Be a player that people enjoy playing with
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