Do you have a basketball player in the house? If so, you know the challenges that come with earning minutes in the game. Today’s guest post by Glen Izevbigie from The Better Game gives some very specific ideas on how to help your child earn more basketball playing time.
Playing time isn’t everything, but explaining the importance of value and hard work will last forever once it’s instilled in your child. As a new sports parent to be, I have already detailed my son’s sports career in my head, and I know that I will have to explain to him the same things I teach my U16s. I have coached youth players during my time as a professional overseas and I’ve always told the players that none of them were guaranteed playing time. I went on to tell them that being valuable will get them on the court, and that value comes with hard work.
Expecting your child to play major minutes on the court is something all sports parents want. Yes in the grand scheme of things playing time is not important, but teaching your child to earn more playing time is a valuable lesson that will stick with them the rest of their lives.
If you ask 12 sports parents how many minutes their child should play, all of them would say 25+. It’s understandable because as a sports parent you sign your kids up to play and not watch the game from the bench. However, 25+ minutes adds up to 300+total minutes on the basketball court and there are only 200 total minutes (40-minute game) to divide up for a roster of 12. In all sports playing time comes with value, and as a former college player and now current European pro I have been taught that you should be so valuable that you can’t be taken off.
Here are some aspects of the game you can teach your children to help earn more playing time:
Free throw shooting
Free throw shooting is very important to every player’s playing time. A child will be valuable shooting at the very minimum 75% from the line. Mental music has shown to increase confidence by playing a song in the mind during a player’s free throw shooting routine. This can make free throw shooting fun and relax your child, while increasing his or her percentage.
Rebounding is another important skill that coaches will see value in. Giving your team a second chance to score and preventing the other team from second chance points will make your kids highly valuable. The key to rebounding is very good positioning. After a teammate or an opponent has shot the ball watch the entire flight of the ball and position yourself based on where the ball will deflect of the rim. During Dennis Rodman’s time at the Detroit Pistons he would sit down and watch his teammates shoot and predict where the ball would land. Based on his predictions he was able to become a premier rebounder in the NBA during his era.
Stopping an opponent from scoring is the best skill to have on the basketball court in my opinion. A child will see a lot of court time if he/she can play tough defense. Great defense leads to fast break points and great defensive rebounding. The key to better defense is to stay on the balls of your feet and keep your athletic defensive stance. Wall sitting exercises are the best exercises to help condition a player’s legs for a constant athletic defensive stance.
At the end of the game coaches analyze the stats. Free throws, rebounding and defense are the reasons why many basketball games are won. Focusing on mastering these three points will get you on the court for most coaches while simultaneously building your child’s character.