Coaching basketball and getting players more playing time

One of the many great and awesome things about the game of basketball is that it unlike any other sport in many ways. One of the ways that basketball coaching differs from most every other sport is that there is no substitution limit.  A player can go in for less than one second, then come out of the game. So here is the best way to get each of your players more playing time: 
Get them to play harder.  
How do you do this?...   Just yell at them and tell them to play harder?
No. Here are a few more productive things that you can do that will actually work: 

Play full court man to man!

This serves many purposes.

  • Players will become far better conditioned.
  • Players will learn how to move their feet and change directions.
  • Players will learn not to commit dumb fouls early in the game in the backcourt, or they will have to come out. 

But that's not the only purpose of playing full court man to man. Your players will be working hard and playing hard. And will need to come out of the game simply because they are tired. No parent can ever argue "playing time" with kids raising their hand to come out of the game. Your players will be far more engaged, too -- never knowing when they coming out or going back into the game. (You will get more out of their minutes and they won't be coming out of the game rather than thinking, "Oh well,....  subs are coming in and I guess it is my turn to sit out for 4 minutes."

Here is 1 rule that serves as a great way to reinforce the effort that you want from our players. 

When the ball is in front of you,... you are sprinting 100%!!...

To clarify, when the other team has the ball, and the ball is closer to the basket that you are defending,... you are spring sprinting 100% to get in front of the ball. Anything less than 100% effort, that is grounds for coming out of the game. Uphold this rule on all turnovers, loose balls, long rebounds - essentially, ... uphold this rule ALWAYS!... and your team will be sprinting everywhere. You just can't relent ever on it. Not even 1 time. Because you have to be willing to pull out any player at anytime if this rule gets violated. 

It takes your players about a game or so to get used to breaking the habit of not hanging their heads after a turnover, or shrugging their shoulders after a missed layup, but reinforcing full court effort on defense is the fastest way to get your players to work harder and play harder. 


Playing full court man to man and sprinting whenever the ball is in front of you on defense will eep playing time out of the heads of parents  -- putting the focus back where it should be -- on the players making plays during the game. And on parents making sure that players are plenty hydrated. 



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