Updated: Mar 29
"I'll do whatever it takes to win games, whether it's sitting on a bench waving a towel, handing a cup of water to a teammate, or hitting the game-winning shot." - Kobe Bryant
The Kobe Bryant quote above has always stuck with me. One of the greatest players of all time to ever play in NBA was willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win.
In the game of basketball, only five players from one team get to play at a time. Teams usually have ten-twenty total players on a team. In a high school game, the game is 32 minutes long (either two halves which are 16 minutes or four quarters which are 8 each). As a coach, I would love for everyone to play an equal amount of playing time but that is a difficult task to accomplish if you want to be a competitive team!
During this past winter season, we played the best team on our schedule. We ended up losing by more than 20 points. The day after, I had a player ask me why they didn't play more in our previous games. I shared a few thoughts on how they could improve. That conversation prompted me to lead an activity that I learned from my twin brother which I believed would benefit that player and the team. I asked everyone to write on a piece of paper their answer to this question, "Out of 32 minutes, how many minutes do you think you should have played in our game yesterday?" If we had won by 20 points in the previous game, I think everyone's response would have been a high number. Asking them to base their answer solely on the most competitive game we had played thus far provided insight into what was hopefully an honest self evaluation from everyone.
If five players play in the game you can do 5 x 32
To determine the total amount of minutes in a game you can use this equation:
5 (total number of players) multiplied by 32 (minutes each) which equals = 160
After everyone finished writing their number, we added up the total number of minutes our 15 player team felt they should play. The total was 238.
78 extra minutes....
Based on the facial expressions on everyone's faces after we wrote the number on the whiteboard, you could tell they had a light bulb moment. As coaches we shared that our goal is to be competitive and to have everyone play in every game. However, that is not realistic in some games. I will say, our team was incredible in the level of support they showed for each other from the bench. The bench chanted "defense", cheered loud, handed water to teammates, gave a lot of high-fives, and gave all of their positive energy to the teammates battling on the floor. Because of the unity of our team, the starters wanted to score a lot of points and create a big lead so the bench players could get game time and it was truly special to be a part of.
Another goal was for everyone of our players to score at least one basket this season and they all did! In a game against a weaker team, our starters played a total of two minutes and they all agreed they were ok cheering on their teammates who don't play as much as them...selfless leaders!
No matter your role on your sports team, work team, family, etc. find a way to be a STAR in your role! If you are not happy with your role, outwork your competition and keep strengthening your skillset. Don't let the minutes impact your attitude...just make the minutes count!
Thank you for reading and please feel free to reach out if I can help in anyway!
Sending positive vibes,