How to Approach Your Basketball Coach About Playing Time

San Antonio Kids BasketballQuestion :  My sophomore is now languishing on the varsity bench.  We think he has earned playing time.  How do we address this problem?  He is losing confidence and even moping around the house.

Coach Terrence Jones of Ultimate Champions – The Home of San Antonio Youth Basketball:

The kid, not the parent, should address the coach.  Here is the approach I would recommend:

“Coach, I know you picked me for a reason to help this team.  Tell me what I need to do today to become a stronger asset to this team.” LISTEN.  TAKE NOTES. “Why does Johnny who plays small forward in front of me do to earn more playing time?” This typically serves as a lesson as to what needs to be worked on.  Then, remember that words don’t earn playing time, actions do.  Get in the gym.  If your coach says your quickness needs work, then be at practice 15 minutes before jumping rope and stay 15 minutes late running extra suicides.   In fact, I suspect you already know some of the things the coach may say in the above conversation.  Why not make a deposit in the bank of good faith by devoting next week to working harder and addressing feedback the coach has already given you and then have the conversation.   You may have a more receptive audience.