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Coach Ronnie’s Top 8 Tips for Benchwarmers (Who Don’t Wanna Stay On the Bench)

1. Talk to the coach and ask them how they view your role on the team. What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? What can you do to get more minutes? 2. Start with where you excel: If that’s rebounding, then rebound like crazy! If it’s defense, be the player no opponent can get around. Remember, the game is not just about scoring points, but what you bring to the team as a whole. 3. Work hard in practice to show the coach you’ll bring energy to the court, even outside of the limelight. When you DO get put in the game, play as hard as you can while matching the flow of the game. Coaches love to see this! 4. Be mentally ready when you’re called to sub in: While on the bench, be careful to watch and understand what’s going on in the game. Listen to what the coach is instructing other players to do, and try to address those things when it’s your turn on the court. 5. Play good defense! This will *always* help your chances of staying on the court. 6. Take good shots. Make an extra pass if needed! You want to play aggressively and try to make something happen to prove that you can be called upon—but you must strive for balance. Ultimately, it’s a team sport! 7. Be energetic and eager to play. Warm up with just as much enthusiasm as if you’re going to start. Sprint to the team huddle and listen to the coaches’ instruction. 8. Be a good teammate. Encourage the players on the floor. Even though you’re in competition for minutes, you’re still on the same team—and good, positive team spirit goes a long way.

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