Basketball and Body Language
Most of the time it is because you aren’t good enough, why you aren’t good enough is the question you should be asking yourself if you are struggling with playing time. As a coach, when I don’t play certain players most of the time it’s because they lack confidence and it is evident when they are on the court, their body language looks scared, timid and afraid to make mistakes. In practice, they are usually very quiet and do not speak up a lot. If you look afraid when you’re on the court, then you have no business being on the court plain and simple. I see a lot of young players that are scared of contact and will shy away from aggressive players and get owned on defense by backing down.
You can never be afraid to make mistakes because that is the best way to learn and when you learn, you build confidence and confidence gets results. Some of the other times I don’t play players is because of their attitude, if you are selfish, quick to blame others and unwilling to accept mistakes is another reason that will get you on the bench. On the other side, I love playing guys who just go get the ball. They may not be very good on offense or anything, but I love playing guys who fight for rebounds, play aggressive defense and are not afraid to foul. Tenacious players like this I cannot resist but to play them. They may have ugly shots and cannot dribble, but as long as they don’t shoot or dribble, they can significantly help a team through defense, rebounding and unrelenting hustle. To anyone struggling with playing time you need to realize that it may not be your basketball skills that are lacking, but rather your competitiveness.
Remember if you aren’t getting playing time, the coach already has his “go-to” guys for scoring and pure basketball play. So he’s looking for guys who can make a difference without scoring so my advice is to be more vocal, be loud in practice, on defense always try to get the ball no matter what and don’t be afraid to get very physical and create contact rather than receive it. Small things like this coaches notice when looking for players to come off the bench, sure hitting a few shots in practice is good but those things come and go, your heart and hustle is what will get you more playing time.