Whenever you imagine yourself playing basketball, 99 percent of the time you are in a situation where you have the ball and have your heart set on creating something, whether it be your own shot or an opportunity for a teammate. No one really imagines setting themselves up for the game winning shot by not having the ball to begin with. But in reality, this is where most uncontested shot opportunities begin. Being able to create a shot for yourself is important, but it is not everything. Having to create for yourself and your teammates can be rewarding, but it can also be very frustrating if things are not going your way. Being able to always find the open space on the court and make yourself available to an open pass for an uncontested shot is just as effective, and requires minimal effort if you are in great basketball shape. This is one of the easiest ways to Earn More Playing Time.
A perfect example of a player of this nature would be Ray Allen (in the latter years of his career). After all the athleticism left his body, he still found ways to be an effective shooter and scorer on the court, to remain a valuable piece to his team. He kept his body in great condition, to allow him to have a high motor to find open spots on the floor with non-stop movement. When you move without the ball, you will realize you create opportunities not just for yourself, but you will open up more opportunities for your teammates as well.
In the game of basketball, there are key players, role players, utility players, STAR players, and practice players. Although each and every player must serve a different role on their respective team, these roles do not have to be permanent. Early on in your career, you may find yourself in any one of these categories (obviously you would be happier being a STAR/key player rather than a role/practice player). The beautiful thing about this game is that year after year, situations can change and you can find yourself either in a better role or quite possibly in a weaker role. Even if you are waiting for your chance next season, there are things you can do at the end of your current season to put yourself in a better position for next year. There are many different factors that can influence your role on your team. One of the main things that help you transition UP the ladder is realizing that there are some things you may not be able to control in your situation with your team (don’t worry about these), but there are MANY things you CAN controlthat can affect your value as a player. My personal advice to all players (especially the younger players) is to not worry about your current situation, and continue working and practicing for the role you want NEXT season. ALOT CAN HAPPEN IN ONE YEAR/SEASON. TRUST ME.
I have known players that have gone unnoticed for years finally reach their potential and get that college scholarship everyone desires so much, some even making it to a professional level. On the other hand, I also personally know some players that were dubbed “the next best thing” that never panned out throughout high school or college, and were a huge disappointment based on the hype they received as a youth, and now are only legends at the park during the summer.
Below are several tips I have learned throughout the years that can IMMEDIATELY get you more attention as a player and eventually gain the respect of both your coach and teammates on your way to earning significant amounts of playing time.