Players, listen up! I’m gonna shoot straight from the hip today because I’m very passionate about this topic: I’m tired of seeing players blame everyone around them for their average or below-average success. If you’re difficult to coach, don’t expect to get more playing time. Before we dive into the heavy material, let me get this out of the way: COACHES HAVE FAVORITES!! Of course they have favorites—their favorites are the players they can trust, on and off the court.
Here are four reasons you may not have the playing time that perhaps you think you deserve:
1. Too Selfish
No one wants to be on a team with a selfish player. No one wants to coach a player who ranks his personal success above the team’s success. How many times have you seen an extremely talented team fail because the members of the teams are more concerned about individual stats over the success of the team? Selfish players destroy team chemistry.
When something bad happens to you in the game, don’t slouch at the end of the bench or intentionally ignore your teammates’ hand for a high five. Those teammates on the bench work extremely hard. Don’t snub them because you’re lost in your own feelings.
WATCH MORE: What is true mental toughness?
If you’re having a bad game, find a way to contribute to your team. Go out and cheer harder for your teammates. Celebrate everyone else’s success more than your own. I promise you’ll see a change in attitude and your play. Put others first and you’ll be easy to coach.
2. Too Sensitive
I’ll admit, I’m a little bit sensitive myself. I’m a people-pleaser and I always want to do well. But, sensitivity becomes a problem when you turn feedback from a coach into an attack on your character. You have to realize a good coach will and should hold you to a higher standard. I see too many players choose to quit because a coach has simply challenged them to do better.
Never quit because it is “too hard.” Receive the coaching and learn from what your coach is trying to say to you. Coaches don’t want to walk on eggshells around you—they just want to be able to coach you. If you want to be a coach’s favorite, embrace their coaching with a nod and a “Yes, Coach.” Thank your coach for their time and effort and don’t let your perception of their coaching destroy your confidence.
WATCH MORE: Eye Contact With Your Coach Builds Trust
3. Lack of Consistent Effort
This one is simple, but difficult for a lot of players to do. If you want to play more, stop making excuses for why you can’t put in the work to get better. If you want to be the best player you can be, work harder. If you want to gain more confidence as a person and athlete, work harder. There’s simply no substitute for hard work.
I’ve worked with thousands of players over the years and the majority of them work hard occasionally. The special players work hard consistently. A coach’s favorite player is someone who is consistent in their effort.
How many times have you seen less talented players get playing time because of how they hustle?
Coaches play players they trust.
If you are hit or miss in your effort and work ethic, don’t expect to play a lot of minutes. Coaches want to win, and it’s difficult to win with players who don’t work hard or are inconsistent. Make the most out of every opportunity: Whether in practice, in the film room or in the classroom, work hard and show up prepared to dominate every single day!
Learn More: 3 Steps to Mapping a Successful Off Season
4. Lack of Gratitude
If you’re grateful for your opportunity to be playing the game and you love playing, then let that love spill over into how you approach the game. Be early to practice. Sit in the front for film sessions. Dive after loose balls in practice. Go crazy for your team when you’re on the sideline. Realize how blessed you are to have this opportunity to play.
If you give all you have to the game you love, the game will give back to you. Plus, you’ll be a lot easier to coach.
THINK THE GAME
Join us this summer and discover how to become a playmaker, lead your team, and run the show.
Too many players waste time working on things that don’t happen very often in games. One thing all great players have in common is their intentional training of game-specific actions
This is a correspondence between PGC owner Dena Evans and a long-time PGC grad. I was so moved by Dena’s response to this player, which the player’s father shared with me, I decided to ask Dena, and this athlete, for permission to share this correspondence publicly. If you know the heart-ache and disappointment of not reaching your team or individual goals, this is a must-read.
Far too often, basketball players make the game too hard with their go to move. They use multiple dribble combo move that rarely result in a successful attack. James Harden
PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.
We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.
Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.