of the hardest aspects of being a Coach is trying to please everyone.
From the Coach’s point of view the bench is very important, we need our
bench, we respect our bench, we encourage our bench, but those players
on the bench don’t see it that way.
It’s not easy being a bench player, when all you want to do is play the
game! Without a doubt, the most difficult basketball position is the
role of the bench player. If you find yourself spending a lot of time
on the bench, don’t be discouraged.
It may be hard to believe but your role as a bench player is very
important to your Coach and the success of your team. You may not have
chosen your role on the side lines, but as a member of the team you owe
it to your team mates to do your job.
Players cannot play the full game and need a break; so substitutions
are necessary. You will get your chance to play! But believe me… there
is nothing more frustrating, then to call a player off the bench only
to find out he has no idea what is going on.
I guarantee you the coach will think twice before calling on that
player again. As a bench player you may not get to play a lot of
minutes, but the few minutes you do play are really important ones.
Here are some improvements for bench players to consider:
- Be ready! At any moment you could be in the game. You need to know
what offense and defense the team is running, who you are substituting
in for, who you will be guarding and what basketball position you will
- When the coach calls a timeout, make sure that you get up, and run to
the huddle, make eye contact with the coach, listen and get the
message. Pay attention to what the coach is saying and show him you are
- Work hard to make your team mates better; this is one of the best
contributions you can make. Not everybody can be the scorer, so do what
you are good at.
- Your best chance to get off the bench is to improve your game. Ask
your coach what specific skills you need to work on and then do it.
- Be a great team mate; if your team likes you, they will be more likely to play better with you.
The coach may recognize this and it could help get you into the game.
Bench players do have the best seat in the house! Don’t be stupid! Stop
thinking about when you are going to play and keep your spirits high
and your mind in the game.
Be prepared to make the most with your minutes. Don’t think your coach
won’t recognize how you are helping the team. He will respect you for
your efforts and consider you for more minutes over other players on
the bench with bad attitudes. If you implement these ideas you may see
your time on the bench more tolerable and maybe even shorter.