Basketball Playing Time – Who Really Decides?

Who decides basketball playing time

Who decides your playing time?

Whenever I drop in on a Devner high school basketball practice or open gym to see what coaches are working on and what they feel is important to their players. In a recent open gym I was impressed by the honesty a coach presented to his players at the end of the session. This coach told his players that there is only one person in the program that determines their playing time. That person is THEM! I felt this is a powerful statement and one that I agree with wholeheartedly. This coach then went on to mention intangibles that he looks for in players for them to earn playing time.

Obviously coaches want players that have natural god given talent and players that possess extensive skills in all facets of the game. Most of the time coaches aren’t blessed with a young Lebron James so they need to maximize the talent they have year in and year out. As a player it is your duty to fill roles needed on your team as defined by the head coach. These intangibles described below will improve your chances of getting as much playing time as you can handle.

Commitment To Effort Increases Playing Time

Effort is huge to Denver basketball coaches. How fast are you sprinting the floor? How hard to go in shooting drills? Are you diving on the floor for every loose ball? Most Denver basketball teams need to have at least 2-3 of these type of players and are usually a very good team if they have 5-8 of these players. These players give max effort at all times, never take plays off, and ignore pain when it is endured. If you are watching the NBA finals players that fit this role for their teams are Kawhi Leonard, Udonis Haslem, and Lebron James (even though he is the best player on the planet).

Teamwork First Increases Playing Time

Teamwork is an asset that all coaches need to have on a team in order to teach them how to succeed. Without teamwork teams will struggle to maximize their talents. Compared to other team sports basketball does have a lot of individual skills needed to play but it is impossible to win only relying on individual talent. When effort is given using each individuals talent for the greater good of the team you will be amazed as to what those teams can accomplish. Tim Duncan, Lebron James, and Tony Parker personify the word teamwork with how they approach the game of basketball.

Work Ethic And Habits… Increase Playing Time

A strong work ethic is essential for every athlete to succeed in the game of basketball. When you hear people talk about great players they always mention work ethic. Great players are usually the first ones in the gym and last ones to leave, in addition many times the only ones in the gym that day. Not only to these players put in thousands of hours into perfecting theirs skills they also never back down or take time off in practice or games. They embrace a blue collar mentality of doing what is right at all times or working until the job is done right. The story I am always impressed with that fits work ethic is the one about Kobe driving straight to the Staples Center after a 2 hour flight at 1 a.m. In the game that night he went 2 for 15 from the field and the Lakers lost by over 20. They say he didn’t leave until he got 1,000 makes. Think about that commitment to the game when your are disappointed with the playing time your are getting.