It Can’t Be Given

One of the biggest complaints I hear from players at all levels deals with their playing time. It’s almost unanimous – every player thinks they should play nearly the whole game. And while this is a good mindset to have (believing you should be on the floor), the proof is in the play.

The job of a team coach is to get the pieces of the team to play as one unit. To put the players on the floor that give the team the best chance to win. I’ve heard several players say that they aren’t getting playing time because the coach doesn’t like them, or that the coach has favorites. My response . . . “Yes the coach does have favorites, the coach likes players who play hard, dig in on defense, take good shots, and rebound. And it’s not that the coach doesn’t like YOU, it’s that the coach doesn’t like it that you catch the ball and you’re timid with it, or you turn it over on a regular basis. The coach doesn’t like that you don’t play hard every play or that you can’t keep your man from getting to the basket. And it is absolutely true that coaches HATE bad attitudes. It infects the whole team – and no matter the talent of the player it often cannot make up for the terrible effect of their bad attitude.

So let it be understood. Playing time is absolutely earned; it is not given by coaches. And you earn your playing time on your OWN time by getting better. If you don’t have a strong handle, work on it EVERYDAY. If you don’t shoot well, work on it EVERYDAY. If you can’t move your feet fast enough to guard someone, work on it EVERYDAY. If you don’t work on improving it on your OWN time then you have not earned playing time when it comes to GAME time.

And when you earn something, then you appreciate it because you know the sacrifices that you made to attain what you wanted.


Get better at what you Love today!